Week 1 2021 Picks

Week 1 of every season is a mix of excitement and pressure especially coming off of a so so year last year.

Game 1: Phi +3.5 @ Atl

Eagles have chance to have top 5 offensive and defensive lines, both units start season healthy and I think give Eagles legit shot to win this game straight up.

Game 2: Phi @ Atl Over 48.5

Both offenses have advantages in this game, expect Eagles to give Hurts every opportunity in run option game, Eagles have upgraded speed at skill positions. Falcons pass game should have mismatches vs Eagles secondary, Eagles injuries at safety will make covering Pitts impossible.

Game 3: Sea -2.5 @ Ind

This is really a bet against the tumultuous summer the Colts have had this year. As an Eagles fan I have seen Carson Wentz at his best and worst, it is hard to imagine we are going to see the best after a summer where he was traded, got hurt an missed almost all of camp, came back and missed time for Covid, lost TY Hilton for the season and a number of key Colts missed time for Covid. Seattle on the other hand is bringing back most of the key components of their offense and look to have solidified their offensive line for the first time in a decade.

Game 4: Jax @ Hou +3.5

Honestly this is just a bet that the Jags should not be favored by 3.5 points over any team on the road with a rookie head coach and rookie QB. Last year the Jags won their opener and lost the next 15, I could see that for the Texans this year.

Game 5: 2 Team 6 Point Teaser: SF -2.5 @ Det & Chi @ LAR -2

The squarest teaser on the board, everyone will be teasing 49ers and Rams but they both follow the Stanford Wong rule of crossing the 7 and 3 giving us maximum value on the teaser.

Games not bet yet but waiting for number.

Mia @ NE

I really like the Pats but his game went from -2.5 to 3 and now is at 3.5. If this gets back down to to -3 before kickoff, I will take the Patriots,

Cle @ KC

Like the Browns here if I can get 6 again, currently the number is at 5.5, hoping money comes in on KC on Sunday and we can get 6 or 6.5 for the Browns.


LW: 0-2

2020: 60 -57

Superbowl: KC Future +225

The only bet I have on the Superbowl is the one I made prior to the games in Chmpionship week which is KC +225. I have not hedged it by taking the Bucs because I like the Chiefs to win this game. Now there may be some opportunities in game, if the Chiefs jump out ahead early I would look at taking the Bucs at some point and try to get a nice middle opportunity. If the Bucs jump out early then my play in game bet will probably be on the Over.

The reason I like the Chiefs in this game is I think there is a big advantage with the coaching staffs. Andy Reid has a chance to cement himself as one of the all time coaches with back to back titles and I like how aggressive he has been in the playoffs and really all year. The coach I think that doesn’t get enough discussion in this game is Steve Spagnola the Chiefs DC. Spags may not have been a very good head coach but what he has shown is that he is an elite game planner in the playoffs. The two Giant Superbowls were one by the performance of Spags defense and last year his KC team played their best game in the Superbowl. I was extremely impressed by the performance of the Chiefs Defense last week vs the Bills and I think we will see a prepared defense that will give Brady problems.

Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady is a historic meeting and one that will look more so at the end of Mahomes career but he had not been at his best the last month and the fact he was banged up had a lo to do with it. A lot is being made out of the loss of Eric Fisher for the Chiefs but in a one game setting I think they can game plan around it. The Eagles 3 years ago played with a back up LT Halopati Vaitai in place of all pro Jason Peters and despite that downgrade, Nick Foles passed for 373 yards.

If I didn’t have a Chiefs future I would probably take them -3 but luckily I can sit back and just hope they win and get +225.

Conference Championship 2021

LW: 0-2

2020- 60-55-1

Game 1: TB @ GB -0.5 (+114) 1st Quarter

I don’t have any bets on the full game sides or totals this week but still able to get a couple of bets in. The first is taking the Packers in the first quarter, I expect the Bucs to start slow in this game, one because that has been their history this season and two, because I think the cold will be something that bothers them to start the game. Tampa was shut out in the first quarter last week in New Orleans, and were down after 1 in 6 of their last 8 games and were shut out in Q1 in 5 of those games.

The Packers are team that does very well with their scripted plays and the fact that they struggled so much with this defense in their first meeting I think means they come out looking to be aggressive to start this game.

Game 2: TB @ GB Under 26 1st half.

This is taking on the same logic as the bet above that TB starts this game slow and because of it we have a low scoring 1st half. I mentioned above that TB has been a slow starter against good teams, I can see them trying to use Fournette a lot early in this game, it will be an adjustment for Brady to not have Brown who is one of his favorite targets on 3rd downs. The Packers too could come out with a run heavy offense in this game especially if they score first. I can see this game opening up in the second half especially if it plays out the way I am envisioning with GB scoring early and taking a lead into half, if that happens we have seen Brady have very big second half’s when needed.

Game 3: KC to win Superbowl (+225)

With Mahomes playing I was tempted to take the Chiefs ML but then I thought I am better off just taking them to win the SB at these odds as if they do win straight up this week I think that regardless of who win in NFC, Chiefs will be at least a small fav. Against the Packers I think that line will be 2.5-3 so something like -140- -155. There may be some hedging opportunities in SB especially of TB wins but either way I am happy to have a ticket on the Chiefs to win it all

Divisional Round 2021

LW: 2-2

2020- 59-53-1

I found this week’s card very difficult to find something I like which of course makes sense when we get to this part of the season where the card is just 4 games and lines are very sharp. As a result, I am going to play something a little different for my first bet.

Game 1: 2 Team ML Parlay – LAR @ GB (ML) and TB @ NO (ML) +130

Game 1 of the parlay is the Packers ML, this line opened at 7 and has been bet down so clearly there is some sharp money that likes LA. Last week I fully expected to be on the Rams in this game if they beat Seattle but the injuries to Aaron Donald and Goff and the weather in Green Bay have me off that side. The Rams defense has been terrific and is probably as tough a matchup as the Packers will face, Jalen Ramsey vs Devante Adams is the premiere matchup of the week and then Aaron Donald vs Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Donald got hurt in the 2nd half last week but is expected to be near 100%. What I wonder is how that defense holds up in the snow and cold in GB, in week 16 the Packers played the Titans in a snowy, cold game and while nobody thinks the Titans defense is any good the Packers seemed to have a major advantage when on offense.

On the flip side Jared Goff has to play in his first winter game with a thumb 3 weeks out of surgery and things did not look great for him most of the game last week. I see the case for the Rams defense to play tough and get the Packers offense to play under their regular level but I don’t see how their offense keeps up.

Game 2 is the Saints ML. I like the Saints to win this game because I think you can make the case that this is the healthiest they have been all year, they finished the year #1 in DVOA despite missing Drew Brees for 3 weeks and Michael Thomas for most of the season, Covid impacted a number of their guys including Kamara.

Tampa finished the season #2 in DVOA and had a really interesting season where the season started with the defense playing great and the offense starting slow and ended with the offense playing great and the defense playing really poorly. Last week Taylor Heineke started for Washington and passed for 300 yards in his WFT debut, the Falcons scored 27 in both their games in December against the Bucs. The Saints won the first two matchups but in this game both teams feel very different and I don’t think the “it’s really hard to win 3 straight times” fits here because this is a very different Saints team. The line feels right at 3 but I think the Saints win and we’ll see if this parlay pays off because I haven’t made this type of bet this year.

Game 2: Cle @ KC -9

I think this bet comes down to what you think of the Chiefs 2nd half of the season. KC did not cover a game in November or December, straight up they were the typical Chiefs outside of when the platyed the Raiders but they did not look dominant as last years team. The defense finished 22 in DVOA but generally it seems to have played at a similar level to last year, the difference is on offense. The question then is, have the Chiefs taken a step back on offense that they can’t get back or can they turn it on in the playoffs? For me I believe the Chiefs had little to play for in the regular season, when you have the best QB and the best coach it is Superbowl or bust so the fact that the team doesn’t go out looking to dominate week in week out isn’t surprising. We get the Chiefs now fully rested, Andy Reid off a bye is nearly mythical at this point and the matchup is a great one for the Chiefs offense.

In Cleveland the Chiefs get the perfect team to make a statement against, the Browns finished 25th in DVOA on defense, 25th vs the pass and that is aided by a 3 week stretch where the weather (wind) made passing nearly impossible. Last week the Browns got he perfect game script, literally everything went right and they found themselves up 2 TDs in a blink and up 48 in a few more. I think Cleveland is a league average type team that is coming off of the biggest win in decades and while this is a lot of points to give, this is also the highest total of the week.

Wildcard Weekend 2020

Week 17: 3-1

2020- 57-51-1

Game 1: 2 Team Teaser Ind @ Buf -0.5 & TB –2 @ Was

The first bet I placed on Monday was this teaser. With the Bills we are obviously not getting the best value on a teaser, we are only buying the 6 and 3 and the total is the 2nd highest on board but in a small slate I am ok passing up some value. This feels like a perfect matchup for the Bills, they get a an indoor team coming to play outside in the cold and with the way Buffalo is scoring I believe it will force the Colts to put this game more in the hands of Rivers than they would like and from that I think we see a turnover or two. The Bills had such an ugly playoff moment last year but this team feels totally different, they are #1 in weighted DVOA overall and 8th on defense, 4 spots higher than their full year grade. The Colts have feasted on such an easy schedule this year it is hard to know what to really make of them but I do feel confident that the Bills are going to score in this game as almost every good offensive opponent did vs the Colts and I am not convinced the Colts can keep up against an improving Bills defense.

Tampa offers the full value teaser goin through the 7,6 and 3 and are playing a team that is as one sided as any in the playoffs. I have no doubt that WFTs’ defense will cause problems for the Brady and the Bucs (see total pick below) but how does this Washington team score enough to win or keep it under a FG? Last week the Eagles a middling defense benched every veteran starter on defense besides Brandon Graham and Darius Slay and WFT couldn’t do anything. We don’t know what the situation is at QB, we just know it isn’t good. The Bucs may end up winning ugly in this game but I am confident they win.

Game 2: LAR @ SEA Under 43

This is the 3rd meeting between thee teams both meetings have gone under and I think that trend continues. In the end, what you are capping in this game is Pete Carrol and how he wants to play offense. In their first 7 games, Seattle scored 30+ five times and 27 in the other 2 games, that was the “Let Russ Cook” part of the season when the Seahawks were in top 5 in early down passing and one of the best offenses in football. In the last 9 games Seattle has reverted to the classic Seattle model of running on early downs and have hit 27 only twice and 4 of their last 5 games have gone under.

In this game, with the Rams QB position in flux but a very good defense I think Carroll takes his chance in a low volatility game, keep it close late and then let Russ win in the 4th, it worked a couple of weeks ago for the division and I think they play it the same way. I see a 20-17, 20-13 type game but there is no doubt if they decide to let Russ Cook this game could go over easily, that’s the bet we are making, who are the real Seahawks. I also like the under more if Goff starts, the

Game 3: TB @ WAS Under 45

The Bucs are coming in this game playing some of the best offense in the league finishing the season with 44,47,31 and 27 but those totals came against some of the worst defenses in the league, Detroit, Atlanta twice and Minnesota. When the Bucs have played quality defenses like the Rams, Saints and Giants they have had a much more difficult time, Brady has struggled against teams that pressure and that is certainly what he will face here in Washington. WFT finished 7 in adjusted sack rate, 3rd in defensive DVOA and 2nd vs the pass, this is going to be a matchup that TB will need to be very efficient against to score 30+. On the flip side it is hard to see how WFT scores in this game. Last week vs the Eagles, the Eagles benched every veteran starter of note on defense besides Brandon Graham and Darius Slay, the bulk of the secondary was 3rd team and practice squad players and against that competition WFT averaged 4 yards per play and 145 yards passing, they have not scored more than 20 the last 3 games, this is just not an offense that is playing well at all right now.

Game 4: Ten @ Bal -3 2H

Didn’t get a chance to post this live, I wanted Bal -3 all weekend, it got down to -112 which i should have taken but by Sat night it moved back -3.5 and I figured I would wait for live opportunity, which luckily did come up.

After seeing the surge in 2nd half, I was hoping the game would stay tied going into half with Ravens getting ball first and that exactly what happened and I was able to get Ravens -3 for 2nd half.

Game 5: Steelers Live

I don’t have any bets on Chi @ NO but will look for opportunities in the Steelers game where I think the impact of not having Stephanski will impact them more after the scripted plays and 2nd half. 8f Browns score early or are competitive at half I will be taking Steelers.

Week 17 2020 Picks

Week 16: 3-4

2020- 54-50-1

Game 1: NO @ Car +6

The Saints need the Packers to lose for this game to mean anything and are playing at the same time. COVID hit the Saints RB room and all of the RBs on the roster including Kamara and Murray will be out for this game, there is a chance we will see more by game time. Brees has relied on that running game to carry the offense since returning from injury and it is hard to see how they run away from a Panthers team that has covered big numbers all year.

I can see 2 ways the Panthers get the cover in this game, the first is the Saints struggle on offense without Kamara and Murray and the Panthers are able to stay in this game start to to finish. The second way is that the Packers lead the Bears all game and the Saints pull Brees and some of the other key players and the Panthers win or cover late as a result. Either way I think there is value in getting 6 here.

Game 2: Pit +10 @ Cle

The Steelers will have Roethlisberger and a number of other starters resting in this game but the Browns are in the midst of a Covid scare that last week cost them so many bodies they lost to the Jets. Now 7 days later they are favored by more points against the Steelers who while they will have a back up QB are a team that will feature mostly players who have contributed to a double digit win team. It would not surprise me at all to see Pittsburgh in this game with a chance to win.

Game 3: 2 Team 6 Point Teaser Atl @ TB -1 & Dal @ NYG +7.5

In this teaser we are taking the Bucs down to 1 and we need them to just win the game. These 2 teams played 2 weeks again and the Falcons got off to a great start and lead the game 17-0 at half and 24-7 in the 3rd before the Bucs came roaring back and scored 31 in the 2nd half. The Bucs know they can throw all over the Falcons and I think they get to it sooner in this game.

Money has poured in on the Cowboys this week vs the Giants but if you look at who Dallas has played the last 3 weeks ( Phi, SF and Cin) and the fact that they are +9 in turnover in those games, it would be hard not to look good. The Giants on the other hand have played a much tougher schedule as of late with the Ravens, Browns and Cardinals so no surprise they would 0-3 and have looked competitive. I like the Giants in this post to win but definitely like them to stay within a TD.

Game 4: Mia @ Buf -0.5 1st Half

I have been trying some different ways to play this but in the end the play I feel best about is taking Bills in the first half. I think there is a good chance that they let the starters play deep into the 2nd half but just in case they don’t, I think they come out and set the tone early in this game. The Dolphins are going back to start Tua in this game and even with the better defense I don’t see how they keep up with the Bills offense.

Week 16 2020 Picks

LW: 4-2-1

2020- 51-46-1

Game 1: SF @ Ari -4

Bet% SF 22% Ari 78%

The 49ers are starting CJ Bethard in this game and have injuries up and down the roster this week they will be without starting RB Raheem Mostert in addition to Deebo Samuel, though George Kittle may be coming back. In a lost season, having to finish off the season away from home, Kyle Shanahan said he would allow the team to go home for Christmas leaving very little time to prep for this game. This feels like a dead spot for a team trying to just get through 2020, Shanahan is somebody who does a great job game planning but at some point you need the horses and as square as it sounds it feels like he is waving the white flag here this week.

Arizona on the other hand is healthy, Kyler Murray had 8 rushes last week vs the Eagles which certainly indicates he is feeling better than he did for about a month when he hurt his shoulder. The Cards the last 2 weeks have seen a big uptake in their offense and I think it is because Murray is back to 100%. In this game I don’t see how SF keeps up, if they get down early do they fight back to keep it close? I’m not sure.

I bet this game early in week, would play at 6 or under but pass anything above that.

Game 2: Mia -2.5 @ LV

Bet% Mia 68% LV 32%

I like Miami here based on 2 factors, the first that in the AFC playoff picture we have one team playing to get in and one team that has now no chance of making it so you have to wonder how the Raiders react. Beyond the playoff motivation I think the LV situation at QB is interesting, it looks like Carr will start but you have to wonder if he is healthy or close to 100%. If Carr isn’t a full go or needs to come out I do not think you can expect the same type of Mariota performance as last week because one the Miami defense is much better than the Chargers and 2 now that Miami has seen Mariotta as a Raider the surprise element won’t be there.

Miami should also be healthier than they have been the last few weeks. Myles Gaskin will be back from the COVID list and they did not promote any receivers so I think it fair to expect either all or some of Gisicki, Devante Parker or Jakeem Grant will be back. Against this Raiders defense, if the Dolphins can get a couple of those receivers back I think they win by a TD+.

Game 3: Atl +11 @ KC

Bet% Atl 42% KC 58%

In the NFL teams that win straight up cover around 80% of the time which makes KC’s run the last month and a half quite remarkable. The Chiefs have not covered a game since Nov 1 but have lost straight up only one of those games. These numbers have to be this big because of course KC is capable of putting up basically any score they like and you wonder when that trend of not covering ends but Atl is too good of a team to pass up with this many points. The team that most closely resembles Atlanta that the Chiefs have played to me is Carolina, The Panthers were 10 point dogs and had a chance to win that game out right.

The Falcons are 4-10, have fired their coach and have been basically dead since October but they have played tough close games, they are 20th in DVOA and amazingly have a positive point differential at +2. For comparison, the Bears who are 7-7 are -3, the Raiders who are also 7-7 are -44. We compared the Falcons to the Panthers above, the Panthers are also 4-10 but have a point differential of -33,. This is all to say that week in week out the Falcons have played better than there record would indicate and this line provides value. The Chiefs will win of course but the Falcons should be able to stay in the game and keep it close.

Game 4: Cle @ NYJ +10

Bet% Cle 84% NYJ 16

The Jets won last week ending their winless run and it after getting killed for trying to win all week I like them to come back and play hard again this week. Even before the Rams game the Jets had been playing close competitive games, they were in 1 score games vs the Patriots, Chargers and Raiders and really should have won that Raiders game. The Browns are playing well right now, this is the most one sided bet on the slate this week with 80%+ on the Browns and because of it we are getting good value here at +10, this line should not be 10.

The Browns are on the best run of their season but this looks like a major flat spot for them. 2 weeks ago the Browns played on MNF in the game of the year vs division rival Baltimore, last week they Browns got flexed to another prime time game and had a 20-6 win on SNF. Next week the Browns play what could be a critical game in the division and AFC playoffs against division rival Pittsburgh, this Jets game is sitting there as a clear low spot. I also think that in looking at the matchup, the thing the Browns want to do is run the ball, they are #8 in DVOA and the offense starts with Chubb and Hunt. For the Jets, the thing they do best is, their best unit on the team is their run defense, The Jets rank 8th in DVOA in run defense and 8th in yards per rush against at 4.0. I like the Jets to kee this game within 1 score.

Game 5: LAR +115 @ SEA

Bet% LAR 42% SEA 58%

The Rams are coming off of their worst loss of the year and the worst loss of any team this season losing as a 17 point favorite but I thought the biggest takeaway from that game was Jared Goff’s comment after the game where he basically said this game didn’t matter, the game that mattered was Seattle. I’m willing to give the Rams a mulligan on last week’s game, they still rank higher in DVOA than Seattle #6 vs #9 and I think if we look at the last month they are still trending better than Seattle.

I was on Seattle last week against Washington, they had that game in complete control and then went super conservative and allowed WFT back into the game. The defense which seemed to be improved over the last month was being easily shred by Duane Haskins which can’t be a good sign. In the first meeting that Rams won, Goff passed for 300 yards in an efficient game, I expect McVay will be able to get the offense back on track this week. I took Rams ML at plus money, I think they win this game straight up, both offenses will have success but I trust the Rams defense much more and I also trust McVay more than Carrol to stay aggressive on offense.

Game 6: 2 Team 6 Point Teaser: Bears -1.5 @ Jac & Cin @ Hou -1

2 teasers this week, the first has the Bears and Texans, 2 favorites I took through 7 and 3. The Bears have looked much better on offense vs some bad defenses and the Jags should help continue that trend. After last week’s win by the Jets the Jags are now in position to pick #, they will be without James Robinson and we are not sure who is starting at QB. This should be a smash spot for the Bears, they are alive for the playoffs and this is a spot that even if they play poorly, they should be able to get the win.

The Bengals are coming off of their biggest win of the season and now go on the road in a short week and play against Desaun Watson. Going into last week, the Bengals offense minus Joe Burrow was historically bad and then they got 17 points off of turnovers as Rothlisberger played his worst half of his career. I don’t see the Bengals coming back and scoring enough to stay with the Texans in this game.

Game 7: 2 Team 6 Point Teaser: Ind @ Pit +7.5 & Buf -1 @ NE

The Steelers were the team downgraded the most by the bookmakers this week and went from a 3 point fav on the lookahead line to a small underdog at open. I fully expected this line to flip by game time because I believe the Steelers are still the better team in this game. I got them through the 3 and 7 for great value but I expect the loss last week was rock bottom and they win this game outright.

The second leg is the Bills on MNF, Bills will be on extra rest after playing last Saturday night, Stephon Gilmore is going to be out this game and it is hard to see how that Patriots defense holds up against this passing offense. Bills won the division last week but I expect they will still have something for the Patriots and wanting to slay the ghosts of seasons past.

Week 15 2020 Picks

LW: 6-2

2020- 47-44-1

Saturday Picks

Game 1: 2 Team- 6 Pt Teaser : Buf pk @ Den & NE +8.5 @ Mia

We start the card with the Bills on Saturday night @ Denver to win the game straight up. The Bills are coming off of their signature win and there is some concern about a letdown after the SNF win vs the Steelers but playing in a stand alone game on Saturday removes some of that risk as does the fact that Denver also is coming off of a big win. This should be a game that Buffalo wins even if they are not at their best because they are going to have a major mismatch in this game to exploit. The Bills are the #4 DVOA passing attack and the Broncos have the #20 pass defense but last week 2 cornerbacks Duke Dawson and Kevin Toliver both suffered season ending injuries and they are going to be dangerously thin in the secondary vs a loaded pass attack.

Injuries are also why I like the Patriots this week, New England has seen a lot of sharp action and one of the reasons has been that Miami is really banged up on offense. Gesicki, Parker, Gaski, Ahmed are all questionable for this week’s game, Gesicki is a big one as he has become Tua’s number 1 target. Miami with Tua has been relying heavily on turnovers and high impact plays from the defense and special teams and at some point that is not something you can count on. This is one of the lowest totals on the board and getting it through 3 and 7 with NE offers one of the best teaser spots on the board.

Game 2: Car +8.5 @ GB

Green Bay has the perfect formula for a team that is always open to give up back door covers, they have an offense that can call their own number and score as many as they want which draws bets and money and leads to very large numbers but their defense is so bad that the opponent can always score late and cover the number. The Panthers are a good team, 17th in DVOA and 9th on offense and for this game they are getting DJ Moore back, they are 7-6 ATS and have been great as a dog especially as a big dog.

I was on the Lions last week and that offense minus Goliday had way fewer weapons than this one and they still got to 24 points and got the late cover, the Panthers are better than Detroit on both offense and defense and we have the a larger number here because GB is at home. The Panthers are going to be able to score in his game and even if the Packers jump out big early Carolina is the type of team that plays to the end and will keep trying to score.

Game 3: Sea -4.5 @ Was

Bet% Sea 60 Was 40%

This was the first bet I made on Sunday night when the lines were posted. With the questions at QB it felt like there was no way this line wouldn’t at least go to 6 and maybe more if Haskins was starting and even if it was Smith at less than 100% it was going to move from the open price. Now with Haskins start I love my ticket and Seattle in this game. Washington has been getting a lot of credit for their defensive performances this year and they have been very good but here are the QB’s they have faced in the last 7 games N. Mullens, B. Rothlisberger , A. Dalton, J. Burrow, M. Stafford, A. Dalton, D. Jones. Not exactly a murderers row. Pittsburgh is the outlier and they get full marks for that win but we saw the Steelers in a bit of downward trend before that game. Russel Wilson and this offense will pose challenges to the Was secondary that most of those other teams can’t and with Haskins at QB I think Russ will get multiple opportunities.

The Seattle defense has been trending up as well and I think can get pressure in this game and create some mistakes from Haskins. It is clear that Alex Smith is a very popular teammate and I’m not sure Haskins endears the same kind of sentiment so there may be a little less juice from Washington in this game, especially if things go bad early.

Game 4: Phi @ Ari Over 48.5

The Eagles looked like a different team with Jalen Hurts at QB, not only did the offense transform to much more run based scheme but the rest of the players had much more energy and juice. There seems to be a feeling that last week the effectiveness was due to the surprise element of never seeing Hurts and that is now gone but I am not so sure. I think that the offense will be able to add on to what the scheme was last week and just pverall I think it takes a few games 3-4 to get a decent read on a QB and I like Hurst to have success in this game. The Eagles are also healthier at their skill positions than they have been in quite some time with both Goddard and Ertz playing, Sanders, Reagor and Alshon all healthy. I think the Eagles will score and I also think the style of play and the big play potential of Sanders, Hurts and Reagor could create some quick scores.

On the other side of this matchup it is hard to see how the Eagles defense holds up against Murray and the passing game. The Eagles have a dominant defensive line but if they don’t get pressure there is no way the secondary will hold up. The Eagles lost Rodney McLeod their most versatile defender for the season last week and will also be without Darius Slay who has been matched up with #1 WR’s all season leaving a rag tag group in that secondary. The Eagles have also struggled vs mobile QB’s, Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Russel Wilson, Taysom Hill all were able to get away from pressure and either create plays by running or scrambling and finding open receivers. I can certainly see the Cards getting over 30 pretty easily.

Game 5: KC -3 @ NO

Bet% KC 65% NO 35%

This is clearly the marquee game of the week and it feels like a sharp vs public split, normally I skip those types of games or ride along with the sharps but this is one that I think we are getting too much value on KC. The Saints are starting Drew Brees and while there have been few players more consistent than Brees, it is a lot to ask him to come and start in this game where you are going to have the pressure of knowing you need TDs. Brees will be doing so without his #1 target Michael Thomas who was put on IR this week.

The big case of the Saints is that they have an elite defense, we know KC has an elite passing offense and everything else is below average but for the Saints you have an elite offense and defense. The Saints defense was way below average to start the year and have been an elite defense since their bye but again let’s look at who they have played since the bye. The saints started with Teddy B and the Panthers then Nick Foles and the Bears, Nick Mullens and the 49ers, the struggling Falcons and Matt Ryan twice, Brady and the Bucs, the Broncos who had every QB in Covid protocol and started a practice squad WR, and then last week Jalen Hurts making his first start. Brady and Ryan are absolutely legit QBs but they have been hit and miss this year and there is no other offense that scares you in the rest of that group and certainly no offense that comes anywhere near the Chiefs. The Chiefs have been winning and not covering really big numbers but at 3 I think they break that streak this week.

Game 6: Pit -12.5 @ Cin

Bet% Pit 64% Cin 36%

This line for the Monday Nighter was at 12.5-13 all week and finally jumped to 14 last Saturday. Even at that number it feels short when we see the Rams as 17 point favs this week, Seattle as 17 point favs last week vs the Jets, to me this Bengals team minus Joe Burrow is in line with that Jets team. Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders this week mentioned that if you were to pro-rate the Bengals offense since losing Burrow over a full season that it would grade as the worst offense all time by their DVOA metric.

This is the ultimate get right spot for the Steelers who are coming off of 2 straight losses, the Bengals who are 29th in pass defense are not going to be able to matchup with the Steelers receivers and this should be just what the Steelers pass heavy offense needs to get back on track. The Steelers should also get plenty of short fields and extra opportunities on offense as I can see the Bengals puttuing up a bunch of 3 and outs. This should be over 14, anything under 14 is great value and I would bet the 14. I also think 7 even money for 1st half has value.

Late Add

Game 7: Hou +7.5 @ Ind

With Brandon Cooks back this feels like a decent enough spot to take the Texans. Last week they played terrible in Chicago but you had a cold weather game where Watson was missing Cooks and David Johnson, both of whom are back this week. The question is can the Texans defense hold on against a Colts offense that has been much better the last month. In the game these 2 teams played a few weeks ago, Colts jumped out to big lead and Watson brought Houston back and was at the Colts 10 down 3 ready to win before fumbling game away. After last week’s game I think Texans show up.

Week 14 2020 Picks

LW: 5-4

2020- 41-42-1

Game 1: GB @ Det +8

The Lions won a game last week that they probably should have lost but what was clear is that hte team was playing with a lot more effort and freeness with Darell Bevel as their coach than they did for Matt Patricia. This game has a huge mismatch with the Packers #2 DVOA offense vs the Lions #32 DVOA defense but I am going to lean on 2 things, first despite the injuries the hope is that with Patricia gone we see the Lions defense have a bit of an uptick here. What I am really hoping for here is we see the Packers kind of go through the motions and play to the competeition the way they did against the Vikings, the Jags and even last week vs the Eagles.

I like the Lions offense having success here, the Packers have struggled on defense and last week was the best Stafford has looked all year, I am hoping that continues and we see the Lions jump out ahead and hen hold on when the inevitable Packers run comes.

Game 2: Min +7.5 @ TB

Bet% Min 42% TB 58%

This line was at 6.5 all week and jumped to 7 and even some 7.5’s. I was waiting for the 7 but now will see if I can get a cheaper 7.5 before making my bet. This just feels like too many points for the Bucs, the Bucs have lost 3 of their last 4 and really outside of their wins over the Packers and Raiders they have not had another impressive win on their schedule. TB is still ranked 3rd in DVOA and 4th in Weighted, the Vikings are 15th in DVOA so about the league average, I just have a hard time believing that the Bucs right now are a TD better than a league average team. We also have the fact that the Bucs receivers Goodwin and Evans are still battling nagging injuries and the offense just hasn’t looked in synch really since the Packers game and is facing a much improving Vikings defense. The Vikings have played down to their competition the last few weeks but after starting the year 1-5 Minnesota has won 5 of their last 6 and are in the playoff hunt so this is a big game for them and I think their offense is a good matchup vs the Bucs. I think the Vikings are going to be in this game the whole way through and will have a decent shot to win straight up, this is great value at this price.

Games 3,4 & 5 are all 2 Team 6 Point Teasers

Game 3: KC -1.5 @ Mia & Hou @ Chi +8

I am using the Chiefs in 2 teasers and may add to another one as well. I get how tough Miami has been this year but so many of their games have benefited from scores on defense and special teams, I just do not see how you can reasonably expect Tua to keep up to the Chiefs in this game with no run game unless we expect Mahomes to throw a couple of interceptions and give Miami a very short field. With the Steelers losing last week and an underdog again this week the Chiefs have the #1 seed within their grasp again and I don’t see them losing in this spot. The other thing that I think is worth mentioning is that as good as a job as Brian Flores has done with his defense, Andy Reid has traditionally had a lot of success vs the Belichick and company defenses.

The Bears and Houston game is going to be an interesting one. Last week the Texans played the Colts came back from a double digit deficit had the game won before fumbling at the Colts 10. This week they now have to go to play in the cold and windy midwest, the Bears defense has definitely taken a step back but playing against the Texans offense minus Fuller, Minus Cobb and this week minus David Johnson, I can see them having a good game vs Watson. On offense the Bears have looked better the last few weeks with Trubusly taking over and the run game has been much more productive with Montgomery. The Houston defense ranks 27th in DVOA, the Bears offense has the same rank of 27th but I would say the Bears arrows are probably headed up while the Texans defense is going down. At home, on grass in the cold I like the Bears to win this game or at least keep it very close.

Game 4: KC -1.5 @ Mia & Ind @ LV +9

The second teaser I am using the Chiefs with is the Raiders. This line opened at 2.5 and I had decided to play the Raiders but it was clear this was going to 3 and at that point I had to decide do I want to just take LV +3 or use them in a teaser which by definition is less value because we are not taking it through the 3 anymore and now getting a less valuable 9. I am going to stay with the teaser and what I will probably do is add a small bet on the Raiders ML. I think the Raiders are going to score in this game, the Colts defense is still in the top 10 but we have seen good offenses move the ball against them and just not be super efficient in the redzone. The Raiders have been much better at hoe and I think have a good shot at winning this game but getting them over the TD feels like a really good teaser spot.

Game 5: Ten -1.5 @ Jac & Atl @ LAC +8.5

Taking the Titans down to basically just win vs the Jaguars, the Jags have been playing better with Glennon at QB but in this case I don’t know that they are going to be able to have the firepower to stay in this game with the Titans. Derek Henry has feasted on the Jags and games the Titans get in trouble are the ones where they go run heavy vs teams that can stop the run, The Jags have never been able to stop Henry so I feel good about taking them down under the FG.

The Chargers are the team coming off of the worse loss of the week, nobody is going to want to take them this week and it feels like the perfect bounce back spot against the Falcons. I love when we get home teams at +2 because with the teaser we get them through the TD and there is probably a 4-45% chance they win straight up.

Game 6: NYJ @ Sea Under 47

I was on the under last week with Seattle and I think again this line is too high for a Seattle game they should control because it seems like we are seeing them revert to their old style of play and pace and the let Russ cook era seems to be over. Seattle scored at least 30 in 7 of their first 8 games but now has only hit 30 once in their last 5 games. Not only has the Seattle offense reverted but the defense has started to play much better, in their last 4 games the Seahawks are giving up 16.5 PPG and this Jets offense is not one that should scare them. In the end I think Seattle can play this game anyway they want but coming off of a bad loss to the Giants I can see Caroll taking the air out of the ball and just grinding out a 20-6 win.

Game 7: Ari – 2.5 @ NYG

This game feels like one where everyone is now on the Giants, they are the favorites to win the NFC East, the defense has been very good and there is definitely a narrative building around them. To me this feels like buying the Giants at there absolute high and selling the Arizona at their absolute low. Despite the Giants winning their last 4 they are still only 24th in DVOA both overall and weighted. Arizona has lost 3 in a row and 4 of their last 5 but are still 13th in DVOA. The Giants win over Seattle was there first over a winning team, previous to that they had beat the Bengals, the Eagles and Washington twice. New York is going to have to prove it to me again, last week was great but a lot went wrong for Seattle and I am not convinced that they can pull it off again in back to back weeks.

Game 8: Bal -2.5 @ Cle

The Browns are coming off of their best performance of the year while the Ravens had a pretty unimpressive 17 point win over the Cowboys on Tuesday. The Ravens have owned the Browns the last couple of years and even though the Browns have had a much better year this year the matchup issues still remain. The Browns have been a team that you can have success running against, overall they are 19th vs the run, last week they played very well vs the Titans in a game they dominated off the start but over the last 3 weeks they have given up 4.4 yards per rush att. The Ravens seem to be getting their offense going the right way and this could be a get right spot for them. the other reason the Ravens have dominated this matchup is that defensively they matchup very well vs this Browns team. The Ravens are #4 vs the run and the Browns set everything up through the run, this should be even a bigger issue for Cleveland as they are missing their best offensive lineman Wyat Teller is injured and is likely to miss this game. I also think that the Ravens can see this game as the tipping point to their season, if they were to win this game then they finish the season with the Jags, Giants and Bengals, a sweep of those games gets them to 11 wins and a serious contender for the AFC.

Week 13 2020 Picks

LW: 3-3

2020- 36-38-1

Game 1: Det +3 @ Chi

Bet% Det 51% Chi 49%

It’s not often we have a team that has lost 5 in a row and a prime time blowout (41-25 SNF vs GB) be a 3 point favorite. The Lions are also coming off of there own national tv 41-25 loss so I am not making a case that they are some great team either. Where I see the advantage is we have the Lions coming off of extra rest and the firing of an extremely unpopular and unsuccessful coach vs the Bears who are coming off of a short week and then had their unpopular coach throw their team under the buss.  

The Lions will once again be without Golliday and Swift but the Bears will probably be without Akeem Hicks and Allan Robinson was limited all week with a knee injury so I’m not too worried about the injury issues in Detroit.  In the end I just don’t see many teams that you can make the Bears 3 point favorites over with Mitch Trubisky at QB and with the schedule advantage and boost of no Patricia, I think Lions have a good shot of winning straight up.

Game 2: Ind @ Hou Under 51

When the Will Fuller suspension news came out the question for me was what is the better bet the total or the side. I may still add the side but my bet was on the under here. For the Texans the loss of Fuller is huge for Watson, the splits with Fuller and without have always been an important factor in the success of the offense and if you look at the depth of the offense now you have Cooks as WR1, Coutee as WR2 and beyond that there is not much in terms of know quantities as they cut Kenny Stills and put Randall Cobb on IR. The TExans should get Dvid Johnson back which may mean more runs and more short passes. T

The Colts defense which is 8th in DVOA is coming off 2 of their worst games  of the season vs the Packers and then Titans, will have a great situation in this game with Houston being so shorthanded and I fully expect them to bounce back. On offense the Colts have not been explosive in any way, 17th in offensive DVOA, they will be getting Jonathon Taylor back and we have seen a very RB focused offense for Rivers and especially after the last 2 weeks I can see them trying to slow the game down.

Game 3: LV -7.5 @ NYJ

Bet% LV 65% NYJ 35%

This just feels like the perfect bounce back stop for the Raiders. 2 weeks ago the Raiders played a great game on national TV vs the Chiefs and lost on the final drive. Last week the Raiders played a game where literally everything went wrong, I was on Atl last week because it seemed like such a down spot for LV but even as a Falcons better last week was way more than anyone could have expected. the Raiders turned it over 5 times, went 0-2 in the redzone and committed 11 penalties for 141 yards. It is hard for an above 500 team to play a worse game. Well if you want a get right spot the 0-11 Jets are it. By DVOA the Jets are 31 on offense, 27th on defense and 28th on special teams, they are basically at the bottom of the league in everything. Really the weeks the Jets have covered have been when the opposition was in a bad schedule spot but with the Raiders coming off of their worst game of the year, I don’t think that fits here which is why I love the Raiders and see them winning by double digits.

Game 4: 2 team 6 point Teaser LV -1.5 & NE +7.5

See above for the LV case but I was really hoping to tie the Raiders into a few teasers when his line was 8 or under but unfortunately on this card there just aren’t a lot of games that are available for the second leg.  The move in this Patriots game from the Pats being favored to the Chargers allows for a nice 2nd leg. On paper there is no question that the Chargers are the more talented team and the team that should be favored but I can’t imagine a larger coaching mismatch than Belichick vs Anthony Lynn. There is no team that has mismanaged end of game situations more than the Chargers and even if the Chargers jump out ahead I like the chances of Belichick getting his team back into it late and staying within a TD.

Game 5: NE @ LAC Over 47

As you see above I expect a close game but I do think we are going to see a lot of offense. The Patriots are only 4-7 to the over but I think this game fits perfectly for a high scoring game. On defense the Patriots are 31st on defense and equally bad vs the pass and run (30th,28th) so he Chargers should be able to get whatever they want with their #12 offense. The big question for this over is going to be the NE offense vs the Chargers defense, the Patriots rank 21st overall, they are a lowly 27th passing offense but 4th best run offense and for the Chargers they are 31st vs the run. That is where I think New England will have a lot of success and if they can run well the rest of their offense should open up as well, I also think it will lead to efficiency in the endzone. I can see this game ending something like 27-24, 30-24 something like that but I see both teams being at least in the mid 20’s.

Game 6: LAR -2.5 @ Ari

Bet% LAR 52% Ari 48%

THis is a part of the the NFC West story where every team has a team they own, last week the Rams played the team that owns them in SF, Shanahan seems to have every answer to McVay’s offense. For McVay there is no team he is better against than the Cardinals, the Rams have won their last 6 games vs Arizona and have covered in every one of them. I love that we are getting the Rams off of their terrible performance last week against the 49ers because had they won that game this line would be 3.5.

On the field I think we can see how the Rams defense has great matchups vs the Cardinals, we have Ramsey vs Hopkins and inside we have Aaron Donald inside against a poor offensive line. The other thing that I think is an issue in this game is Murray seems to be hurt, there is a shoulder issue which has been much talked about but I think the impact has not been. With a shoulder injury I think we would look at deep passing or something like that but where we have seen the impact is in the running game. In the last 2 weeks, Murray has rushed just 5 times each game for a combined 46 yards, previous to these 2 games he only had 2 games this season of rushing under 46 yards. Love the Rams in this spot.

Game 7: NYG @ Sea Under 47

This may seem super square but we have the Giants either missing their starting Qb or having him play way below 100%, this is for a bottom 7 offense. The Giants have had totals go under 7 times this season with 3 games to the over not just because their offense is bad but because the defense has been playing very well most of the year. The Giants are giving up 23 ppg which ranks 9th and are 14th in yards per play given up and 15th in adjusted sack rate.

The Seahawks have been one of the best offenses in the league this year as they finally let Russ cook but it does seem like Russ has been cooking less and less the last few weeks. In the last 2 weeks Wilson has had his lowest number of attempted passes 28 and 31 and has not crossed 250 yards passing the last 3 weeks. With a healthy RB game with Carson and Hyde and a game that should not be a close contest this does feel like throwback Pete Carol game where they run on early downs and then ask Russ to be super efficient rather than trying to get into a shootout.

Game 8: 2 Team 6 point teaser LV -0.5 & Pit -1

Adding a 2nd teaser to LV, again the Raiders is probably my favorite side this week and I think the best teaser leg.

The WFT – Pit line has seen 1 way action on Washington from 9 all the way to 7, i can get with that move but I don’t think we will see them win straight up so I’ll take Steelers in a spot to just win. If I get 9nfo on other side, can hedge with WFT ML on Monday.

Game 9: Phi +9 @ GB

Late add: Betting the Eagles again because I am masochist that likes setting money on fire. Good luck