2020 Week 2 Picks (TNF)

Week 1: 2 W 2L – 1P

Last week was a standstill with the push in the Bengals game.

Cobra Kai GIF by NETFLIX

Game 1: TNF- Cin @ Cle -6

Bet% Cin 58% Cle 42%

I was on the Browns last week against the Ravens and while they clearly played poorly I’m not sure how much the final score told us about the Browns. The Browns had 3 turnovers in the game, 2 fumbles and 1 interception but they also turned the ball over on downs 3 times as they went 0-3 on 4th down. In the end it feels like they tried to do to much against a team they knew they had to be at their best to beat.

I was also on the Bengals last week and it’s a game they should have covered easily but Burrow missed a couple of easy TD passes, then threw a terrible INT and in the end they missed a gimme FG that would have taken the game to OT. I came away feeling bullish on the Bengals long term but in the short term this is a team I want to fade.

This is great spot to fade Cincy, we get a rookie QB making his first road start on a short week playing against a team that is 0-1 and had terrible turnover luck in game 1.   I grade the Browns offense much higher than the Chargers offense the Bengals saw last week and think the Browns win this game by double digits.

Game 2: LAR @ Phi pk

Bet% LAR 71% PHI 29%

This line opened with Eagls -3 and moved all the way to Rams -1.5 before coming back to the Eagles being small favs. The movememt was based on week 1 where the Eagles lost as 6 point favorites in Washington and the Rams won in Primetime vs the Cowboys.

Last week I took Washington because the Eagles were short so many key players, well many of those players will be back here. Eagles will get Miles Sanders, Lane Johnson, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham all back. Lane Johnson has been argueably the most important lineman on the Eagles the last number of years, that is certainly the case if you look at the record of the Eagles with him vs without him. In games Lane Johnson has missed due to injury/suspension the Eagles are 6-12, in games Johnson starts and plays the Eagles are 36-17.

Doug Pederson is 2-0 vs Sean Mcvay and both those games were in LA, the last one the Eagles were double digit underdogs. Eagles win a close one again here.

Game 3: Min @ Ind -3

Bet% Min 76% Ind 24%

Last week the Colts had probably the worst loss on the card, not only did they kill every teaser, parlay bet but also sunk about 30% of survivor pool entries. Lost in that disastrous result was the fact that the Colts actually dominated the game. Colts out-gained the Jags 445-241 yards, they had 27 1st downs and 7 minutes more of posession. Unfortunately being minus 2 in turnovers and only going 2-5 in the redzone allowed th Jags to stay around and pull out the win.

Last week the Vikings gave up 522 yards of offense, 6.9 yards per play and allowed the Packers to have possession for over 41 minutes. The injuries the Vikings have on defense will make it difficult to hold a good Colts offense.

This line is also giving us a very clear indicator. We have 76% of bets on the Vikings and the line hasn’t moved off the 3 at any point this week.

Game 4: Buf @ Mia +6

Bet% Buf 76% Mia 24%

I have always liked betting Miami as a home underdog in Septemeber because of their home field advantage and even with Covid and no fans that advantage of the heat and humidity continues to be there.

Last year when Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the Dolphins went on to be one of the best ATS teams. Fitzpatrick is capable of winning you game or completely lighting it on fire with interceptions. Fitzpatrick had one of those bad Fitz games last week and because he did and the Bills beat the Jets handily nobody wants to back Miami this week. The public is on the Bills heavy at 76% and you know they are going to be a popular teaser bet, this feels like the perfect week to bet contrarian and take the Dolphins.

Game 5: Det +6.5 @ GB

Bet% Det 23% GB 77%

This is really about line value. Last season when we thought the Packers were better than this year and that the Lions of 2019 were worse than this year and there were fans in the stands, GB was favored by 4. Now this week because the Lions blew a late lead to CHicago and the PAckers blew the doors of the Vikings the line is just under a TD.

The one big question we have to point out with the Lions side is they very banged up this week. On offense Kenny Goliday will miss his second straight game and the secondary is missing Trufant and Justin Coleman. Could we see Aaron Rodgers destroying the depleted Lions secondary? Yes of course but overall, betting against a team that played their best game in years and getting 2 more points on the line than last year is great value and enough for me to take the Detroit Lions.

2020 – Week 1 NFL Picks

It is year 7 of posting picks on this blog. Last season was the worst year I have had and the second losing season as we finished 44-48-1. 2020 is like no other year and this NFL season will be a really interesting one as we will need to figure out how many of the truisms we believe in actually hold up in this strange Covid year. Let’s get to work.

Angry Fight GIF by Cobra Kai - Find & Share on GIPHY

Game 1: Cle +7.5 @ Bal

Bet% Cle 38% Bal 62%

The Ravens were the runaway stars of the 2019 regular season while Cleveland was maybe the team that disappointed their preseason projections the most.

I like the theory that we are often a year early on teams that are anointed to take a big leap forward. That was true with the 49ers and I can see it being true for the Browns. The Browns were perhaps the worst coached team in the NFL last year and having a credible, professional head coach with a plan that fits his personnel, especially on offense should be major upgrade.

Superbowl 2020

2019 Reg Season : 41-44-1

Playoffs: 2-4

Superbowl LlV: KC Chiefs -1 vs SF 49ers

kc chiefs GIF by Kansas City Chiefs

Sometimes it is hard to separate your personal feelings from your analytical brain, it is hard for those feelings to not cloud your more reasoned thoughts.

I love Andy Reid, his 14 years as the Eagles coach were the period I learned most about football, I lived and died with the results of those teams and even though they didn’t win the big one my feelings for those teams never changes. Andy Reid is my favorite coach of all time and outside of the Eagles being the SB 2 years ago, I have never wanted a team to win more than I do this Chiefs team because of Big Red.

On the field I don’t think there is much to pick from between these two teams and so I keep coming back to 2 things. The first is you are going to need TDs in this game, FGs will not be enough and for all the great thinks Kyle Shanahan has done with this offense the 49ers were 21st in Redzone TD percentage at 54.29%. The Chiefs were 13th  in redzone scoring at 59% and of course those are season long numbers which include games missed by Mahomes or games in which he was well below 100%. If the Chiefs can get off the field giving up a few 3’s instead of 7’s I really like their chances here.

The 2nd thing that keeps coming up for me is the fact that you have the #1 QB on one team and a QB that is somewhere 15-20 on the other. This doesn’t mean that Garappolo can’t have a great game and out play Mahomes in a 1 game sample as Nick Foles did vs Tom Brady, but it is to say if they play 10 times you would think Mahomes has the better game 8 times.

There isn’t a lot to pick between these teams, the Superbowl side doesn’t usually provide a lot of value which is why so many professional bettors focus on props and the derivative markets. I like the Chiefs to win but no more than I would a random week 11 game. More than anything I will be watching as a fan, hoping Big Red finally gets his chip because nobody deserves it more.

NFL Playoffs- Championship Round

2019 Reg Season : 41-44-1

Playoffs: 1-3

Kansas City Chiefs Football GIF by NFL

Game 1: Ten @ KC -7

Bet% Ten 38% KC 62%

The Titans have pulled off 2 of the biggest upsets of the playoffs and deserve all the respect they are getting in this matchup but I think this is the game where the clock strikes midnight on Cinderella. If we look at the games vs the Patriots and Ravens it was clear going in and crystal clear after that if Tennessee got up early in those games they would be able to control the game script and neither the Patriots or Ravens were going to be comfortable playing catch up. Last week was particularly interesting, The Ravens outgained Tennessee 530 to 300 on 5.8 yards per play and had 5 drives end in Titan territory without scoring. If you play that game 100 times maybe in 5 of them Baltimore ends up with 12 points, just seems like an impossible total for how many opportunities Baltimore actually had. The Chiefs are not going to be scared by being down, there isn’t a score that will change what they do and I think it is much more likely that the Chiefs get the Ravens out of their regular game script than the other way around. The Chiefs offense is the best passing offense in football, the year long numbers don’t show that but we forget the number of games that Mahomes didn’t play or wasn’t 100%, they also had a number of games without Tyreke Hill, this is actually the healthiest that offense has been all year and as a result they can basically pick their number.

The Chiefs run defense finished 29th in DVOA  so on the surface it is hard to see how they stop Henry but if I know Andy Reid his plan to stop the Titan run game is going to be simply score early and make them pass. The thing about the Titans and their dominant run game is despite superman performances by Derek Henry, they have scored through the air and that is where KC has excelled on defense. The Chiefs pass defense finished 6th in DVOA and if they can score early and get the Titans to rely more on Tanehill I think they win this game by 2TDs+

Game 2: GB +8 @ SF

Bet% GB 49% SF 51%

It is hard to find any numbers that you look and feel good about the Packers in this spot, The 49ers finished ahead of GB in every phase in DVOA, had to deal with more injuries during the season and the regular season matchup was a 37-8 49er blowout. I just think we are going to see one close game this weekend and while most people would take the Titans for that best underdog I can see a scenario where the Packers pull off the upset. Green Bay’s defense started out playing great football for the first month and then declined for the middle of the season. Since the 49er loss, the Packers have played 6 games and given up more than 20 just once, last week vs Seattle. I also think we have seen a lot of games where the 49ers have essentially hid Jimmy Garappalo, last week Garappolo had just 19 attempts, completed 11 of them for 131 yards, what happens if the Packers score first? Jimmy has been prone to turnovers so if GB can try to put more of the game in his hands they can definitely keep this a one score game. In the end I just think in a playoff game where Aaron Rodgers comes home to play against an unaccomplished QB getting 8 points is really good value. If the Packers score early and there is an opportunity to middle, I can see myself taking that as well.

Divisional Round

2019 Reg Season : 41-44-1

Playoffs: 0-2

Another tough weekend, I remain convinced Eagles win last week if Carson Wentz doesn’t go out early but in the end these things happen and runs like this happen as well. I don’t love really anything this week, I like both big favs in the AFC and will use them in some ML parlays and teases but for official plays we have 1 teaser and 1 total.

Game 1: 6 pt Teaser Min @ SF -1 & Sea +10.5 @ GB

I am taking both the AFC West teams here in a teaser. The Vikings got a huge win vs the Saints in a game I was on the wrong side of, the thing I should have remembered is that Zimmer and Vikings have traditionally played the Saints very well. The other big issue in last week’s game was how poorly Sean Payton managed the game and specifically end of half and game clock situations. Asking the Vikings to one again fly across country and win as a TD underdog seems like too much, I see the 49ers getting a lot more pressure on the Vikings and I think Shanahan targets a player like Anthony Barr in space.

I think there is a good chance for Seattle to win this game, I expect it to be a low scoring game that comes down to a late drive because that’s basically how every Seattle game ends. Seattle has played in 12 one score games this year including last week vs a team that lost their starting QB in the first half and then had their 40 year old back up QB play the entire 2nd half with a torn muscle. The Packers are the weakest of the home teams with a bye in DVOA and in fact Seattle finished ahead of them so I definitely think Seattle keeps this close.

Game 2: Seattle @ Green Bay Under 46.5

I think there are a lot of factors in this game that point towards the under and a lower scoring game. First off we have the Packers defense which I think is the best and healthiest unit in the of the 4. The Packers defense in their last 5 games gave up an average of 14 points and a high of 20 though they certainly didn’t play a murder’s row of QBs. Seattle is playing without their top 2 RBs but last week continued trying to stay with the run despite having no success outside of Russell Wilson scrambles vs the Eagles # run defense. This week Seattle faces a much easier run defense, GB is 23rd vs the run and for the purpose of the under I would much rather see Seattle running instead of having Wilson looking to air it out.

The Packers meanwhile have had issues scoring much of the 2nd half of the season despite a pretty easy schedule and really morphed into a team that grinded out games in the low 40’s. In their last 8 games GB has scored more than 24 just once and none of those games would have gone over this total of 46, in fact the last game they played with a total higher than 46 was vs KC in week 7 when they won 31-24. I think this game is a 23-20 game and not sure which side comes out ahead.

Wild Card Weekend Picks

2019 Reg Season : 41-44-1

Game 1: Team 6pt Teaser: Buf +8.5 @ Hou & Min @ NO -2

Teasers in the playoffs have been very profitable over the last few years and while I think you can make a case for all 4 games to be good teaser opportunities these 2 sides fit the classic Stanford Wong criteria (teasing through 7 and 3) which gives us maximum value.

Buffalo I think has a great shot of winning straight up in Houston, Houston has been bad on defense most of the year, they finished 27th in DVOA and were carried by their offense. The issue for the Texans in this game is that there seems to be clear correlation between the success of the Houston offense and availability of Will Fuller. According to ESPN Stats and info the Texans average 296.8 Passing yards per game with Fuller on the field and only 158.3 when he isn’t. Fuller is out his game and for the Bills who have one of the best corners in the league in White, they should be able to handle this offense without Fuller. The reason I didn’t just take the Bills +2.5 is that I can’t trust Josh Allen in this spot. The Bills should be able to move the ball vs the Texans but I can also see a scenario where Allen misses wide open throws or turns the ball over.

The Saints might be the best team in the NFC but end up as the #3 seed and hosting a game on Wild Card Weekend. The Vikings are limping into the playoffs, Dalvin Cook missed the last 2 weeks of the year with a shoulder injury and will be less than 100%, Adam Thielen caught only 3 passes in the 2 games after returning from his injury. The total has been bet up and I can see both teams having success moving the ball but in the end the Saints have too many advantages on offense to not pull this game out and we get them here under the 3.

Game 2: Sea @ Phi +1.5

Bet% Sea 82% Phi 18%

The Eagles are the side nobody wants to bet and we see that in the bet splits. The Eagles have played the last 4 weeks minus 5-7 starters on offense and yet Doug Pederson has been able to scheme this offense to 4 straight games of 400+ yards of offense. THe Eagles should get a couple of their key guys back in this game as Miles Sanders will play and Zach Eartz seems like he may be cleared, Lane Johnson is a game time decision but seems unlikely. The Eagles offense has found a rhythm the last month and they will know exactly what to expect vs Seattle. The Seahawks play base defense more than any other team in the league, they play base over 65% I fully expect the Eagles to be able to take advantage of those linebackers with their backs and tight ends.

The Eagles defense is very susceptible to deep passes to outside WRs, they are in the bottom 5 in Explosive plays given up (27th), TDs (32nd), Yards allowed per game (32nd), it is clear that is the way to attack them. Seattle, despite having one of the best QBs in the league has been steadfast in it’s run first approach and that continued last week despite losing their top 3 RB’s. The fact that Seattle continues to operate it’s offense in sub optimal manner will be a bigger issue here because the Eagles defense is much better at home. The Eagles give up 16.8 pts/game at home compared to 27.5 on the road, Opponents passer rating at home is 81 compared to 99 on the road and they give up 4.8 yards per play at home compared to 6.1 on the road. I also like the fact that you have one of the most analytics forward and aggressive teams in the Eagles compared to Seattle who routinely will kick FGs or punt in situations where going for it on 4th down is the clear play.

Week 16 NFL Picks

The Wild swings of December continued with another rough week, I really thought he Bears had saved the game with the play at the end but alas it was not meant to be. Smaller cards from here on out, as we try to end up with a profit for the season.

LW: 2-5

2019: 39-40-1

Game 1: Buf +6.5 @ NE

Bet%: Buf 64% NE 36%

The most worrying part of this game is that everyone seems to be on the same side, the Patriots stock has never been lower. I think when you look at the matchups both defenses have huge advantages so getting 6.5 points in a game with a total of 37 where you could certainly see a scenario where the underdog wins is too good to pass up. The Patriots offense is not capable of covering this game on their own, this is not your fathers Tom Brady.

On the downside, we also know that Josh Allen is exactly the type of QB that Belicheck can take advantage of so a defensive TD is always on the table. That is what scares me in this game, last week Allen was not good vs the Steelers defense and the Bills tried to basically hide him in 2nd half.

In the end I just trust the Bills defense to be able to handle this Patriots offense and keep the game within a score and maybe even win.

Game 2: Pit @ NYJ +3.5

Bet% Pit 60% NYJ 40%

Betting against the Steelers has been one of the few consistently profitable plays for me the last onth and again in this one I think they are being overvalued. The Steelers offense is 30th in DVOA, 32nd in weighted DVOA, and we are expecting one of the worst offenses in the NFL to cover 3.5 points on the road. The Jets are obviously not good team but they should have Jamal Adams back and he s absolutely the key to their defense. I think the big reason that his line opened at 3 is because this is one of the cases where it is a must win for 1 team, the Steelers, against a team whose season is over. The must win scenario always draws money and as a result the lines get inflated on those sides and that’s what has happened here, there is no way that Steelers should be favored by a FG or more in this game. The Jets have been a much better team at home winning 4 of their last 5 at home while only winning one this year on the road.

Game 3: Det @ Den Under 38.5

Bet% Under 50% Over 50%

It’s not often you get a game with both teams staring their #3QB’s but that is what we have here. The Lions come into this game minus a bunch of key players on offense including Marvin Jones and TJ Hawkinson and the Broncos #12 defense should have no issues handling the group that is left. Keryon Johnson returns in this game and the fact that he is active and coming back means to me that the Lions will try to get him involved, in fact I think both teams will try to count on the run game. There is not any snow or rain in forecast but it will be cold in Denver and for the Dome Lions that should be an issue, their last 2 games in cold outdoor stadiums Was & Chi both went under. In this game, it’s hard to see where the Lions points come from, how do they move the ball. The Lions run offense is 27th and since taking over at QB David Blough has 3 TDs in 3 games and 5 interceptions with a passer rating of 67, that is not an offense that will travel well to the mile high city.

Game 4: 2 Team 6 point Teaser NO @ Ten +8.5 & Oak @ LAC -1.5

So in this teaser we are taking both games through the 2 key numbers of 3 and 7 so getting maximum value. The game is important to the Saints for seeding and for the Titans it is basically their season so not necessarily a huge motivation advantage, both teams still need this game. This is really a great spot for Tennessee, the Saints are coming off of a short week after playing on MNF a game that saw Drew Brees break another record. This is amazingly the first outdoor game of the season for Brees and traditionally he has not played as well outside of the dome.

Last week was the big emotional sendoff from Oakland for the Raiders and they managed to blow a 16-3 lead and get nachos thrown on them by their fans. What do the Raiders have to play for? It’s hard to fnd reasons why the Raiders will come out big in this game, they have shut down Jacobs who was the ROY favorite they will also be without  T Trent Brown and WR Hunter Renfroe. Meanwhile you can make the case that this is the healthiest the Chargers have been all year.

Game 5: Ari +9 @ Sea

Bet% Ari 61% Sea 39%

So there are 3 reasons for me to be on the Cards in this game. The first is that Seattle has played nothing but one score games all year, 11 of their 14 games have been 1 score games so getting 9 here has real value.

Secondly, this is a classic look ahead spot for Seattle, they know they have to win this week but next they play the 49ers for the division, a bye and maybe the #1 seed, you do not get bigger games than that in the regular season. All the players have that game circled.

Finally, the Seahawks are going to miss a bunch of key players in this game, Duane Brown is out, Clowney is out, Quadre Diggs is out, Mychal Kendricks and Shaquil Griffin are doubtful.

Game 6: GB @ Min -5

Bet% GB 63% Min 37%

The Packers are another team that I think is not as good as their record and as a result we get value betting against them every week. IN DVOA, the Vikings rank 7th while the Packers are 9th but in weighted DVOA Vikings are 6th while the Packers are 12th. Mike Zimmer has had a lot of success vs Rodgers and the Packers offense especially at home, in the last 3 games in Minnesota, the Packers have scored 17, 10 and 14. Minnesota will be without Dalvin Cook but I am confident they will be able to run on GB with either Boone or Mattison so it really comes down to can you trust Cousins in a prime time game. Kirk Cousins is having the best season of his career, he is 9th in QBR and 2nd in passer rating and has 25 TDs to just 5 Ints, at some point the prime time issues should go away.

Rest of Card will come late Sat night but I will def be on the Vikings on MNF, and leaning on the Jets, Chargers and a couple of totals.

Week 15 NFL Picks

We followed up our worst week of the season and worst week in a couple of years in Week 13 with our best week in Week 14. Betting the NFL is weird man.

LW: 6-1

2019 Nfl Football GIF by NFL

2019: 37-35-1

Game 1: Mia +3.5 @ NYG

Bet% Mia 72% NYG 35%

The 2 win Giants losers of 9 in a row, should not be favorites of 3 over any team in the league. The Giants should definitely not be favorites of more than 3. That’s it, that is everything this bet is baed on. Miami has the better record, the better QB and are getting more than a FG? Win or lose, this is what line value looks like and you have to take Miami here. (more…)

Week 14 Picks

LW: 1-6

2019: 31- 34-1

Last week was pure disaster which ended with the Vikings loss on MNF but on the plus side New Edition was trending because of this phenomenal Seattle TD performance.

2019 Nfl Football GIF by NFL

Game 1: SF +2.5 @ NO

Bet% SF 60% NO 40%

SF is playing in their 2nd straight road game but I like the fact that stayed out east for this game and that they are getting healthier for this matchup. SF will likely have Joe Staley and Dee Ford back, Matt Breida will definitely be back and Kittle and Sherman will play. For the Saints, they will be missing 2 LBs which is going to be a problem for a team like SF that dominates wit the run game and their TE. Saints also have injuries on their offensive line, their right side of the line is highly unlikely to play in this game as G Peat is already listed out and RT Armstead is highly questionable.  While you can make the case that these are the 2 best teams in the NFC I think SF has had the much tougher schedule and therefore more impressive resume. The Saints haven’t played a team that currently has a winning record in the last 5 weeks and that team was the Bears, the last month they have feasted on the NFC south Bucs, Panthers and Falcons twice. This is this the best opponent the Saints have played while SF just went toe to toe with Baltimore last week.


Week 13 NFL Picks

Last week was a good week but should have been so much better, really the theme of the season so far. 2 of the losses came in the same game and I should have stayed off that Monday Nighter but was able to make up for those with some in game bets and the Washington ML helped as well.

LW: 4-3

2019: 30-28-1

Game 1: Buf @ Dal Over 46.5

Bet% Over 42% Under 58%

This line opened at 45 and has been bet up and I totally agree with the move. I think we are getting some value based on the games last week which both were way under the total. I was on the over in the Buf-Den game last week and it never came close because of 2 reasons; 1) Weather- The conditions in Buffalo were much windier than had been expected and as a result Denver really struggled passing the ball 2) Brandon Allen was terrible, the wind definitely impacted Brandon Allen much more than Josh Allen, as Brandon Allen finished with a QBR of 6, he simply didn’t have the arm strength to play in those conditions. We also had very difficult conditions in New England last week which the Cowboys really struggled with and as a result I think this line opened about 3 points lower than it should have.

Dallas should be able to run on the Bills, Buffalo is 26th vs the run and Dallas should be able to exploit that with Elliott and also then use play action. Buffalo should also have success against the Cowboys 19th ranked defense especially with the changes they have made the last 2 weeks. Warren Sharp is the only person I have seen point this out but since moving their OC upstairs, the Bills are using 11 personnel over 90% of time up almost 30% and have also increased their pace of play dramatically. Both teams get matchups they can exploit with perfect conditions in Dallas, I think this game gets into the 50’s.

Game 2: GB @ NYG +6.5

Bet%: GB 88% 12%

This game will probably be one of the biggest needs for the books but they new that when they opened it under a TD. This game opened at GB -6.5 and has never come close to 7 and in fact has dropped to 6 at few points. Not only are over 80% of bets on GB, by keeping it under a TD this will be one of the most havily teased games and yet the books have not moved it to protect themselves so why are they so comfortable needing the Giants? Lets start with the Packers, they have lost their last 2 road games and their defense continues to drop in overall rankings, they are 24th in DVOA, they are giving up 6.1 yards per play which is 29th and their rush defense is 28th. It is very difficult to cover a number this large on the road with a bottom 7 or 8 defense and that is how GB is playing over the last half of the season. The Giants have not been able to get Barkley going the last few weeks but this should be a big week for the Giants RB. The thing you like about betting the Giants as underdogs is they have made Daniel Jones development their top priority so even in games where they are down big, they let want Jones out there playing and trying to get them back in the game which is why they have had so many late backdoor covers.  The Packers are being treated as one of the best teams in the conference with this line and they are probably much closer to a middle of the pack team because of their defense.

Game 3: Phi -10 @ Mia

Bet% Phi 61% 39%

The Eagles are coming off of their 2 worst offensive performances and the bloom has come off of Carson Wentz both nationally and locally as a result. In last week’s game vs the Seahawks the Eagles were missing their WR1, WR2, WR3, their All Pro RT and RG and also their RB1. Somehow they were still in that game late because the defense was able to keep Seattle out of the endzone for the most part. The impact of missing that many starters can’t be overstated. The Dan Orlovsky tweet above really does a great job of showing how impactful the losses of Jeffrey and Agholor were. Now that Wentz has 2 starters at WR back, this game vs Miami will be only the 3rd game of the season where the Eagles will have the majority of their receivers and secondary healthy, the other 2 were wins in Buffalo and vs Chicago. With the Cowboys loss on Thursday the Eagles are in the drivers seat for the division and I expect the offense to use this game as a get right spot, Alshon Jeffrey, Agholor, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks will all be back.  The Eagles defense has been one of the best units in the league the last 4 weeks and I expect them to continue vs Fitzpatrick especially because they don’t have to worry about the Miami run game.

Game 4: Ten +1.5 @ Ind

Bet% 44% Ind 56%

So this bet is based on a lesson learned last week with the Eagles Seattle game. Last week was a great spot for the Eagles but they had so many cluster injuries on the offense that players were forced into positions they had not been in all year and it showed in really subtle but critical ways. The Dan Orlovsky tweet really shows how precise routes are and being a little off or on a different page really shows up in critical spots. The Colts will be without their top 3 WRs, star WR TY Hilton, Devin Funches and most likely Paris Campbell, they will also be without TE Eric Ebron, starting RB Marlon Mack and #3 TE has a broken thumb. That is a lot o=to overcome for Brisett and the Colts offense. The Titans have been playing really well since Tanehill took over at QB, they are 4-1 in the 5 games he has started though all 4 wins came at home, they have scored at least 20 in each of those 5 games. If the Titans score 20 in this game they will win straight up, I can’t see the Colts getting more than that.

Game 5: Cle -2.5 @ Pit

Bet% Cle 69% Pit 31%

The Steelers are another team with major pieces missing on offense this week as they will be without JuJu Smith Schuster, James Connor is doubtful, Pouncey is still suspended and Devlin Hodges who started as their #3 QB will be starting. The Steelers managed to win despite their offense for about a month with incredible plays from their defense which seemed to include a Minka Fitzpatrick TD every week. Scoring from defense and special teams is not something that you can count on and it feels like we are now seeing Pittsburgh come back to reality, in the last 3 weeks the Steelers have scored 17, 7 and 16. The Browns seem to  have found some confidence in the last couple of weeks, they have won 3 straight and scored 21 vs Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago and 41 last week. 3 weeks is also how long Kareem Hunt has been on the active roster and I do think there is correlation, Hunt gives them another big weapon and allows Mayfield to get the ball out quickly. There will be a lot of talk about Myles Garret and Mason Raymond and the debacle on Thursday night but neither player will be in his game and I just think that the Browns will know they can go in and overwhelm this version of the Steelers.

Game 6: Min +3 @ Sea

Bet% Min 31% Sea 69%

Week 13 has been a disaster so far but this is about the long haul and if you think there is value on the board you have to keep firing. I like the Vikings in this game and think they have a very good shot to win straight up. These teams are very even, #7 and 8 by DVOA but by point differential the Vikings are +84 while Seattle is +29. Seattle has been in very close games that they have needed to pull out late against lesser competition like ATL, CIN, CLE and TB. This just feels like a spot for the Vikings to get an upset.