NFL Football Picks
There is a paradox in the Tampa aerial-offense, as they constantly shift between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston. Last week in the loss to the Giants, Fitzpatrick was behind center, but after three picks, Winston was put in and threw 2 touchdowns, but also a pick. It might surprise some that Tampa puts up more yards aerially than any other team in the league. They put up a lot of points. But the mistakes are plenty, with Winston and Fitzpatrick having combined for 23 picks through just ten games—an alarming figure. Can TB throw the ball to players on their own team on Sunday? LL has your NFL prediction.
Sportsbooks FINALLY opened a line on this game yesterday putting the birds as 3 point favorites. Change is certain to be in the air in Cinci after last week’s blowout loss to the Saints. The Bengals have fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin but you can also expect a shakeup on the offensive side. Exactly what that will mean for the offense is unclear, but Andy Dalton was out of sorts against the Saints without top target A.J. Green, who’s out indefinitely with a foot injury. He tried turning to speedster John Ross in Green’s absence but that was only good for 2 catches for 39 yards last time out. What can the Bengals do versus the Ravens? Rick Wise has his NFL prediction.
To simply say the Raiders are bad doesn’t do much justice. It’s been hard to watch. It is one thing to unload all your big talent in an attempt to build for the future, but the product they’re putting out there is majorly substandard. It’s bad enough to lose a bunch of games, but Oakland is now forcing betting sites to push the boundaries of good-taste when setting these numbers. Here they are only 4 point dogs but maybe that isn’t enough. Loot breaks down the match up!
The Chargers have been very tough at home since losing to the high-powered Chiefs in week one. Even so, after two straight on the road, the Chargers could be a bit weary. There have been some close calls recently. And even against the woeful Raiders last week, they didn’t get their act together until later in the game and had their season-low in total yardage. Can the Bolts get it together at home or will Loot Levinson convince you to pick Broncos plus the points?
The idea of forfeiting 14.5 million dollars might seem kooky to us and maybe it is, but that’s just what Le’Veon Bell has done by not reporting to the Pittsburgh Steelers by Tuesday. He will sit out the rest of the 2018 NFL season and presumably part ways with the team where he made his bones. Bell will be 27 in February and when he’s in in the game, he’s perhaps the biggest offensive difference-maker in the league. He’s always at the top of the league in rushing, with ball-catching stats that would be the envy of a lot of receivers. So he won’t come cheap. Books are starting to put up prop bets for which team Bell will sign with for the 2019 NFL football season. Let’s take a look at each team on the board, the odds, and how likely it is for each team to land the dominant back!
Sportsbooks have the Saints valued heavily at -7.5. Last week the Eagles failed to establish the run against Dallas and it’s one of the reasons they came up short. In the Jacksonville win they mixed things up well, attempting 30 passes to 28 runs. It was the opposite against the Cowboys, 44 passing attempts to just 16 runs. Which Eagles offense shows up Sunday? Rick Wise has his prediction.
While it took some time to come to fruition with a slow start to the season, the Minnesota offense is starting to look good and it could get even better. Kirk Cousins looks like he’s going to pay off this season, as he is getting a lot of his key guys involved. But the Chicago defense is getting better every game and Bears backers only need a FG to beat the bookmaker. Levinson has your NFL selection.
Atlanta’s defense is still banged up and still not playing at a high level and the Dallas Cowboys should take advantage. It’s starting to become evident that Dak Prescott is not the 2nd Coming of Troy Aikman and he is prone to making mistakes. The Dallas offensive success rests on their offensive line and the running of Ezekiel Elliott. If Dallas can get the run game going, that is when Dak is at his best. Can the Dallas offense move the ball and stay within 3? Bob Clark breaks down the game and gives his NFL pick.
There is always a chance with the Steelers when they are favorites – especially on the road – that they will lay an egg and outright lose a game they should win. But in this case, they have revenge on their minds. The Jags came into Steel City twice last year and beat the Steelers, including the playoff game that ended the Steeler season. The Jags had no hesitation about trash talking after both of those games, which should still be fresh in the Steelers minds. Is this narrative enough to give your bookie action on the Steelers -6? Keith Allen gives his NFL pick.
Sportsbooks say the Rams are more than a FG better but do the numbers align with this thinking? The key stat that separates these teams and the only statistical blemish for the Rams is red zone efficiency. This is the chink in the Rams armor that may end up holding them back down the stretch. They are only scoring touchdowns on 56% of their trips to the red zone, good for only 16th in the league. The Chiefs are scoring touchdowns at a 71% clip, good enough for 6th in the league. In the Rams game against the Saints 2 weeks ago LA also struggled converting on third down, converting only 37% of third downs and also were 0 for 2 on 4th downs. The Rams fill up the stat sheet and remind us of the Greatest Show on Turf, but they are not converting when they need it most. Keith Allen takes a deeper look at the matchup and gives his prediction.
The Texans have some young and dynamic talent in their ranks, including one of the game’s best receivers DeAndre Hopkins. D-Hopkins has been supreme in 2018 as he already owns seven scores and 894 receiving yards just past the half-way mark of the season. He serves as quarterback Deshaun Watson’s primary target in a passing offense that accrues 248.9 yards per game. But the bread and butter of Houston’s game is their rushing attack which compiles 120.2 yards on the ground per game (11th in the NFL). The sportsbooks have set the line at Texans -3. Will this offense be enough to cover against the spread? Keith Franks has the NFL prediction.
It is clear that this Seahawk team is limited in certain phases but they are still near-elite in others, including leading the league in rushing at 152 yards per game. Pete Carroll will not be shy about deploying that running game against the 22nd ranked rush defense of Green Bay. Is that matchup enough to make Seattle the favorite here? Ted Walker gives his NFL prediction.
The Titans and the Colts have met each other 47 times dating back to 1970 when they were the Houston Oilers and the Baltimore Colts. The Colts have dominated this divisional series as of late, winning 12 of the last 15 matchups going back to 2011. What does that mean? Like the historical numbers at the roulette table… absolutely nothing! Rick Wise breaks down the actual game and offers his free pick.
The Panthers are 3.5 favorites priced at -110 at online sportsbooks. Granted, the last game Carolina played didn’t paint either side of the ball in a good light. Cam Newton has otherwise been pretty solid this season. Aerially, they aren’t that prolific, even with Devin Funchess, rising DJ Moore, still-effective tight end Greg Olsen, and a massively-successful ball catching back in Christian McCaffrey. Against a Detroit pass-defense that can be solid, Carolina might have to rely more on the run. Luckily for them, they are in good hands with McCaffrey and Newton, who has a renewed focus on running the ball. Is the ground game the answer to covering the spread? Loot has your free pick.
Let’s point out that the Rams just had 4 of their last five games on the road. Things could look better as they get the next two at home, followed by a bye-week. They can dig in at home a little bit and shake off some of the road-weariness that started showing at New Orleans last week. Still, maybe they’ve been overrated a bit? They were the preseason darlings of just about everyone and they’ve been awesome at 8-1. But they have started to show some cracks in the armor. Will the Seahawks be able to build a game plan and stay within 10 points? Loot has an NFL pick and prediction.
Week 9 saw the Bears win and the Lions lose. Chicago improved to 5-3 on the season and Detroit goes the opposite way and now sits at 3-5. Chicago and Minnesota are tied for the NFC North division lead with Detroit and Green Bay biting at their heels just a game or so back. It appears that Chicago is the real deal and only seems to get better week after week. As for Detroit, they are just average at best… offense, defense, special teams, they are just…meh. Nonetheless, this weekend is actually a huge game in for the NFC North landscape. It is a tight race and a Detroit win will put THEM back in the hunt.