NFL Football Picks
New Orleans started off the year on fire. They scored 40 or more points and gained more than 400 yards in 6 of their first 10 games. They eclipsed 500 yards in 3 of those games. But in their last 3 games, Sean Payton’s squad has come back down to earth. They have averaged only 23 points and 270 yards in those contests. Although one of those games was against the stiff defense of the Cowboys, the other 2 were against the much softer Bucs and Falcons. Drew Brees is averaging only 157 passing yards in those games, and they have turned the ball over 4 times. Points have been harder to come by in the last two games. Online sportsbooks have the line set at 6.5 despite the rough offensive stretch. Can they be expected to win by a TD?
The Packers were successful in their first game without former coach Mike McCarthy and while they didn’t look remarkably different, there were noticeable changes with Joe Philbin calling the shots. Green Bay is 10th in passing and they continued to utilize that strength early against Atlanta but the play-calling featured many more quick-hitting patterns that got the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands right away. That was no accident considering how long Rodgers prefers to hold on to the ball, a fact that has, in part, led to Green Bay allowing 41 sacks so far. Can Green Bay continue to make successful changes and stay within 6 points for a win against the spread?
Detroit’s week 14 run defense was stout. The Lions had been at or near the bottom third of the league in defending the run for much of the season but they held Arizona to 61 yards on 21 attempts, including keeping running back David Johnson to 49 yards on 15 carries. Detroit will need that defensive effort again to beat the bookie’s line of -2.5. RW has the NFL pick and analysis.
Houston brought the NFL’s third-ranked ground game into Indianapolis Sunday with an average of 140 yards per outing (146 per during their 9-game winning streak) but got stuffed to the tune of 89 total yards. Deshaun Watson led all rushers with 35 yards on 5 carries, which of course means the running backs were a nonfactor. Can the Texans get the wheels turning again on Saturday? Rick has your NFL prediction.
The Indianapolis Colts kept their playoff hopes alive last week with an impressive 24-21 road victory over the Houston Texans. The Colts offense overcame a stout Texans defense behind the arm of Andrew Luck, who threw for 399 yards with 2 touchdowns and a pick. WR T.Y Hilton shined in the performance with 9 grabs for 199 yards as the Colts snapped Houston’s 9 game winning streak. It will take a similar effort vs the Cowboys. Jay Horne has the NFL Prediction!
When you talk about bad offenses in the 2018 NFL season, the Arizona Cardinals come to mind…quickly. These guys suck! Arizona is averaging just 158 yards passing per game and another 84 on the ground. That is an average of just 242 TOTAL YARDS PER GAME. Now, the Falcons have had some issues on defense but even so, it will be a tough task for Arizona to move the ball. Is the enough of an angle to bet the chalk? The Sportsbooks have the Falcons as 8.5 point favorites.
The Chiefs are 20-2 against the AFC West since the start of 2015. This includes being 4-0 this year and a 10 point opening week victory against these Chargers in the City of Angels. Of course, this year the Chiefs are owning the whole league, currently sitting as the number one seed in the AFC at 11-2, and also owning the best ATS record in the AFC at 8-4-1. Keith Allen looks at what trends matter here in week 15. See the NFL pick!
The Cleveland Browns take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High in week 15 AFC action in a Saturday Night Football matchup. As each team has 7 losses, the postseason seems out of the question in a crowded AFC wild card picture, but these are two teams that are playing hard, trying to set the table for the future. And both have done well in some regards toward that end, especially the 5-win Browns who have found wins a lot easier to come by than the last few seasons. On Sunday, a win over the Panthers was their third win in four games. On Sunday, the Broncos faltered to the Niners after a nice run of wins that got them back to .500. How do you play these scrappy teams here in week 15? LL has your free NFL pick.
Updated: The Seahawks have now moved down to 3 from 3.5 becoming much more appealing to Seahawks backers! After a 2-3 start, Carroll’s squad kicked it into gear and now sits as the 5th seed in the competitive NFC. The team only averaged 316 yards per game in their first 5 contests, but have increased that number to just under 370 yards per game during their most recent 7 games. Oddly enough, the improved offensive output has been a result of Carroll dedicating his team to regain their identity as a running team. Can the Seahawks Run through Minnesota? Keith Allen has your NFL pick!
From an injury standpoint, both teams have quite a few players who are listed as “Day to Day” and/or “Questionable” going into Sunday’s game. For the Saints, it is still unclear if Brandon Marshall will make his debut for the team. Along with Marshall on the injury list and questionable for Sunday are Trey Hendrickson and Zach Line. Both are questionable for Sunday and it is still unclear what their status will be come game time. For the Buccaneers, Desean Jackson is day to day with a thumb injury and sources say he should be able to go Sunday. And there are 4 others on the injury report so how do we handicap this game? Bob Clark breaks it down!
AFC East foes meet in Miami when the Dolphins host the Patriots on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. New England has had the upper hand over the last few years with a 13-4 record in their last 17 games against the Dolphins, but all four of those losses have come in their last five trips to Miami. Can the Pats break that trend and get the 9 point win to cover against the spread?
On Monday Carolina fired defensive line coach Brady Hoke and secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura. Head coach Ron Rivera has reportedly taken over calling the defense so first-year defensive coordinator Eric Washington looks to be packing his things… and not for the road trip! Despite the changes, can Carolina pull out a straight up win to cash Panther bets?
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field on a key NFC week 14 matchup. The Bears, playing without starting QB Mitchell Trubisky for the second straight week, saw their five-game win streak broken on Sunday in a rough overtime loss to the Giants, 30-27. They look to bounce back with the return of their QB, but it’s not easy when the team with the best record in the conference is coming to town. Despite the league records online sportsbooks are only favoring the Rams by a field goal.
There is no denying that you are what your record says you are at this time of year in the NFL. Bad breaks, injuries or any other excuses have to be put aside and your favorite team is either a playoff contender or not. For the fortunate fans, that means meaningful football ahead and for the not-so-fortunate, it means watching a team play out the string with one eye firmly on next year. Atlanta visits Green Bay this weekend in a matchup of teams that certainly thought they would be in better shape heading into Week 14. With talent and pride on the field, as well as a new coaching record in play, does Green Bay cover the bookmaker’s line and win by a TD?
Colt McCoy is out for the season after going down with a fractured fibula against the Eagles and that leaves Mark Sanchez, who the Skins signed just two weeks ago. Sanchez wasn’t horrible, finishing 13-of-21 for 100 yards and 1 interception but this offense is reeling since losing Alex Smith to injury. Can Sanchez be the QB that can stay on the field and take advantage of a terrible Giants passing defense?
Let’s just look at how fast things have turned for Baltimore in the last several weeks. Following the home loss to the Steelers, the Ravens were just 4-5 and largely an afterthought in the AFC North. On top of those factors, starting quarterback Joe Flacco had suffered a hip injury and the Ravens were forced to turn to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson who many considered would never make it as an NFL quarterback. Yet 3 weeks later, the Ravens have amassed 3 straight wins and climbed back into the playoff hunt. Can the Ravens keep the momentum and give the sportsbooks an underdog outright winner?