Sunday, December 30, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012: Week 17

Favorites finished 9-7 ATS for the second week in a row.  Dogs still hold a 126-107-7 overall edge (54.1%) heading into the final week.  Once hovering around 60+%, things have regressed closer to the mean as expected.

Week 16 Recap

NFL Picks 2012: Week 17 predictions
It was a much better week with the only spread loss coming from the Giants.  Although I don't think I was the only one surprised with how the G-men responded to their drubbing in Atlanta.  Aren't these guys the defending champions who know how to rise up in character-testing situations?  They are also supposed to be well-suite for the road, but something is clearly amiss in NY at the moment.  Give the Ravens credit for dismissing their slump.

The Colts came up short on the team total, but thankfully they covered the spread despite heavy money coming in against them on game day.  The Texans also got trounced to spoil the teaser.  It was shocking to see their O-line get dominated like that. Even though I picked them as a Super Bowl pick, I'd be naive not to reconsider that once the playoffs start.

Week 17 Picks

Note*: with so many games featuring meaningless action, this is perhaps one of the most tricky weeks to handicap.  It's like a week of preseason, but without all the forthcoming knowledge from coaches. If news trickles out, I might be adding more late picks on Friday/Saturday.

Packers vs Vikings

Buccaneers vs Falcons

Texans vs Colts

Pending...

Survivor Pick

I was curious to see which of the Panthers, Redskins, or Colts would spoil the party for survivor pools in Week 16, but everyone did their jobs.  We've finally reached the end and TeamRankings has you covered in depth with all your options.

Given that I've already taken the Giants, Seahawks, and other big favorites this year, I'd be stuck with the Titans as my option for the final week.  I wouldn't feel great about that pick, but the Eagles could be dangerous on Sunday. With Vick back and Reid's last game as coach, they might be up for a surprise against their division rival. The Giants aren't playing great ball right now and Philly has a history of winning these types of games at the end of the season.  Seattle is a great choice given how they play at home. I'm a big fan of what the Rams have done this year, but it would take a great game on their part combined with a subpar effort the Seattle to pull off the upset. Fading the Jaguars is a logical step to close out the season.


NFL Predictions 2012 Week 17: Cowboys vs Redskins

The big showdown of the day resides in the NFC East. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys take on Robert Griffin III for the division crown, and all eyes will be watching.  I have no pick for this one, but I have a betting preview posted here and which way I'm leaning.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 17: Texans vs Colts

Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts: HOU -6.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

This game opened with the Texans as -4 favorites, but early money quickly moved the line all the way up to -7.  At that number I felt like passing on it since so much value was sucked out of the line, combined with the fact that it hit a key number.  That said, we now have a bunch of -6.5's available if we choose to take it.  The look-ahead line is once again meaningless since there is such a discrepancy in motivation.

Bottom Line

Like most coaches, Pagano has said he won't be using this game to rest up his guys. Let's go ahead and take that with a big grain of salt because he should.  The Colts are locked in and don't have much to play for.  The Texans on the other hand need this game to secure home field advantage throughout.

Even if Pagano's words come true, the Texans are good enough to win this game by a touchdown.  They might not be the dominant force they were earlier in the season, but they are well-balanced enough to take care of a team as flawed as the Colts.  The Colts defense is even worse than they look if we dig deeper into the advanced stats.

This game could likely be up in the air up until halftime.  I expect Indy to play loose and confidently at home while the Texans could wind up pressing too much knowing they might let the top seed slip away.  That said, over the course of the entire game I think the Texans will take care of business on Sunday.  If Pagano was smart, he'll take his foot off the gas at some point. Houson should also be able to control this game with the running attack and wear down a weak Colts D by the 4th quarter.

NFL Pick: HOU -6.5.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 17: Buccaneers vs Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons: TB +3.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

This game was off the board for most of the week, but the Falcons opened up as -5 point favorites.  This was quickly bet down to where it is now, -3.5.  The look ahead line on this game is pretty much meaningless given the circumstances, but let's just agree that the Falcons are being overvalued here.

Bottom Line

I would like to provide some analysis, but there isn't much to give.  Mike Smith is notorious for talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to his intentions for a game.  In the preseason he keeps things close to his vest and often does the opposite once kickoff arrives.  I can't believe that he is going to treat this like every other game and play everyone up until the final whistle.  I know the Bucs have been bad recently and that might not change, but this is more of a situational play than an X's and O's play.  Give me +3.5 points against a team with everything wrapped up and I'll take it every time.

NFL Pick: TB +3.5.

Monday, December 24, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 17: Packers vs Vikings

Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings: GB -3 (5Dimes)

Markets

Last week, the look-ahead line for this game had the Packers at -4.5 point favorites.  Given the performance of the Vikings of late, combined with the fact that both teams have something to play for, the line re-opened at -3.  There is some added juice attached, so don't be shocked if this comes off the 3 at some point. I'm not about to pass up this value, regardless of how good Minnesota have looked.

No Mysteries

There are no secrets between these division rivals.  There will also be no guesswork with regards to rosters, playing time, or motivation.  Both teams have something to play for, so this will be one of the more entertaining games on the Week 17 schedule.

In the end, we could sit here and analyze all the X's and O's until we're blue in the face.  We could talk about how the Packers will likely have a 50/50 split between run and pass to overcome the Vikings cover 2 scheme. We could point out that GB will likely rely on their improved coverage in the secondary to go all out vs Peterson.

Yet, the Packers can still win this game even if Peterson has a big game. He killed them for 200+ yards the last time and they still lost.

What's more important will be the play of Christian Ponder.  I've said this before and got burned, but when it comes to playoff-type football, sooner or later the QB needs to make a play on a key third down, at the end of the half, or in the red zone.  His biggest task will be protecting the ball and making smart decisions with the football.  Is he ready to do this?  How much will the coaching staff limit him with so much on the line?  If the Vikings are too conservative, they might just coach themselves into a loss.

On defense, the Vikings will need to step up their pass rush and pile up more sacks on Rodgers.  His line has been woeful and he sits as the most sacked QB in the NFL.  Do this and they have a good chance to win.

Bottom Line

The formula for both teams is quite obvious.  If the Vikings can protect the ball, get a consistent game from Ponder, and get to Rodgers, they will make me sweat out this pick.  Instead, I expect this game to go according to script.  Ponder will make mistakes, Rodgers will make big plays, and the Packers will show more overall balance on both sides of the ball.  Sometimes it's just that simple.

NFL Pick: GB -3.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012: Week 16

Favorites continued to claw back into the fight in Week 15 finishing 9-7 ATS.  Dogs still hold a 119-98-7 overall edge (54.8%) overall.

Week 15 Recap

NFL Picks 2012: Week 16 predictions
Given how close the point spreads were for Week 15, not very many games held much suspense. This means if you were on the right side, you won big.  If you had the wrong side, you could have torn up your ticket at half time.  That was the case for my TB and STL picks.

What has happened to Josh Freeman?  It's one thing to be inconsistent, but it's entirely different to toil away at the extremes of the pendulum. He had 5 turnovers, while Brees had 4 TDs. I'd like to pretend there was more to the game than that, but those numbers speak for themselves.  The Rams had no idea what to do with Peterson. They are actually a pretty disciplined team vs the run and usually do well with their gap control.  None of that mattered as Peterson made an MVP statement with over 200+ yards on the ground, in spite of a non-existent passing game. This game had the most disagreement in the poll, so props to you if you had the Vikes.

The uneventful day was saved by compelling showdowns in Dallas and New England.  Ironically, it was Big Ben who had the turnover in crunch time which sank my pick on the Steelers. Stuff like that happens, but it was the first time the Cowboys have covered at home all year.  Ouch.

I didn't have a pick in the 49ers/Patriots game, but I think it's safe to say this one sums up this league in a nutshell.  Who would've thought a team like the 49ers would give up a 28 point lead in the 2nd half?  I know Tom Brady is Tom Brady, but I'm happy I didn't have a bet on this one for the sake of my health.  Can we put the parade in New England on hold now?  No team is going to run away with the title in December.

Week 16 Picks

Falcons vs Lions

Giants vs Ravens

Colts vs Chiefs

49ers vs Seahawks

Teasers 

Team Totals

Survivor Pick

There were only 3 obvious choices for survivor picks in Week 15 and the Lions got 38.27% of the vote!  It would seriously suck to come this far and lose to the Cardinals!  The Dolphins and Seahawks took care of business rather easily as only 6% went with "other".

If you've survived this long and still have big favorites in your back pocket, congrats because you can start counting your money soon.  For those who need mid-road options, the choices are fun this week.  I'll weigh in with my pick on Friday.  TeamRankings still have great coverage until the end of the season here.

Surprisingly, the Eagles have shown some life of late and it's a divisional game, so I'd pass on the Redskins.  The Panthers are a decent choice, but despite their recent play it's hard to trust a team that consistently underperforms their stats. The easy choice for me would be the Colts, who have actually outplayed their stats (especially on D).  Fade the lowly Chiefs if you're still in a survivor pool.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: 49ers vs Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks: SEA PK (Pinnacle)

Markets

Before Week 15, Vegas had the 49ers as -2 point favorites in this game.  Despite a statement win in Foxboro, the Seahawks re-opened as -1 point favorites on Sunday.  Not much has changed during the week either.  You can find Seattle at pick em, but some books are putting them in the -1.5 range too.  That is kind of surprising because the 49ers are sure to be popular teaser choices at that number.  Normally when I like a short favorite, I tell people to grab them at anything under -3, but given how tight this could be, I suggest to get the best number possible.  Laying more than -1 could come into the equation here.

Any Analysis Needed?

In the three games that the 49ers lost this year, it was also the only three games where they lost the turnover battle.  It might be silly to pick a side in this matchup when it's all going to come down to turnovers, but that just might be the formula to success.

Both teams are built on incredible defenses, a strong running game, and a dangerous and mobile rookie QB.  Yet, Sherman is expected to play while J Smith is not. I don't think it was an accident that the Patriots began their comeback when Smith left the game with an injury.  That loss cannot be underestimated.  Russell Wilson has already ascended into a quality QB over the last couple of months, but he'll be even more dangerous with Smith out of the lineup.  Aldon Smith might have 19 sacks, but Russell Okung has only given up 1 sack, too. Wilson has climbed from the bottom of QB efficiency rankings to 10th. That is simply remarkable.

At the same time, Kaepernick isn't far behind.  Despite only a handful of starts, he sits around the middle of the pack in the advanced stats metrics.  In spurts, he looks like an unstoppable, dominant threat, but he does continue to make really stupid rookie mistakes too.  With Sherman in the lineup, he's going to need to demonstrate some extra patience and accuracy when targeting Crabtree.  Look for him to rely more on his legs than usual in this one.

Bottom Line

I have lingering nightmares betting against the Seahawks at home this year.  First came the infamous Packers-replacement-ref game and it was followed by an inexplicable loss with the Patriots.  Seattle is a perfect 6-0 ATS this season.  The Cowboys were 0-6 ATS at home leading up to last week.  A bad sign?  Perhaps, but I can't ignore the value on Seattle in this game.  I like how they matchup.  In fact, they don't rank below average in any of the advanced stat categories I look at (17 of them).  I can't say the same thing for the 49ers, who still rank near the bottom in pass protection and inside the red zone on both sides of the ball.

NFL Pick: SEA PK

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: Team Totals

Team Totals

Colts O24

No-brainer pick here.  I think the line for this total should be 24.5 at the minimum.  I'll be shocked if this is a knock-down drag-out affair focused on defense.  Luck isn't as good on the road as he is at home, but he's growing each week and should be able to take advantage of a team with one eye on the offseason.


NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: Teasers

It's been a few weeks since I've seen a teaser I really liked, but this week one really jumps off the page.  As long as you can get both under -3, go ahead and grab it.

Indianapolis Colts -1 & Houston Texans -2



NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: Giants vs Ravens

New York Giants vs Baltimore Ravens: NYG -2.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

Amazingly, the Ravens opened as -1 point favorites this week.  In the look-ahead line prior to Week 15, the Ravens were -1.5 point favorites.  Huh?  It didn't take long until money pounded this number into shape.  At some square shops the Giants are full field goal favorites, but at most places we can still get the Giants at -2.5.  Go ahead and bet this number.  Despite the line movement, anything under -3 has value.

Lesser of Two Evils

I can't possibly make a strong case for the Giants against anybody right now because they are not resembling the championship form from a year ago.  As the year has gone on, they've continued to be their usual inconsistent selves.

That said, I trust them a lot more than I trust the Ravens. In what could have been a panic move, they placed Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator.  I didn't understand this move at all since he's never had experience doing this at the pro level. In Indy, it was the Peyton Manning/Tom Moore show.  We all saw how it worked out vs the Broncos last week.

On the other side of the ball the Ravens are just as bad.  The most telling sign of their decline comes in the make or break moments.  For most of the year they were a bend-but-don't-break unit ranking quite high on third down and inside the red zone. They've lost three straight games and their placement in the key categories continues to plummet.

Can they establish the running game?  Can they stop Victor Cruz?  Limit the Flacco turnovers?

Bottom Line

The Giants certainly have their own issues - primarily an underachieving pass rush, but this is more of a fade of the Ravens than anything else.  If the Giants identity rings true to form, they'll rise up and play a strong road game when it's needed most.  The leadership and character is there, it's just a matter of executing vs a sinking ship.

NFL Pick: NYG -2.5.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: Colts vs Chiefs

Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City Chiefs: IND -6.5 (5Dimes)

Markets

The Colts were -6 point favorites on the Vegas look-ahead line, and it re-opened at the same spot after Week 15.  Huh?  Surely they must have known this spread would be bet to -7?  Sometimes books take a position on a game, but I don't see that being the case in this spot.  This was a soft line and right now it sits around -6.75 as a lot of shops.

If you want to buy an affordable -6.5 you have that option, or lay the full touchdown at 'even' money.

Story

As I pointed out in the Jets/Titans game last week, "motivation" is often overrated.  I did include a caveat though.  When a team has clearly tanked on a season, it could be time to pounce.  Right now the Chiefs actually have motivation to lose.  There might not be a clear-cut franchise #1 overall pick in the draft, but this organization would do themselves a lot of favors if they finished 32nd.

On the other side of the coin, the Colts can secure a playoff spot with a win. Often, this can be a dangerous position for a team, especially when the opponent is so weak.

In terms of X's and O's, let's stop to look at the KC O-line for a moment. They have a rookie LT and LG, an out of position center, and a RG donning a cast.  They skated through the first half of the season without any depth beyond their starters whatsoever, so now they are in trouble.

The Colts pass rush isn't anything special and their defense remains one of the worst in the league, but it doesn't have to be good to disrupt this offense. I'm not going to list all the stats, but they are woefully low in over a dozen important categories. 

Bottom Line

I didn't even need to mention Andrew Luck, but he's a big reason why they should top the Chiefs by double digits.  In fact, they should be able to win this game by sheer attrition alone.  I would say that there's a chance they rise up and shock us all, but they might have the dumbest coaches in the league.  Give me the Colts all day.

NFL Pick: IND -6.5.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 16: Falcons vs Lions

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions: ATL -3.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

This game has had some significant line movement since it was put up on the board.  Last week in the look-ahead line, Vegas pegged the Falcons as -1 point favorites.  After Week 15 action, that was moved up to -3.

That didn't stop sharp money from coming in and moving it off the key number of 3 though.  It takes a lot for a line to come off the 3, so there's no question the Falcons were undervalued.  Right now, it all depends on where you shop. Some books have them as high as -4.5, but you can also find some -3.5's at 'even' money.

Mismatches

The Lions should have Delmas in the line up which is a monumental piece in a secondary that is decimated.  Having said that, given the injuries he might be asked to do a lot more in pass coverage than he typically would. The Falcons have a huge edge in the passing game, so don't be surprised if they go for the jugular early. When you have the kind of weapons the Falcons have, that's not a good situation to be in.  Up front, the Lions have lost Nick Fairley, too.  At this time of year, it's a battle of attrition.

On the flip side, Pettigrew is likely out which puts most of the focus on Calvin Johnson.  The Lions have also admitted they will be doing everything they can to get him the ball in order to break Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards.  Last week I was wrong when I thought Adrian Peterson couldn't defeat the Rams all by himself, but I'm willing to bet that Calvin Johnson won't be doing the same to the Falcons tonight.  The primary advantage Detroit have would be in the running game, but that's not an element that this offense is built on.

Bottom Line

Will Detroit show up in prime-time and ruin the party?  This is the NFL so anything is possible, but they've dropped 7 straight and sit at 2-4 against the spread at home. Given their injuries in the passing game on both sides of the ball and the arsenal they have to contend with, I don't see how they'll be able to keep pace for a full 60 minutes. 

I'm not a fan of taking bad numbers, but sometimes we over-think the point spread.  Falcons should win this game, and I'd be surprised if it came down to a field goal.

NFL Pick: ATL -3.5.

Monday, December 17, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Jets vs Titans

I have no dog in this fight, but here's my take on tonight's game. If you have action, good luck!

Friday, December 14, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012: Week 15

Favorites reigned supreme in Week 14 action finishing 9-6-1 ATS.  Dogs still hold a 112-89-7 overall edge (55.7%) overall.

Week 14 Recap

NFL Picks 2012: Week 15 Predictions
I fully expected to have a different kind of review for the Patriots/Texans game. The poll got the most votes of any game all season and finished with 50.72% on Houston. I could sit here and talk about bad calls that led to scores or talk about fumble recoveries that went New England's way, but I'm not sure any of that would have mattered given how the Patriots played on MNF.

Without Cushing, the Texans D was no match for the spread offense and outside of JJ Watt (the only Texan to show up), they couldn't dictate action very much.  Houston have now been blown out by two Super Bowl caliber teams in the Packers and the Patriots.  Would things be different if the game was in Houston?  Perhaps, but it's clear they need to figure out a way to bring their "A" game in the big games.

The other two losses came from the Falcons and Bengals. The Atlanta game was the bigger surprise because they've been so good defensively on third down and against play-action this year.  The Panthers tore them apart in both areas all day long.  In Cincy, AJ Green uncharacteristically had two big drops that cost them points each time.  As reliable he is, I have to remind myself this is the Bengals after all.

Week 15 Picks

Packers vs Bears

Steelers vs Cowboys

Vikings vs Rams

Buccaneers vs Saints

Broncos vs Ravens

Pending...

Survivor Pick

I skipped on the survivor pick this week, but I got more votes in the poll than I expected so I'll keep it running for the time being. The Seahawks were the most popular pick, followed closely by the 49ers and Broncos.  The only team to crap the bed were the Buccaneers, but at this point in the season those are the kind of teams most survivor contestants are faced with.


NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Buccaneers vs Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints: TB +4 (Bodog)

Markets

NFL Picks 2012: Buccaneers vs Saints
Thanks to a couple subpar weeks from the Buccaneers, we have some line value in Week 15 action vs the Saints. In reality, this line should be no more than -3 at most.  Even last week in the look-ahead line, Vegas had the Saints as -3.5 favorites.  When the line re-opened for betting on Sunday, books offered -3.25.  This allowed sharp money to set the market.  Thus far, the sharps out there like New Orleans in this spot and moved the number all the way to -4.  We could see it move even more, but that would surprise me.  I'm going to go ahead and take the value now and let the chips fall where they may. 

Noteworthy

The Saints have had trouble establishing a reliable running game this season and now they face the most efficient run defense in the NFL.  This has put too much pressure on Brees, who has 9 interceptions in the last 3 games.  It hasn't helped that they actually thought a playoff run was in sight.  With that gone, they're doing their best to tell the media and its fans that they're just as committed to winning.  That looks good in print, but not so great on the field.  On the bright side, if Brees is on his game and he wants to pad his stats, the Bucs pass defense would be the one to do it against.  Like a lot of Saints games, if they want to come out on top they'll need to outscore everyone through the air and limit the mistakes.  Unfortunately, that formula isn't working in 2012.

The bigger problems come with the Saints defense.  It seems like whenever a team is in a slump, they turn things around once they face New Orleans. Cue the Tampa Bay Bucs who are sliding after their impressive win streak.  I expect Freeman to get back on track and he should have a much better completion percentage on Sunday than he's had in the last two games. Making the task even tougher for the Saints is their league worst run defense. Doug Martin should be able to improve his rookie totals against this porous unit.

Bottom Line

This isn't a game that most handicappers want to get involved with, and it's hard to really blame them, but I'm not buying into the Saints as a -4 favorite at this stage of the game.  If they still had a legitimate shot at a wild card spot I'd probably skip this game, but with nothing more than pride to play for, I'll gladly take the points on the dog.  Last year the Saints were undefeated against the spread at home. This year they are only 3-3.  Meanwhile, the Bucs are point spread covering machines on the road at 5-0-1 against the number. I like their chances to continue that trend this weekend.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Broncos vs Ravens

Denver Broncos vs Baltimore Ravens: DEN -2.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

NFL Picks 2012: Broncos vs Ravens
If everybody had access to the Vegas look-ahead lines, beating the point spread on a consistent basis would be a whole lot easier.  For whatever reason, they only had the Broncos as -1.5 point favorites last week, but books re-opened it at -2.5 this week.  Some money has come in on Denver moving the line to -2.75.  If you shop around, you can still get -2.5 with a bit extra juice, but I would still play this at -3.  I really like superior teams when they are short road favorites.  The key matchups favor Denver in this spot, and I don't really care if the Ravens are "more motivated" for this game.  I'll trust the numbers and take a team still hoping for a first round bye.

What Do You Trust?

The obvious mismatch that jumps off the page in this game is at QB.  Peyton Manning is only behind Tom Brady in terms of efficiency this season, which still surprises me given all the challenges he's had to overcome.  Baltimore have been pretty an excellent "bend-but-don't-break" defensive unit this year as they tighten up once opponents get inside their 20.  That said, they've had some tough injuries on that side of the ball and no one really knows how effective a guy like Suggs will be after injuring his bicep.  There's also a chance he joins Ray Lewis on the sidelines and sits out the game entirely.

The Broncos rank near the top in every important statistical category on offense, so whatever the Ravens have been doing right on defense this year needs to be executed brilliantly on Sunday.  That's a tall task, especially since they are only average at disrupting drives.  Making matters worse, Baltimore is only 2-4 ATS at home, while the Broncos are 4-3 ATS on the road.  This is the time of year when handicappers should be giving a little extra to the home teams, but can we do that for the Ravens?  Look for Manning to have more time than he needs in the pocket to pick apart the Ravens on both intermediate and outside routes.

Offensively, things are a big question mark for Baltimore.  Flacco isn't "Mr Elite", despite what he told us earlier in the year.  Now they must find a way to overcome the Denver defense with a new play-caller, Jim Caldwell.  Do I need to point out that he's never done this at this level?  Ray Rice will play, but is he 100%?  Ok, so who is 100% at this time of year, but if he's limited in any kind of way, even more pressure will fall on Flacco and Caldwell.  I don't like the matchups for the Baltimore receivers vs the Broncos cornerbacks, either.  Even if Caldwell goes to more no-huddle, the Broncos defense is familiar with this given they've been practicing vs Manning all year.

Bottom Line

The Ravens are a good team, but they come into this game with too many question marks in all the wrong places for my liking.  Denver is a much more reliable option at this point in the season, and we're getting a pretty favorable number on the point spread as well.

NFL Pick: DEN -2.5.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Vikings vs Rams

Minnesota Vikings vs St Louis Rams: STL -2.5 (5Dimes

Markets

NFL Picks 2012: Vikings vs Rams
This is another point spread that I don't quite understand.  In the look-ahead line, Vegas put up a generic -3 in favor of the Rams.  That's reasonable, but let's get real here.  The Vikings have been horrible covering spreads on the road this year. Christian Ponder has not developed like many fans thought he would.  This is the Adrian Peterson show at the moment, but while everyone is focused on that, I'm happy to ride a team that continues to fly under the radar.  Books are offering us the home team at under a field goal right now.  I'll take it.

Lesser of Two Evils?

This isn't the most exciting game to break down, but my first question is where did Jared Allen go?  He hasn't had a sack in four of his last five games and only has nine on the year total. Statistically speaking, he was arguably the most important defender in the entire league last year.  It's no coincidence that Vikings defense ranks below average in every meaningful advanced stat category this year. Without a reliable pass rush, this side of the ball will continue to be an uninspired bunch the rest of the season. 

The Rams offense is going to strike fear in anybody, but they are a much better unit when Amendola is healthy.  Givens played well in his absence, so Amendola's return should give Bradford a lot more confidence in the air.  They've stuck with the running game all season long, even when it wasn't working. To their credit, they are in the top third of the league in run efficiency, so Fisher has stayed true to his guns. 

Things are even worse for the Vikings on offense.  Outside of Adrian Peterson (who is not a human being), what is there to worry about here?  Christian Ponder has been on a one-way ticket downhill ever since his mini-win streak in September/October and now must figure out a way to move the chains without Percy Harvin.  Let's not forget that Harvin was their MVP before he got injured.  Yes, even more vital to the offense than Peterson.  The bad news for Vikings fans is the Rams run D is actually respectable this year.  In fact, their defense as a whole is a pretty solid unit across the board.  They manage to slow down enough offenses to keep them in most games, and this game will be no different. James Laurinaitis will spearhead the game plan to slow down AP and with 111 solo tackles this year, I like his chances to be a difference maker on Sunday.

Bottom Line

It might not look pretty, but the Rams usually do enough collectively to be in every game.  There's been a few instances where they were completely overmatched in 2012, but the Vikings don't present that kind of problem.  Look for them to do enough to get the win and the cover this Sunday, especially with the help of a home crowd. The Vikings are 1-5 against the spread on the road this year.

NFL Pick: STL -2.5.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Steelers vs Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Dallas Cowboys: PIT -1 (Pinnacle)

Markets

NFL Picks 2012: Steelers vs Cowboys
There isn't much to analyze in terms of knee-jerk reactions here because Vegas had this game off the board last week.  When the lines came out on Sunday, the Cowboys were actually favored by -1.  Since then we've seen a line move in favor of the road team as the Steelers now sit between -1 and -2 favorites, depending on where you shop.  This is a two or three point move, but since it crossed the dead number of zero, it's not that significant.  The loss that the Steelers had against the Chargers does provide us with a bit of value here, because I don't expect a repeat performance come this Sunday.  I like Pittsburgh at anything under -3.

Matchups

In the first time since early October, Harrison, Polamalu, and Woodley will all be in the starting lineup this weekend.  Normally, injuries are overrated in football, but when you consider how impactful these players are as a trio, it can be significant.  They are also the leaders of an aging, veteran unit all well-versed in Lebeau's scheme.  The downside are the injuries at the cornerback position.  Dez Bryant is playing through an injury himself, but he's been on fire of late.  The Cowboys also rely much more heavily on the pass than the run.  Defensively, the Steelers are an above average squad, but getting to the QB and coming away with turnovers continue to be an issue.  Yet, I like their chances in this game thanks to the identity that is the Dallas offense.  Regardless of what they say in the press or what they do in practice, they are among the league leaders in offensive penalties. Romo has played well, but he's not a guy I trust in the big games.  He could be good for a couple turnovers against Lebeau's complicated schemes.

The bigger issue is what the Cowboys will do to stop Big Ben and the Pittsburgh running game.  Yes, the Steelers haven't been able to run the ball consistently, but Dallas have big injuries at most of the interior positions.  This could open up a much more balanced approach from the Steelers.  When Ben went down, I had to downgrade not only the QB position, but almost every other area of their offense - passing, drive success rates, third down conversion percentage, and red zone scoring efficiency.  With him back in the lineup, they once again become lethal in all those areas.  How will the Cowboys approach this?   Blitz?  Load up in coverage?  Either way, Ben can hurt you.

Bottom Line

Throw the Chargers game out the window. This Sunday should be a showcase of what Pittsburgh do best, which is grind out opponents and come up big when the game is on the line. The Cowboys are almost at the opposite end of the spectrum in this regard.  Jason Garrett is likely on his way out, and he's about to get outcoached once again this weekend.  Dallas is also 0-6 against the spread at home this year.

NFL Pick: PIT -1.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Packers vs Bears

Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears: GB -3 (Pinnacle)

Markets

NFL Picks 2012: Packers vs Bears
The Green Bay Packers might only be 7-6 ATS this season, but let's not kid anybody.  This team will once again be a real threat to win the Super Bowl.  So someone will need to explain to me why the Bears were -1 favorites in the Vegas look-ahead line last week?  Apparently books came to their senses and re-opened Green Bay as -3 favorites this week.  This is a much more accurate point spread, but I don't think it's enough.

UPDATE: Late money has moved this line in favor of the Bears.  It always takes a lot to move a line off the "3", so great value can be had with Green Bay -2.5.

Deja Vu?

The first time these teams met I actually had the Bears.  I bought into what they were selling on offense and assumed they had enough balance to cover +5.5 points.  The trouble was their O-line rendered all hopes meaningless as the Packers sacked Cutler seven times.  Dom Capers also did a masterful job taking Marshall out of the game with braket-coverage.

What has changed since then?  Not a whole lot.  The Bears O-line continues to toil away near the bottom and Clay Matthews is set to return just in time to renew acquaintances.  What adjustments will Chicago do?  Don't expect any surprises because these teams know each other inside and out.  Instead, this game will come down to execution and turnovers.

Green Bay will be without Woodson and Nelson again, but Matthews return up front will significantly aid the secondary and Randall Cobb has emerged as a dangerous threat all over the field.  Chicago have injury concerns of their own as Urlacher and Jennings are both sidelined with injuries.

Bottom Line

This game doesn't need a ton of analysis for obvious reasons. The Packers own the Bears, and I see no reason why Sunday will be any different.  Let's continue to fade Cutler in the big moments.

NFL Pick: GB -3.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 15: Bengals vs Eagles

NFL Picks 2012: Bengals vs Eagles
My picks are on the way, but in the meantime here's my take on the Thursday Night Football game between the Bengals and the Eagles.  If you have action, good luck!

Monday, December 10, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 14: Texans vs Patriots

Houston Texans vs New England Patriots: HOU +4 (5Dimes)

Markets

This is a game I've been looking forward to for months.  Anyone familiar with my blog will know I've picked the Texans to win the Super Bowl.  I've taken them almost every week of the season as well.  Despite being one of the best teams in the NFL, they continue to cover point spreads as a favorite.  That mettle will be put to the test this week when they travel for a tough road game.

The look-ahead line had the Patriots favored by -5.  After the weekend they re-opened them at -4.5.  Thus far, the early money is coming in on the underdogs which has moved the line to the key number of -4.  Missing that half a point is never good, but since this should be no more than -3 at the most, I have no issues riding +4.

This is easily one of the games of the year. Pick your side.

UPDATE: I know the Patriots are notorious for having inflated spreads, but today's line move is curious to say the least.  Let's see how this one shakes out.

Coin Flip?

This game is receiving a lot of strong opinions.  Patriots backers are convinced they are not only going to win and cover, but win convincingly.  Houston backers think there's no way the Patriots should've been favored by more than a field goal and will happily take the value.  I obviously fall in the latter category.

So what does it all mean?  My take is pretty simple. When you consider what the current NFL landscape is like, it doesn't make much sense to favor New England by this much.  Could they win easily?  Sure.  They have the offense to do it and the benefit of playing at home.

What's more likely though, is a hard fought game between two teams that are clear Super Bowl contenders.  In this situation, having more than a field goal on the spread is gravy.  It's all about finding value and if the line movement over the last 24 hours is any indication, I found it.

In fact, advanced stats is one of the sure-fire ways of anticipating line movement in the NFL.  My system is great at spotting soft lines and I usually wind up beating the closing line the vast majority of the time.

X's and O's

So where do the advantages lie in this match-up?

Not a lot stands out on paper.  Brady is obviously a beast and could tear apart any defense, regardless how they defend him.  Even without Gronk and Edelman, he can pick schemes apart with Welker, Hernandez, or any other guy with a name on his jersey.  They also have great balance with Ridley this season, which is just flat out scary to think about. In fact, the Patriots rank near the very top in run efficiency.

How will the Texans approach this game?  I don't have a crystal ball, but I truth that Phillips will do his best to attack an O-line that is dealing with depth issues.  New England gave up four sacks last week and face an even tougher front this week.  First round pick Whitney Marcilus stepped in for an injured Reed and put up two sacks against the Titans.  People might brush that aside because the Titans are garbage, but they have one of the better pass protections in the NFL.

On the back end, things get really interesting for both clubs.  Joseph is expected to play, which is huge news since there's no one on the Texans roster that can come close to replacing him.  McCain's loss hurts because he was a good slot cover corner that nobody ever really talked about.  They signed Routt off the scrap heap, which may or may not be a good thing.  At worst he brings experience, but I expect Brady to target him early and often.  It would also be a nice boost if Alan Ball can get healthy enough to play, but his status is up in the air as of Wednesday.

For the Patriots, it was great that they acquired Aqib Talib, but he's not going to magically turn it around by himself.  What's far more important is whether or not they can continue to get pressure up front.  The Texans have one of the better O-lines in the NFL and it's hard to decipher whether they are passing or running a full second or two after the snap.  Due to this, I anticipate some big plays in the play-action situations. The Patriots secondary has been burned on this repeatedly this season and could get exposed again on Monday.

As mentioned, the Patriots run game is coming of age.  The important thing for Houston is that Dobbins is healthy and securing the middle.  Losing Cushing was really bad for this unit, but without him and Dobbins, things get dicey.  We all saw what Detroit did to them when Joseph and Dobbins were not in the game.

On the flip side, the Patriots will have to contend with the likes of Foster, Tate, and now Forsett. That might sound funny, but Forsett has come in and given them a legitimate option when Foster is out.  Tate got eased back into the lineup last week, but look for his involvement to increase this week.

Advanced Stats

A closer look reveals no secrets.  The Texans have a big opportunity to move the ball in the air.  New England have been pretty good vs the run, but when push comes to show they generally fold.  The Pats defense simply isn't very good in the make-or-break moments.  They don't disrupt drives on a consistent basis, can't get off the field on third down, and give up too many touchdowns in the red zone.

On the flip side, the Texans defense stacks up well in every meaningful category.  The caveat is Tom Brady.  We all remember what Rodgers did to Houston when he was on fire.  If Brady comes out possessed, there's no telling how many points they put up.  However, that's not something I can waste time worrying about.  I have to trust what I've seen all year and go with the percentages.

Intangibles

It wasn't too long ago that I would say the Patriots had a huge advantage on special teams, but this is an area the Texans have slowly improved in over the last month.  In fact, it could be Gostowski that is under the microscope.  He's missed a field goal in three straight games and six on the season.  If this game is close near the end, I know I wouldn't want my money on him right now. 

The Texans are 6-0 on the road straight up, and 4-2 ATS.  The Patriots are 4-1 straight up at home, but only 2-3 ATS.

Bottom Line

Unless you can find +3.5 now, you might have missed the early value on the Texans.  My numbers say that the true line should've been -3 to start.  Perhaps the Patriots blow them off the field on Sunday, but that would surprise me. I think Houston made a nice prime-time statement when they went into Chicago and came away with a win - especially after the fiasco vs the Packers earlier in the year.  I think they'll be ready for the challenge.

NFL Pick: HOU +4.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012: Week 14

Underdogs had a big week for the first time in a while in Week 13.  Final tally was 10-5-1 ATS and hold a 106-80-6 overall edge (56.8%).

Week 13 Recap

NFL Picks 2012: Week 14
Not much leaped off the Week 13 board for me and late line movement didn't appeal to me either.  For the most part I took a pass, but the one pick I did make ATS cashed with the Bengals getting the cover.  There was a bunch of teaser options, but with the 49ers and Ravens losing they went 2-2.  You have to give credit to the Rams for taking this one after letting their previous game in San Fran slip through their fingers. I also don't think anyone expected Charlie Batch to have the game he did, but kudos to him.  Totals split 1-1.

Week 14 Picks

Cowboys vs Bengals

Rams vs Bills 

Falcons vs Panthers 

Texans vs Patriots

Pending...

Survivor Pick

I was already out of my survivor pools, but if you are still alive after Week 13 you deserve a major award of some kind.  Both Beyond the Bets and TeamRankings were undefeated heading into last week, but both were unceremoniously eliminated on Sunday.  BTB rolled with the 49ers with the Texans still left on the table as an option. Ouch. TR decided to go with the Lions and lost on the final play of the game. Double ouch! 

In the polls the 49ers were the only popular team to fall, but the other popular choices of Bills, Cowboys, and Broncos all did their jobs.  I'll keep this running as long as people continue to vote, but if numbers begin to dwindle I'll put it on the shelf until next season.  TeamRankings have full analysis here.

Survivor Pick: Pending

Week 13: Dallas Cowboys
Week 12: Seattle Seahawks
Week 11: Denver Broncos
Week 10: Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9: Detroit Lions
Week 8: Green Bay Packers
Week 7: San Francisco 49ers
Week 6: Atlanta Falcons
Week 5: New York Giants
Week 4: Baltimore Ravens
Week 3: Chicago Bears
Week 2: New England Patriots
Week 1: Houston Texans

Saturday, December 8, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 14: Falcons vs Panthers

Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers: ATL -3 (5Dimes)

Markets

First off, this line is on the verge of moving off the key number of "3".  It sits at -3.25 across the board, so you can still get an affordable -3 for a little extra juice.

The line movement on this game was small, but significant. In the look-ahead line Vegas was putting up -2.5, but after the results in Week 13 it re-opened at -3.  Money has steadily come in on the Falcons, which is the smart thing to do. For whatever reason that I'm still not aware, the so-called sharp minds out there have been fading Atlanta all season. Well guess what experts, they are 7-4-1 ATS this season.  Do they have flaws?  Yes, every team does.  That shouldn't undermind what they've accomplished so far or undermine what they are good at.  I'll lay the field goal and trust the mismatches.

The Carolina Panthers are an Enigma

Usually at this point in the season we have a pretty firm grasp of who teams are given all the data available.  For most of the year sharps thought the Panthers were far better than their record indicated, but it was led by a mistake-prone Cam Newton and befuddled head coach in Ron Rivera.  This made them virtually unbackable.

Over recent weeks Newton has eliminated a lot of the dumb errors and played pretty good ball.  The problem?  The coach is still driving in reverse and the defense has taken some erroneous steps back.

In fact, Rivera came out and said that he will continue to give his young guys increased reps so they can evaluate the roster with an eye on next season.  This is the part of the article I would insert a record screeching to a halt.  Normally we don't benefit from this kind of insight unless it's the preseason or Week 17.  His approach makes sense for the guy replacing him, but I'm not sure he's going to be around to follow up on his assessments.

Statistically, it's hard to figure out this Carolina team as they rank near the middle of the pack in all the important categories I look at.  For whatever reason, it's not translating into wins.  In back to back weeks they've given up big yards on the ground and folded when the game was on the line.

The Falcons Are For Real

As mentioned in my market review, what is the deal with smart money fading this team this season?  Are they blind?  Stubborn?  What gives?  When I look back and realize I was probably one of the only people on the planet who made them a best bet of the week against the Eagles, I'm baffled.  The entire planet bet the Eagles coming off a bye and completely disregarded the Atlanta as a legitimate team.

That's fine by me. If Vegas want to give me favorable lines like this one every week, I have no problem taking it.

Their two biggest weaknesses are running the ball and stopping the run, but there are signs that these areas could improve in coming weeks.  Rodgers is being given an increased role as Turner looks more and more on the decline.  Weatherspoon is going to give the front seven a much needed boost in the tackling department, so opposing running games are not going to have free will to dictate the action.

Samuel is laboring with a shoulder injury, but the Panthers offense have injury concerns of their own.  Stewart will be irrelevant thanks to a high ankle sprain and LaFell is in a walking boot.

I give the Panthers a pass last week given the situation in KC, but this week they'll have to prove they can man up and slow down this Atlanta offense.

That's not something I see happening.  If they can establish a ground game, Ryan will have his way in the air all day long.  Heck, even without a running game they've been great on offense for most of the season.  They also have the benefit of better average starting field position and better overall special teams than the Panthers.

Bottom Line

I've upgraded this pick to a best bet of the week. That might not be the brightest idea to do with a road team, but the flip side is a favorable point spread since Vegas have no choice but to factor in home field on the line. Well here's a newsflash, the Panthers are 1-5 ATS at home while the Falcons are 4-1-1 ATS on the road.  Sign me up.

ATL -3.

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 14: Rams vs Bills

St Louis Rams vs Buffalo Bills: STL +3 (5Dimes)

Markets

The standard consensus regarding home field advantage lies somewhere around 2.5/3 points on the point spread.  Of course not all home fields are equal, but is Vegas trying to tell us these teams are even on a neutral field?  If so, I'm more than happy to grab a full field goal with the Rams.

In fact, nothing that happened on the weekend seemed to change bookmakers minds either.  The look ahead line also had the Bills -3.  If I had to set this line I'd make Buffalo -1 to -1.5 point favorites.  There were signs early in the season where it looked like the Rams were going to have a home/road dichotomy this year, but they've bucked the trend and currently sit at 4-1 ATS on the road.  I'll take it.

Who Are the Bills?

At the start of the year I was guilty of buying into the Buffalo Bills hype.  On paper they seemed to make all the right moves on defense by adding impact players on the D-line and in the secondary.  Dave Wannstedt's scheme was supposed to be an easy transition thanks to his simplified approach.  CJ Spiller was primed for a breakout season, and Ryan Fitzpatrick was expected to start where he left off last year.

So much for all that.

Now early bets are coming in on them this week against the Rams.  Someone please explain that to me?  The only rational reasoning I can think of is that they are expecting a letdown from St Louis after their big win over the 49ers.

Other than that, I see no reason to get excited about Buffalo.  Two of their wins in recent weeks have been more due to circumstance than anything else.  They caught a slumping Miami offense and put up an inspired effort on prime-time.  Last week weather dictated the play-calling which allowed them to steamroll the Jaguars with the running game.

Rams: Most Improved Team?

Ok so the most improved team award would probably go to the Colts, but that's thanks in large part to Andrew Luck.  Personally, I would give it to St Louis for what they've done this season.

Jeff Fisher is front and center of the turnaround and he clearly has this team believing in themselves.  Pushing the 49ers to overtime twice in one month is nothing to scoff at.

When Amendola went out I got a little concerned about this team, but Givens stepped in and stepped up of late.  Even though their offense didn't put up great numbers, they targeted Givens 14 times and came up with big plays when they needed them most.

Head to head, I'm willing to put much more faith in the Rams defense over the Bills unit. They've been above average against the run and the pass all season long and they've been one of the most consistent defenses in the entire NFL this year.  They've improved in all the key areas such as pass rush, third down, red zone, and drive success rate.  Do people remember how atrocious they were last season?  I don't think people are giving them near enough credit for this. 

Granted some of this is due to better health and some key additions in the offseason, but they had to get it together with a scotch-taped defensive coaching staff.

Bottom Line

The Bills sustained some key injuries on both sides of the ball last Sunday and it's too early to know whether or not they'll all be back this week.  That's not good news for a team searching for consistency.  If Buffalo is going to win and cover this game, they'll have to prove that their recent wins were due to their play and not the situation.  Sorry, but I'm not buying in just yet. I'll roll with the team that's well on their way to establishing a coherent identity.

NFL Pick: STL +3. 

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 14: Cowboys vs Bengals

Dallas Cowboys vs Cincinnati Bengals: CIN -3 (5Dimes)

Markets

This was a line move that I saw coming from a mile away.  The Bengals were -1.5 point favorites in the look-ahead line last week, but after the weekend they re-opened at -3.

The problem for Vegas is that the move wasn't enough.  The Bengals are doing a lot of things right (Week 13 turnovers aside).  Meanwhile, the Cowboys continue to struggle with the same flaws that have plagued them all year.  This line should be -3.5 at the minimum, but I would've opened it at -4 myself.

Dallas: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good news for Cowboys fans is Romo, Witten, and Bryant are playing well. They also got the services of Murray back last game, even if he isn't 100% yet.  The problem is there isn't much to get excited about beyond that.

One of the most underrated stat categories in football is offensive penalties.  The truth is, teams that take the most penalties on offense lose more games.  I don't need to explain why, but it should be pointed out that the Cowboys continue to shoot themselves in the foot game in and game out.  It's easy to blame the players on the field because they are the people executing the plays, but I put things like penalties on the coaching staff.  Jason Garrett is probably coaching on borrowed time, and based on how he's managed his team on gameday this season, firing him would be completely justified.

The other big problem Dallas is having this year is with their pass defense.  I made the mistake earlier this year assuming it would be an area of huge improvement after adding Carr and Claiborne.  Carr has been good, but Claiborne continues to make too many blunders.  He has great raw ability, but if he's not taking penalties, he's missing assignments or playing too aggressively.

Bengals: Flying Under the Radar?

Are people ready to buy into the Bengals?  Instinctively, that wouldn't feel right.  Over the last couple of seasons they play well against inferior opponents, and fall flat when things are on the line.  Yet, it's hard to ignore their recent win streak, especially since they kicked it off with a dominating win over the Giants.

Last week their game with the Chargers was close most of the way, but I never got worried about the outcome thanks to their play in the make or break moments.  This was an area they've drastically improved in during the season, and against San Diego they were 50% on third down and in the red zone. On defense, they held San Diego to 33% on third down and 0 for 3 in the red zone.  In fact, opponents have only scored one TD in their last eight trips in the red zone.

The secondary is also coming off a good game as the Chargers threw the ball 33 of their 36 snaps, and only came away with three offensive points for the entire game.

Much of this is thanks to the play of their D-line. Carlos Dunlap was a beast with two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and five tackles.  Overall the D had four more sacks and continue to lead the league in this department.

Green-Ellis has over 100 yards for the third straight game.  Dalton didn't have his best game, but he didn't get much help from his receivers either as they fumbled the ball twice.

Bottom Line

On Thanksgiving, I made the mistake of buying into the Cowboys.  This is a team that rarely makes it on my list of picks, because even when they seem to match up well on paper, they lay an egg and come up short.  Even against the Eagles they didn't do a very good job shutting down a roster of backups.  Give me the hot team playing at home.

NFL Pick: CIN -3.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012: Week 13

Not much to report for Week 12.  Favortes/dogs split the weekend 8-7-1.  Dogs still hold a 96-75-5 overall edge (56.1%).

Week 12 Recap

NFL Picks 2012: Week 13 Predictions
There was no way I was going to keep up 71% the rest of the season so the speedbump came this week.  Final tally was 1-3-1 ATS and 0-2 on teasers and totals.  With 3 picks on the Packers, they were going to make or break my weekend.  Although I felt pretty good about them after late line movement moved the number closer to what I thought it should be (pick em). 

Dallas and Green Bay got whooped.  Hindsight is always 20/20, but I knew the risks.  The Cowboys seem to struggle as a favorite and the Giants were ready coming off the bye at home.  Bad picks. 

I don't regret the Seahawks, especially with the way Wilson played.  I feel ripped off with that garbage penalty that turned the game, but would I be complaining if the same thing helped me win?  Probably not.

Finally, if I didn't grab the early lines for the Falcons and Texans, I would have had a push/loss added on my totals instead of a win/push.  Getting the best numbers is vital to long-term profitability.

Week 13 Picks

Update*:  small card this week, but if you like teasers this week is for you. 


Bengals vs Chargers 

Teasers 

Team Totals & Props

Survivor Pick

10 minutes after kickoff I knew I was in trouble with my survivor pick.  The Bengals whipped up on the Raiders, which was the obvious survivor pick of the week.  I decided to go off script and ride the Seahawks because I trusted what I've seen from them all year much more than what I've seen from Cincinnati.

The good news?  TeamRankings and Beyond the Bets remained undefeated heading into Week 13 so keep an eye on what they pick

Survivor Pick: Dallas Cowboys

Week 12: Seattle Seahawks
Week 11: Denver Broncos
Week 10: Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9: Detroit Lions
Week 8: Green Bay Packers
Week 7: San Francisco 49ers
Week 6: Atlanta Falcons
Week 5: New York Giants
Week 4: Baltimore Ravens
Week 3: Chicago Bears
Week 2: New England Patriots
Week 1: Houston Texans

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NFL Predictions 2012 Week 13: Team Totals & Props

Team Totals

Colts O23

This number doesn't make much sense to me. The Lions defense has been better than people give them credit for, but they still have big problems in the secondary and now must contend with one of the most consistent offenses in the NFL.  I don't have much faith in the Colts defense or I'd take them on the spread, but I do trust that Andrew Luck will move the ball.

Bengals O23.5

Cincy is the primary play that jumps off what is otherwise an unappealing Week 13 board.  The Chargers defense in all the areas that kill the backbone of a team.  With the Bengals trending up, this is the no-brainer pick of the week.

Props

Pending..