Sunday, November 19, 2017
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 3.0/100 Chicago Bears Pick Title: 9 Star NFL Earlybird (WIN OFF THE BUY)
As the mushes & Jon Q Public come piling in on the Lions, things are looking better & better for our Chicago side! Da Bears? Yes, this is still the same (12-29 SU but 19-21-1 ATS) John Fox-coached team that's already beaten Pittsburgh & Carolina while also having near misses versus Atlanta & Minnesota. Today's situation favors Foxy-Loxy & the hometown Bears since Detroit has a looming-large intra-divisional battle with the 1st-place Vikings in 4 days @ their house on Thanksgiving. For those with short memories, Lions' QB Matthew Stafford struggled versus this same Chicago team last year. We're getting excellent line value here since the recent eye test shows the Lions winning by 14 @ home & the Bears losing by 7 @ home. I feel Fox will employ a smash-mouth type game where rookie QB Mitch Trubisky game-manages Chicago into a nip-and-tuck affair throughout. They did it to Pittsburgh & Carolina so they're primed & ready to do it again. Let's go to legendary Soldier Field in the Windy City to pull the lever on the CHICAGO BEARS (buying to a key + 4 1/2 @ -160) as my 9 Star NFL Earlybird!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -125 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick Title: 8 Star Ugly Pig Play Of The Week (WIN)
This originally was supposed to be an intriguing intra-state opener between these 2 that's now coming to fruition in Week 11 when both were to take on their original bye week. There's not much to this pick (no over-analyzing) than to say the Dolphins may be 4-5 SU but could very easily be 1-8 SU with 3 very fortunate earlier wins. Miami comes in off 3 consecutive prime-timers where their defense was ripped apart for over 37 PPG during that span. That's just what the doctor ordered for a Tampa Bay squad with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick that's not afraid to challenge a Dolphins' "D" who have 3 picks on the season. This situation is perfect since Miami has a large game on the back burner with hated rival - the New England Patriots. Case closed! Let's go to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens to play the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS as my 8 Star Ugly Pig Play Of The Week!
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 3.0/-120 Cincinnati Bengals Pick Title: 8 Star Too Pricey Of A Chalk Play (WIN)
The Bengals defense can keep you in games up against inconsistent offenses that struggle to score points (Denver averages a fraction over 14 PPG since Week 3). Yes, the Broncos "D" is good too being ranked 4th overall. However, they've been on the field way too much the past few weeks due to an inept offense whose -14 turnover differential is the WORST in the NFL including Cleveland @ -13! Even though Cincinnati's offense lacks a decent running game, I believe they can show up here & QB Andy Dalton can generate enough points on the road. He's already put up 24 @ Green Bay, 31 @ Cleveland as well as 20 last week in Tennessee. I'm not a believer of new QB Brock Osweiler who makes a 2nd run in Denver. This game is hard to separate SU so we're going to play this one @ OUR NUMBER not the odds-makers. Let's go to Sports Authority Field @ Mile High to play the CINCINNATI BENGALS (buying to + 4 1/2 @ -180) as my 8 Star Too Pricey Of A Chalk Play!
New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -283 New England Patriots Pick Title: 9 STAR South Of The Border Headliner (WIN)
Guys, there's 2 BIG reasons why we'll take New England to get yet another "W". Those reasons are QB Tom Brady & HC Bill Belichick. They were smart enough to practice in the high altitude (6,035 feet above sea level) of Colorado Springs this week before making the trip to Mexico City which is 7,382 feet above sea level which is about 1.4 miles up. My point is this. Tom Brady (19/2 TD/INT ratio) actually looks more relaxed & focused on the road. He's won 12 consecutive games away from Foxborough & will be shooting for the all-time road wins record for a QB with 87 this evening. He's currently tied with Peyton Manning. My bottom line says that even though the Patriots are ranked 32nd on defense, the numbers that truly count on the scoreboard has revealed something quite different over their last 5 games. During that span, the Patriots' "D" has only yielded slightly above 13 PPG! This spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for QB Derek Carr (13/7 TD/INT ratio) for their 21st-ranked offense that's only scoring slightly under 18 PPG since Week 3. Has NE been tested on the road this year? Yes they have! They already traveled to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees & their 2nd-ranked offense in the NFL. What was that outcome? The Patriots won handily 36-20. The Raiders showed up late in Mexico as HC Jack Del Rio is hoping this will be an advantage not a detriment. With the Pats having 2 circled games left on the schedule (right here & @ Pittsburgh for Game 14), look for no letdowns since they have to keep pace with the 8-2 Steelers for home field advantage in the AFC. Let's go to Azteca Stadium in Mexico City to play the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS for a hard-fought "W" as my 9 Star South Of The Border Headliner!
Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -130 Baltimore Ravens Pick Title: Rare 2nd Ugly Pig Play Of The Week (WIN)
HC John Harbaugh & DC Dean Pees have had 2 weeks to prepare for the Green Bay Packers & rookie QB Brett Hundley. Too many mushes are showing GB love this week & giving them overwhelming respect for playing @ Lambeau. Guys, the Ravens may be just 4-5 SU straight, but they've also won CONVINCINGLY in Cincinnati & Oakland earlier. My bottom line says that rookie QB's do some good things but are somewhat predictable. This plays right into the hands of multiple schemes DC Dean Pees & the Ravens' 6th-ranked defense. Those 2 weeks of prep time was more than enough time to install some packages just built to bate the rookie into mistakes. Baltimore can have OLB Terrell Suggs & the front 7 come in from a few holes that will be left by inexperienced RT Justin McCray that can cause more than a few sacks & hurries. Remember, since QB Aaron Rodgers went down, the Green & Gold are putting up less than 17 PPG (more than 10 points less than with Rodgers). Those numbers match up nicely since Baltimore's offense is averaging 21.5 PPG in true road games thus far this season. They should be able to solve the Pack "D" which has had their moments ranked just 24th overall. Another big boost for the Marty Mornhinweg's "O" has to be the returned from injury RB Danny Woodhead whose been productive on passes out of the backfield. Let's go to legendary Lambeau Field to play the BALTIMORE RAVENS as my Rare 2nd Ugly Pig Play Of The Week!
NOTES: Finally! We achieved a week where the prognostication matched the preparation. It was a week where coaches earned their keep while the pretenders fell asleep. The most amazing & startling thing to think about for the rest of the season is if we'll actually see perennial NFC playoff participant the Seattle Seahawks qualify by games' end on New Years' Eve. There's no question that DC Kris Richard is looking for answers to replace their injured shutdown LCB Richard Sherman, SS Kam Chancellor & DRE Cliff Avril. HC Pete Carroll was also found trying a fake-FG & failing badly by design in their 34-31 home loss to defending NFC Champion - the Atlanta Falcons. I remember a time when the "Legion of Doom" was very difficult to score on. Between 2012-14, they were unstoppable @ home going 26-2 SU & covering over 73%. Since that time, they've become the "Legion With Room" (now 10th-ranked) dropping off 22% in home wins (15-6 SU) & a more important 48% ATS. Will things get better? They may get worse first. Brace yourself Seahawks' fans for the next 3. After this week's game @ 1-9 SU & off-the-bye San Francisco, they entertain the Philadelphia Eagles (#1 scoring offense in the NFL), then travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars (#1 in scoring defense, total defense & sacks) & wind up back home against NFC West division leader - the Los Angeles Rams (second in scoring offense & yards per point to Philly). They're now faced with beating out the Rams for the division OR beating 2 out of these 3 teams (Carolina, Atlanta & Detroit) to advance to the NFC Wildcard Round. It will be a tall order for Seattle to make it unless QB Russell Wilson gets tremendous help from TE Jimmy Graham, 2nd-year RB J.D. McKissic (in for injured RB C.J. Prosise-on IR with 2 high ankle sprains) & the recently called-up RB Mike Davis (in for injured RB Thomas Rawls -groin injury). In the Atlanta MNF game, Davis ALSO went down to a groin injury that forced the services of backup RB Eddie Lacy may be forced into duty IF Davis remains out. It will be interesting to say the least this week in San Francisco (only beat the 49ers 12-9 earlier) since SF's new DC Robert Saleh was also a defensive assistant with the Hawks' from 2011 through 2013. Let's seize the momentum & ride through the post-season in the NFL by taking advantage of teams who must play games without irreplaceable playmakers. Inching toward that 60% or better mark, here's my record after Week 11 in the NFL. My 2017-18 NFL Overall Seasonal Record is now a respectable 35-28 & good for 56%.