Monday, November 27, 2017
Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens (NFL) - 8:30 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 7.5/-104 Houston Texans Pick Title: Mike's 8 Star MNF Smart Side (WIN)
It's very hard for me to put together reasons why to take Baltimore here as QB Joe Flacco has thrown 9 TD passes along with 11 INT's good for a 74.4 QBR.. The Ravens' "O" is rated 31st in the league! Baltimore is usually a good underdog. However, they will respond differently when installed as a TD+ favorite. Numbers support our cause since the Ravens bring to the table a weak 5-13-1 spread record in non-divisional games. It's no bargain siding with Houston's Tom Savage (4 TD passes-3 INT's) either whose 71.2 QBR is even lower than Flacco's. If the Texans can put a run game together with Lamar Miller (604 rushing yards & 2 TD's) versus Baltimore's 26th-ranked run defense along with finding the dangerous playmaking WR DeAndre Hopkins (62 catches for 879 receiving yards & 9 TD's) downfield, they can be in it to win it. My bottom line says these Ravens are up and down as witnessed by their 5-5 SU record. Their mediocre 2-2 SU record @ home speaks for itself. After their 40-0 shutout versus Miami, they proceeded to come back & lose to Tennessee 23-20. These 2 teams being equally in desperation mode aids our cause. In closing, The Purple & Black convert on 3rd down (32.9%) less than their defense yields (33.3%) which speaks louder than words when deciding a spread number. In the numbers also show a 21-7-2 ATS record for Houston after they accumulate 350 total yards in their previous game. Baltimore is just 1-4-1 ATS following a win by 14+ points. Even though the Ravens have won 9 straight prime time games SU, that record doesn't refer to as just a favorite. Let's make way to M&T Bank Stadium along side Camden Yards in Inner Harbor to play the HOUSTON TEXANS (buying to + 10 1/2) as my 8 Star MNF Smart Side!
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) - 8:30 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: -14.0/-107 Pittsburgh Steelers Pick Title: 9 Star Strongest Chalk On The Board (LOSS)
So you think the Packers are a cinch to cover the number this week? Think again! If you think getting shut out 23-0 by Baltimore last week (suffered just 3rd shutout in 25 years) was off the norm, get those mush thoughts right out of you head. Simply put, Green Bay is a big mess right now. Pittsburgh's OC Todd Haley & HC Mike Tomlin are licking their chops right now after seeing some many key defensive playmakers go down for the Green N' Gold. The Pack were already injury-riddled going into last week only to find that OLB Clay Matthews went down with a groin injury AND NT Kenny Clark went out with an ankle injury. Making things worse, their top draft pick this season CB Kevin King didn't play last week being out with an injured shoulder. The list goes on & on. Forced into duty & 3rd-year backup QB Brett Hundley was running for his life getting sacked 6 times while throwing 3 INT's last week. In 4+ games, Hundley has now 940 passing yards, a 2/7 TD/INT ratio, 60.8% completions, has 5.9 YPA, was sacked 17 times 7 has a QBR 40 points lower than Rodgers @ 63.3. A big reason for his decline is NOT getting key WR Jordy Nelson (6 TD receptions this year) involved. Since the Rodgers collarbone injury, Nelson has only accumulated 10 receptions with NO TD's. My bottom line says that the Pittsburgh secondary (12 INT's) will bait our so-called "rookie on the road" Hundley into mistakes & get more than a few 3 & outs. They'll be up against a Steelers' "D" that's 4th overall, 8th versus the rush, 3rd versus the pass, 2nd in sacks & has a low 33.3% yield on 3rd-down conversions. That's rare since the only other defenses that have a top 10 rating versus the pass & rush are Denver & Carolina. Green Bay's offensive line is 31st @ protecting the QB. On the flip side of the coin, the Pittsburgh O-line is 4th-best @ keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright which has them ranked in the top 10. WR's Antonio Brown (1,026 receiving yards & 6 TD's) & rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster (568 receiving yards & 5 TD's) are clicking right now. Adding to the mix WR Martavis Bryant (306 passing yards, 1 TD) & dual-threat RB Le'Veon Bell (886 rushing yards, 5 TD's, 308 passing yards) gives the Black & Gold heavy firepower. Motivation you ask? This is the 1st time since the Packers visited the Steelers since beating them 31-25 in the 2010 Super Bowl. The dagger for us has to be Green Bay having to live or die with mistake-prone Hundley. Throwing in 3rd-string backup & 2nd-year Joe Callahan from Wesley College is not an option they want to explore. Remember, Pittsburgh has already beaten a better Minnesota team 26-9 on this field. We're more than ready to go to Heinz Field to play the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (buying to a key advantage of -12 1/2) as my 9 Star Strongest Chalk On The Board!
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Arizona Cardinals (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -202 Jacksonville Jaguars Pick Title: 9 Star Real Dealer (LOSS)
The 7-3 SU Jaguars sometime come up ugly like against the Titans, Jets & Rams. But under the microscope reveals that 2 of those 3 were @ home. Jacksonville has traveled better than fairly well. In their travels, they've won convincingly 29-7 @ Houston in the opener, beat the Ravens 44-7 in London, dominated @ the Steelers 30-9 & most recently won an ugly affair 19-7 in Cleveland last week. QB Blake Bortles, who was the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, (2,084 passing yards, 58.4% completions, 12/7 TD/INT ratio, 6.6 YPA, sacked 16 times, 81.8 QBR) will only be asked to game-manage this one & let the Jaguars #1 defense (has given up less than 8 PPG their last 4) in the NFL do what they do best - make turnovers. Jacksonville is also #1 in sacks & is highly responsible for the team being a league-best +11 in turnover ratio. DC Todd Wash (was left on by new HC Doug Marrone) have the liberty of interchanging safeties & playing a lot of man coverages since DE Calais Campbell (team-leading 11 1/2 sacks) & DE Yannick Ngakoue (9 sacks) are the best defensive bookends in the league right now. They'll take on a struggling 4-6 SU Cardinals' offense that's a tad above 14 PPG their last 4 games. The Jags' "D" will put the clamps on leading receiver Larry Fitzgerald (69 catches for 768 receiving yards & 4 TD's) & force anyone else to beat them. It looks like Arizona's frustrations have also led to being undisciplined as reflected by 90 yards in penalties in Houston last week. My bottom line says 3rd-stringer Blaine Gabbert (ex-Jaguars QB that's 9-33 as a starter & in for the injured Drew Stanton) will be trying to do too much against this "D" which could be translated into forced turnovers. He's not been getting too much support from a weak ground game that's seen RB Adrian Peterson gain just 55 yards in his past 35 rushing attempts. Today's X-Factor has to be Jacksonville rookie RB Leonard Fournette out of L.S.U.. He should be a game-changer after the Cardinals' "D" wears down. Fournette (joined Fred Taylor last week being the only rookie RB's to have 4 or more 100-yard rushing games in team history) should be able to battle through an ankle injury that didn't hamper him too much last week when he rushed for 111 yards.With Tennessee favored to win in Indy, the Jags cannot afford to take this non-conference game lightly since they have a 1-game lead & end the regular season @ the Titans. In addition, look for Campbell to have an excellent day against his former team who let him go a few years back to free agency. Let's get ready for an ugly dog fight in this one @ University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale as we take the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS as my 9 Star Real Dealer!
NOTES: Still can't believe turned the ball over 3 TIMES! Despite their sloppy play on offense, they went down to the wire only to lose by a career-longest 57-yard FG by Dawson. We settled for a 2-2 week after Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger forgot to spend extra time in the film room again. The facts of committing 3 TO's @ home combined with Green Bay winning the TO war despite having an inexperienced QB really bucked tremendous odds. The Pitt "D" also took a step backwards. Will see if they were really looking ahead to Cincinnati this weekend. Nevertheless, we still remain 76% accurate since November 6th in the NFL. My 2017-18 NFL Overall Seasonal Record is: 37-30 for 55%.