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NFL Odds Week 14

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NFL WEEK 14 Odds

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

8:25 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
New Orleans +2.5 51.5 +121
Atlanta -2.5 -134

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Dallas -3.5 41.0 -197
NY Giants +3.5 +177
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Detroit
Tampa Bay
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
San Francisco +3.0 44.0 +129
Houston -3.0 -143
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Green Bay -3.5 40.0 -166
Cleveland +3.5 +150
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Oakland +4.0 48.5 +184
Kansas City -4.0 -205
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Indianapolis
Buffalo
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Minnesota -2.5 40.5 -143
Carolina +2.5 +129
1:00 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Chicago +6.5 38.5 +227
Cincinnati -6.5 -255
4:05 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Tennessee -3.0 44.0 -150
Arizona +3.0 +136
4:05 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Washington +6.0 46.5 +210
LA Chargers -6.0 -235
4:05 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
NY Jets -1.0 41.5 -110
Denver +1.0 -100
4:25 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Philadelphia +2.5 48.0 +118
LA Rams -2.5 -130
4:25 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Seattle +2.5 40.0 +122
Jacksonville -2.5 -135
8:30 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
Baltimore +5.0 44.0 +188
Pittsburgh -5.0 -210

Monday, December 11th, 2017

8:30 PM EST Spread Total Money Line
New England -11.0 47.0 -510
Miami +11.0 +431

NFL WEEK 14 Previews

New Orleans @ Atlanta

Falcons -2.5 Points

Over/Under 51.5 Points

With four games remaining and three in the NFC South Division, it is clear what the Atlanta Falcons must do. Win. Their first opportunity comes on Thursday night when they meet the division leader New Orleans at home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It is the first of two games between the two teams in a span of 17 days. They are two games that will also likely determine the postseason fate of the defending NFC champion Falcons.

Coming of a 14-9 loss to Minnesota last week, the Falcons are now 7-5, a game behind second-place Carolina and two games behinds the Saints (9-3). Atlanta had won three in a row prior to Sunday’s loss and the Falcons are hopeful they can get back to the kind of offense that helped them win those three games. Atlanta averaged 31.6 points a game during the three-game win streak, but ran into a buzz saw of a defense in Minnesota. Atlanta will have to improve on third down, an area where they were weak in the loss to the Vikings.

Head coach Dan Quinn certainly has the weapons to score points. Quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown for 3,057 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running backs Devonta Freeman (589 yards) and Tevin Coleman (561) are equally capable and WR Julio Jones (68 rec., 1,063 yds.) remains one of the best receivers in the game.

The Saints are equally skilled on offense with the NFL’s third-ranked pass and rush offenses and the third-best in terms of points per game. With Drew Brees (3,298 yards, 17 TDs) at quarterback, the Saints can beat you in the air. With the combination of Mark Ingram (922 yards) and rookie sensation Alvin Kamara (606 yards, 7 TDs), New Orleans can beat on the ground too. Where the Saints have really improved this season is on defense where New Orleans gives up just over 20 points a game.

Atlanta won both games in the series last season. Both were high-scoring affairs, 45-32 in New Orleans and 38-32 in Atlanta. The last time the Saints won in Atlanta was the final game of the 2015 season, a low-scoring 20-17 victory.

Philadelphia @ L.A. Rams

Rams -2 Points

Over/Under 48 Points

In a matchup of what could be a preview of the NFC Championship game, Philadelphia travels to Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Sunday. For the first time since Week 3 of the season, the Eagles will come into a game having lost the week before. The Eagles dropped a 24-10 decision to the Seahawks in Seattle last Sunday night. The Seattle defense slowed down Philadelphia just enough holding what was the league’s best rushing attack to just 98 yards on the ground. That will have to change against a very good Rams defense.

The Rams, now 9-3, beat Arizona last week 32-16 and, in the process, secured the franchise’s first winning season since 2003. The Rams lead the NFC West with a one-game lead over second-place Seattle. Facing Philadelphia on Sunday begins what is likely the toughest three-game stretch of the Rams’ schedule. After the Eagles, Los Angeles travels to Seattle and Tennessee. A victory over Philadelphia could go a long way in helping the Rams secure home-field advantage in the postseason.

If the Rams are going to beat the Eagles, it will be up to QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley once again. Goff has matured by leaps and bounds from a year ago. Last week, the second-year quarterback completed 21-for-31 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Gurley rushed for 74 yards and caught six passes for 84 more. While the offense leads the NFL in points per game (30.1), Philadelphia cannot forget about the Rams defense. Los Angeles holds opponents to just 18.5 points per game and has plenty of talent including LB Alec Ogletree who returned an errant Arizona pass for a touchdown in the win last week.

Philadelphia (10-2) also relies on its second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. Selected No. 2 last year right after Goff, Wentz has thrown for 3,005 yards and an NFL-best 29 touchdown passes. While he did throw for 348 yards against Seattle last week, Wentz was sacked three times, threw an interception, and fumbled the ball away once. Those types of mistakes cannot happen against a team as good as Los Angeles.

The two teams have not played each other since 2014. Philadelphia has won each of the last four meetings dating back to 2005. The last Rams’ win over the Eagles was in 2004 when the franchise was still in St. Louis.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -5 Points

Over/Under 43.5 Points

One thing is a definite in Sunday night’s Baltimore-Pittsburgh AFC North clash. The game will be physical. It is normally one of the most physical games in the NFL year-in and year-out. The Ravens travel to Pittsburgh on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Baltimore (7-5) currently holds one of the AFC’s two wild card spots and could surely use a victory to enhance its postseason position. Beating Pittsburgh is something easier said than done and the Steelers have won the last two games in the series.

Back in Week 4 of the season, Pittsburgh and RB Le’Veon Bell ran all over the Ravens in a 26-9 victory. Bell had 144 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Pittsburgh defense held Baltimore to just 288 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers, but the Ravens appear to be a much different team this late in the season.

The Ravens, always known as a strong defensive team, have watched their offense transform somewhat over the past few weeks. In last week’s 44-20 win over Detroit, the offense really blossomed as QB Joe Flacco threw for two touchdowns and RB Alex Collins scored twice on the ground. The Ravens will need that kind of output against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh (9-2) has the league’s leading rusher, Bell, and leading receiver in Antonio Brown (1,195 yards). The Steelers are dynamic on offense and if there is a better defense in the league than Baltimore, it’s Pittsburgh’s. The Steelers are fourth in the league in points allowed per game (17.5) and are third in the NFL in total defense giving opponents just 289.4 yards per game.

Prior to the previous two meetings, Baltimore had beaten Pittsburgh in six of seven games. The Ravens last won at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2015 winning 23-20 in overtime.

New England @ Miami

Patriots -10.5 Points

Over/Under 47.5 Points

It seems like they just played each other. The Patriots and Dolphins will meet for a second time in 15 days when they face each other on Monday night. New England won the first matchup 35-17 thanks to four touchdown passes from quarterback Tom Brady. Miami (5-7) did end a five-game losing streak last week when the Dolphins offense did something it’s not used to doing – score. Miami beat Denver 35-9 behind two touchdown passes from Jay Cutler and 120 yards rushing by RB Kenyan Drake.

Miami has struggled all year to run the ball and to score points. Even after the 35-point outburst and 145-yards rushing total against Denver, the Dolphins are still 26th in the NFL in scoring (17.3) and 29th in rushing yards per game (84.7). Those numbers do not strike fear into a defense like New England’s.

Since giving up 33 points in consecutive weeks early in the season, the Patriots defense has given up just 13.8 points per game during the team’s eight-game winning streak. Last week, New England did not surrender a touchdown beating Buffalo 23-3. The win, the Patriots’ tenth of the season, gave New England its 15th straight season of at least 10 wins. The victory also likely locked up a ninth straight AFC East crown.

For Miami to have any amount of success, they will need to control the football. That is something they do not do very well given their lack of a running game. To make matters worse, C Mike Pouncey is listed as questionable for Monday night’s game. Pouncey is Miami’s best offensive lineman.

New England has won the past three games in the series and five of the last six. Miami’s last win over the Patriots came at the end of the 2015 season. That 20-10 win happened in Miami, the site of Monday night’s game.

NFL WEEK 13 Previews

Washington @ Dallas

Redskins +1 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

One week after Thanksgiving and both Washington and Dallas are still alive in the playoff race albeit just barely. The Redskins at least enter this Thursday’s game coming off a win last week. Washington got two touchdown passes from QB Kirk Cousins and was thankful for having played one of the worst teams in the NFL, the New York Giants. The Giants were so bad they managed just 170 yards and did not score an offensive touchdown in a 20-10 Redskins win.

Dallas enters Thursday night’s rivalry game on the heels of a three-game losing streak. Since losing RB Ezekiel Elliott to suspension, the Cowboys have been in a downward spiral. The offense has managed a three-game total of 22 points. The defense has fared even worse. The Cowboys have given up 92 points to Atlanta, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Chargers. In the loss to the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day, Dallas surrendered 434 passing yards to QB Philip Rivers. Dallas is now 24th in the NFL in points allowed per game (24.5).

The team that is 25th in points allowed just happens to be Washington (25.1). Prior to the win over the Giants, the Redskins gave up 72 points in two weeks, 38 to Minnesota and 34 to New Orleans. Luckily, Washington will face its second straight opponent that is struggling offensively. Washington held the Giants to just 84 yards rushing and sacked QB Eli Manning four times.

Dallas has more problems than just Elliott, who will miss three more games before his return. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith has been out and that has caused big problems for QB Dak Prescott. If the Cowboys fail to score in double digits against Washington, they will find themselves in a four-game losing skid that will all but derail any hopes of a playoff berth.

The Cowboys won the first meeting of the season, a 33-19 victory at FedExField in October. Elliott rushed 33 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas has won the last three straight over Washington and five of the last six, but Elliott was a key in each of those wins.

Philadelphia @ Seattle

Eagles -5 Points

Over/Under 47.5 Points

The best team in the NFL continues to roll and faces what may be its toughest test of the regular season over the next two weeks. The 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles will commence a two-game West Coast road trip this week when they face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. The Eagles are a virtual lock for the NFC’s top seed in the postseason while the Seahawks have some work to do.

Seattle has a tough stretch of its own facing Philadelphia, Jacksonville, and NFC West Division leading Los Angeles in the next three weeks. The Seahawks will do it without two-fourths of its Legion of Boom secondary. Both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor are out for the season. Seattle got a win last week, but it was against now 1-10 San Francisco.

The Seahawks struggle in the running game and have been ever since Marshawn Lynch left the franchise. The team’s leading rusher is quarterback Russell Wilson (401 yards) and the team finally cracked 100 yards per game (102.9), but this week they go up against the NFL’s best rush defense. Philadelphia held Chicago to just six yards rushing last week and are holding opponents to an average of just 65 per game.

Seattle has won the last three games in the series with Philadelphia and that includes last year’s 26-15 win which was also at CenturyLink Field, site of Sunday’s game. The last time the Eagles beat the Seahawks was in 2008, a 26-7 win in Seattle, one of the tougher places to play in the NFL.

Philadelphia leads the league in scoring averaging 31.9 points a game. Its defense is third in points allowed per game (17.4) and the Eagles running game is among the best. Philadelphia running backs average 147.5 yards a game, good for second in the NFL.

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

Steelers -5.5 Points

Over/Under 43.5 Points

It is one of the ugliest rivals in the NFL. Every time the Steelers and Bengals get together, the game is physical and there are usually some fines levied. Expect it again as the 9-2 Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the 5-6 Bengals who, believe it or not, still have a shot at the postseason.

Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati the first time around this season and has, in fact, defeated the Bengals the last five times the two teams have played. Earlier this season, the Pittsburgh defense held the Bengals to just 179 total yards including just 71 on the ground. The Steelers sacked Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton four times and forced two interceptions in the 29-14 victory.

Pittsburgh has won six straight and is led by the NFL’s leading rusher, Le’Veon Bell, and the league’s leading receiver, Antonio Brown. Bell has 981 yards rushing and Brown has caught 80 passes for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns. The Steelers offense can beat you a number of ways and the defense, though it had trouble last week against Green Bay, is still one of the better units in the NFL. The Steelers give up just 17.5 points per game, which is fourth in the league.

Cincinnati will have to do something it hasn’t been real good at this season if they are to beat the Steelers – score. The Bengals average only 18.1 points per game (25th in the NFL). The offense isn’t very good at running the football. Cincinnati is 31st in the league in rushing averaging 75.6 yards per game and the passing game (198.6 yards per game, 28th) is not much better. The Bengals biggest weapon is WR A.J. Green who has 53 catches for 809 yards and six touchdowns. Cincinnati has won two straight, but those wins came over Denver, which is just 3-8, and Cleveland, which has still yet to win a game.

Carolina @ New Orleans

Panthers +4 Points

Over/Under 48 Points

The battle for control of the NFC South takes place Sunday in New Orleans as the Saints take on the streaking Carolina Panthers. Both teams sit at 8-3 and a victory gives the winner a one-game lead in the division race. Sunday’s game likely will serve as one of the deciding factors in who wins what is presumably the toughest division in the NFL. As it stands currently, the Saints, by virtue of their earlier win over Carolina, would win the division, and the Panthers and Falcons would be the NFC’s wild cards.

The Saints enter this week’s game coming off a tough 26-20 loss to the Rams. New Orleans had won eight in a row before last week’s loss. The New Orleans offense is as dynamic as they come with QB Drew Brees (third in the NFL in passing yards) and the running back trifecta of Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson, and rookie sensation Alvin Kamara. Ingram is the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 837 yards and Kamara has come on strong as of late. In the loss to the Rams, the Tennessee product rushed just five times but gained 87 yards and caught six passes for 101 more. He scored two touchdowns.

Carolina has won its last four games thanks, in part, to a return to what it does best. The Panthers have averaged 185 yards rushing in the last four games including two 200-yard-plus efforts. The defense has been effective but is still inconsistent at times. Head coach Ron Rivera’s unit gives up 18.8 points per game but has allowed 48 points in the last two games. If the Panthers are going to have a shot on Sunday, they are going to have to slow the Saints down.

For New Orleans, much of their success this season has been due to a much-improved defense. In the first meeting with Carolina, the Saints held the Panthers to 288 total yards and they forced three turnovers. Brees was a model of efficiency completing 22-of-29 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Carolina cannot allow that to happen again.

NFL WEEK 12 Previews

Houston @ Baltimore

Ravens -7 Points

Over/Under 38 Points

Coming off big wins a week ago, both Houston and Baltimore are still alive, even if barely, in the AFC postseason race. The Texans moved to 4-6 with their first win in four weeks when they beat Arizona, 31-21, last Sunday. Quarterback Tom Savage finally was competent enough to lead Houston to a victory, the first since starter Deshaun Watson went down with a knee injury. The Texans are still three games behind AFC South leader Jacksonville, but they are still in the hunt for a wild card just like Baltimore.

At 5-5, the Ravens currently occupy the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot. Baltimore forced five Green Bay turnovers last week en route to a 23-0 win over the Packers. The Ravens won despite gaining just 219 yards of total offense. Baltimore has the absolute worst passing attack – 165.2 yards per game – in the NFL, but when you play defense like the Ravens you have a chance. Baltimore is third in the league in points against giving up just 17.1 per game.

The Texans had one of the better defenses coming into the 2017 season but injuries have decimated the unit. Defensive end J.J. Watt and LB Whitney Mercilus have been out since early in the season and will not return. The once-formidable Texans now give up 26.2 points per game, 30th in the league.

Historically, Houston has not fared well against Baltimore. The two teams have played each other just nine times and the Ravens own seven victories. The Texans have won two of the last three meetings though. Houston won the last meeting in 2014 (25-13) but has never won in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. After facing Houston, the Ravens have a tough two-game stretch that will likely determine their playoff destiny. Baltimore takes on Detroit at home and then their rival the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Green Bay @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -14 Points

Over/Under 41.5 Points

Reeling after a 23-0 loss to Baltimore, Green Bay faces its second consecutive AFC North opponent, Pittsburgh which could very well be the best team in the conference. The Steelers are 8-2 and have won five straight. They have just one loss at home, to Jacksonville earlier in the season. The Packers enter Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field desperately needing a win. While not mathematically eliminated from the postseason, another loss will make the playoffs a virtual impossibility this season.

Backup quarterback Brett Hundley, now the team’s starter with the injury to Aaron Rodgers, was responsible for three of the Packers’ five turnovers last week in the loss to the Ravens. Hundley was a respectable 21-for-36 for 239 yards, but his three picks gave Baltimore short fields that the Ravens turned into points. If Hundley and the Packers do the same against Pittsburgh, they do not stand a chance.

The Pittsburgh defense is among the best in the NFL. The Steelers give up just 16.5 points per game, second-best in the league. In last week’s 40-17 victory over Tennessee, the Steelers defense held the Titans to 52 yards rushing, sacked Titans QB Marcus Mariota five times, and intercepted him on four occasions. If Hundley cannot deal with that kind of pressure, Green Bay is in for a long night.

Pittsburgh has won the last four regular season meetings with the Packers. The last was in 2013 at Lambeau Field where the Steelers scored a 38-31 win. The last time the teams played at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh won a close game, 37-36. Green Bay’s only win over Pittsburgh since 1998 came in 2011 in Super Bowl XLV. After starting the season 3-1, the Packers have gone 1-4 in their last five games. Their only win is over Chicago, which is 3-7 on the season.

NY Giants @ Washington

Redskins -7 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

The Washington Redskins need to figure out how to play defense, especially in the last two minutes of a half or game. The Redskins blew another shot at a win when they dropped a 34-31 decision to New Orleans last week. A Saints touchdown pass with just over a minute to play tied the game and Wil Lutz’s 28-yard field goal in overtime won it. It was the second consecutive loss for Washington and fourth in the past five games. Now, head coach Jay Gruden and company take on NFC East rival New York.

The Giants are coming off just their second win of the season, a 12-9 upset of Kansas City. The Chiefs turned the ball over three times and allowed a 23-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal late in overtime to give the Giants the win. As displayed in their victory, the Giants are not very good offensively. They could not convert the Kansas City miscues into touchdowns. The Giants running game is not good. They average 92 yards per game (26th in the NFL) and, as a result, score just 16 points per game, which is 30th in the league.

The Giants may be able to move the ball against Washington which is horrendous on defense. The Redskins give up 26.6 points per game (31st). Part of the defense’s troubles occur on third down in the final minutes of a half or game. Washington allows opponents to convert on third down 66.7 percent of the time in those situations. That is why the Redskins are now 4-6. The offense, led by QB Kirk Cousins (2,796 yards, 17 TDs), has scored 61 points over the past two weeks. The defense has given up 72.

The Giants won the last game in the series, 19-10, played at the end of last season. Washington has lost six of the last eight in the series. The Redskins last victory over the Giants at home at FedExField was during the 2015 season.

Minnesota @ Detroit

Vikings -3 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition in Detroit. The Lions will play host to the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. Detroit (6-4) has a chance to move within a game of the Vikings (8-2) with a victory. Matthew Stafford and the rest of the Lions will have to overcome a very stingy Minnesota defense in order to do so.

The Vikings held the best offense in the NFL to just seven points last week in a 24-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Minnesota held L.A. to just 254 total yards while gaining 451 of their own. Case Keenum has proved to be worthy of the Vikings quarterback job leading the team to victory once again. Keenum completed 27-of-38 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Rams.

One of the things that has helped Keenum is the Vikings running game which generated 171 yards last week. Latavius Murray had 95 yards and two touchdowns runs in the win over Los Angeles and the Vikings average 123.3 yards a game on the ground.

Defensively, Minnesota gives up just 17.2 points a game, which is fourth overall in points against. That defense will have to control one of the better offensive units in the NFL on Thursday. The Lions, winners of their last three straight, are averaging 27.1 points a game (5th in the NFL). Quarterback Matthew Stafford leads a very good passing attack with 2,760 yards and 19 touchdowns. Golden Tate is his No. 1 target (59 receptions, 691 yards), but the Lions run game needs to be better.

On the other side of the ball, the Detroit run defense needs to be better. The Lions defense has given up over 200 yards rushing in each of the past two weeks. Against opponents the quality of Minnesota, giving up that many yards on the ground is going to get you beat.

NFL WEEK 11 Previews

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -7 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

Two teams headed in similar directions meet on Thursday night to kick of Week 11 of the National Football League season. Tennessee (6-3) travels to Pittsburgh to take on the 7-2 Steelers. Both teams enter Thursday night’s game having won four straight and the winner will take another step toward winning their respective division. Pittsburgh is a full three games ahead of second-place Baltimore while the Titans are deadlocked with Jacksonville though they do own a victory over the Jags. Thursday’s winner also gets nearer a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage in the postseason.

For Pittsburgh, which had to rally to beat Indianapolis last week, it all revolves around a stingy defense and the play of QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell, and WR Antonio Brown. The Steelers defense is second in the league in points allowed per game (16.4). Pittsburgh has not surrendered more than 18 points in a single game the entire season. Bell leads the NFL in rushing with 840 yards and Brown is the league’s receiving yards leader with 882.

It will be up to the Titans defense to slow down the Pittsburgh trio. Tennessee does have one of the league’s better run defenses. The Titans are sixth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (91.9). The problem for Tennessee head coach Mike Mularkey, who played and coached for the Steelers, is in slowing down Bell, Brown, and Roethlisberger.

The Steelers will have their hands full with Titans QB Marcus Mariota, one of the game’s better young quarterbacks. Mariota has 1,783 passing yards and has been extremely efficient in the Titans last two wins over Baltimore and Cincinnati. The Pittsburgh defense will have to contend with a pretty good Tennessee running game that features DeMarco Murray (433 yards). The Titans are seventh in the league averaging 124.8 yards per game.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Eagles -3 Points

Over/Under 48 Points

It is the first of two meetings this season between NFC East rivals Philadelphia and Dallas as the teams meet on Sunday night in Week 11. The Eagles are the owners of the NFL’s best record at 8-1 and have won seven straight thanks to the league’s best run defense and second-best scoring offense. The Cowboys enter Sunday night coming off a loss to Atlanta and the loss of their star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott did not play against Atlanta and will miss the Cowboys’ next five games as he serves his league-mandated suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Without Elliott against the Falcons, the Dallas running game managed just 107 yards. More importantly, Dallas was without LT Tyron Smith who sat out the Atlanta game due to back and groin injuries. As a result, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was sacked eight times, six by Atlanta DE Adrian Clayborn.

Dallas will need to somehow run the football against the NFL’s best run defense. The Eagles give up a paltry 66.4 yards per game. Without an ability to run the football, the Philadelphia defense can line up and attack Prescott in the passing game.

Leading the NFL’s second-best scoring offense (31.4 points per game) is second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who has 2,262 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. He is helped by a powerful running game led by LeGarrette Blount (504 yards). The Eagles are fourth in the league in rushing (136.8 yards per game) and added Jay Ajayi to the mix. The former Miami running back had 77 yards on eight carries in his Eagles’ debut two weeks ago. The ability to run the football has made life much easier for Wentz who has proven to be worth the No. 2 overall draft pick from a year ago.

The Eagles have won two of the last three meetings with Dallas. Two of the past three games have gone to overtime, including the last game at AT&T Stadium, site of Sunday night’s game. The two teams will meet once more this season on Dec. 31 in Philadelphia.

Atlanta @ Seattle

Seahawks -3 Points

Over/Under 45 Points

The last time the Falcons and Seahawks played it was for a chance to play for an NFC championship. Atlanta rolled up 36 points and beat Seattle in the Georgia Dome in January before eventually moving on to Super Bowl 51. The Falcons are not nearly as strong on offense as they were a year ago. Atlanta is averaging just 21.3 points per game thus far this season, a far cry from the NFL’s best scoring offense of a year ago.

Still, the Falcons are dangerous as they proved in last week’s win over Dallas. Quarterback Matt Ryan was efficient going 22-for-29 for 215 yards and RB Tevin Coleman ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. It was the defense though that shined. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn had six of the Atlanta’s eight sacks in Atlanta’s 27-7 win. If the Falcons can get after Russell Wilson like that, they will have a shot at beating the Seahawks in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, CenturyLink Field.

Atlanta has won two of its last three games and has won five of the last seven games with Seattle. The Falcons have not won in Seattle since 2011. To do so, it will take pressure on Wilson which might be a little easier if OT Duane Brown is inactive. Brown left the Seahawks’ lineup in the team’s win over Arizona last week. The newly acquired left tackle has an ankle injury and if he cannot go that could spell trouble for Wilson and the Seahawks.

The Seattle offense revolves around Wilson who, in addition to throwing for 2,543 yards, is also the team’s leading rusher with 290. If not for Wilson, the Seahawks’ ground game would be nonexistent. Seattle averages 100.7 yards per game and if they cannot find a way to run against Atlanta, Clayborn and last year’s sack leader Vic Beasley will be primed and ready to put pressure on Wilson. The Seahawks are 6-3 and a game behind NFC West leader, the Los Angeles Rams.

L.A. Rams @ Minnesota

Vikings -2 Points

Over/Under 45.5 Points

Two surprising division leaders meet Sunday in Week 11 when the Los Angeles Rams travel to Minnesota. It’s been many years since the Rams of L.A. made a trip to play the Vikings in Minnesota. It was 1991 the last time that happened. The Vikings scored a 20-14 win at the old Metrodome. Things are much different this time around especially for the Rams.

It is likely no one expected the Rams to be this good. With a first-year head coach in Sean McVay – also the NFL’s youngest head coach of the modern era – anything better than the 4-12 mark that was put up last year would have been considered a success. Now, McVay and company are 7-2 and in control of the NFC West.

The Vikings, also 7-2, lead the NFC North normally controlled by the Green Bay Packers. With the injury to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, the division is wide open for the taking and head coach Mike Zimmer’s Vikings have done their best to take over. Minnesota has won five straight with a backup quarterback – Case Keenum – a solid running game, and very good defense. The Vikings defense will be challenged this week when they face the highest scoring offense in the NFL.

The Rams average 32.9 points per game led by second-year QB Jared Goff who continues to get better. Goff has thrown for 2,385 yards and is aided by a strong running game led by Todd Gurley (754 yards, 7 TDs). Robert Woods is the Rams’ leading receiver with 39 catches and 622 yards. The two times that the Vikings have faced excellent passing games, they lost. Minnesota lost in Week 2 to Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh and in Week 4 to Detroit and Matthew Stafford.

NFL WEEK 10 PREVIEWS

Seattle @ Arizona

Seahawks -6 Points

Over/Under 41.5 Points

With the Los Angeles Rams taking over sole control of the NFC West, both Seattle and Arizona cannot afford another division loss as the season heads into its second half. The two teams will start Week 10 with their matchup in Arizona on Thursday night. The Cardinals likely have the more difficult road to follow as they will have to navigate the rest of the season without starting quarterback Carson Palmer. Drew Stanton performed well last week in Palmer’s place, but it was the play of RB Adrian Peterson that caught the nation’s attention in Arizona’s win over San Francisco. Peterson carried the ball 37 times for 159 yards. If he continues to do that, it will take some pressure off of Stanton and the passing game.

The Seattle defense has been one of the league’s best during the tenure of head coach Pete Carroll and the unit has played well thus far this season. Minus last week’s game-winning drive and an outstanding performance by Houston rookie Deshaun Watson, the Seahawks’ defense has been one of the stingiest in the league. They are fifth in the NFL in scoring defense giving up 18.6 points per game. In last week’s 17-14 loss to Washington, Seattle allowed only 244 total yards but 16 penalties and three missed field goals proved to be the difference.

The Seahawks and Cardinals have had some epic battles in the past. Just last year on Christmas Eve, the Cardinals scored a 34-31 win at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Arizona has not beaten Seattle on their home field in its last four tries. That includes the 6-6 tie last October. The last time the Cardinals beat the Seahawks at home was a 20-16 win during the 2012 season.

New England @ Denver

Patriots -7.5 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

The Patriots-Broncos matchup has been one of the best in the NFL for the past several years. The 2017 version will not. The two teams enter Sunday’s game headed in opposite directions. The Broncos lost for the fourth straight time last week in convincing fashion, a 51-23 defeat at the hands of 8-1 Philadelphia. Now, first-year head coach Vance Joseph has to take on the defending Super Bowl champs at a time when the Patriots are red hot.

New England has won its last four games and had the benefit of a bye last week in order to prepare for Denver. The Patriots struggled early in the season especially on defense. Head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had serious issues in giving up 30-plus points in consecutive weeks. Over the course of the Patriots’ four-game win streak, the problems on defense seem to be resolved. New England has given up just 11.7 points per game in those last four wins.

Offensively, Tom Brady leads the NFL’s best passing offense. Brady has 2,541 yards passing and 16 touchdowns thus far this season. The Patriots have made up for the loss of WR Julian Edelman and are seventh in the league in scoring averaging 27 points a game.

Denver has had its share of issues on offense beginning with the quarterback. Trevor Siemian, who began the season as the starter, was benched in favor of Brock Osweiler in Week 9. Osweiler completed just 19-of-38 passes for 208 yards in the loss to Philadelphia. He was constantly pressured and didn’t receive any help from a running game that mustered a total of 35 yards. If Joseph and the Broncos don’t get that fixed, the rest of the season is going to be very long.

What was surprising in Week 9 was the Denver defense. One of the premier units in the NFL, the Broncos were torched for four touchdown passes by second-year Eagles QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles also ran for 197 yards amassing a total of 419. If the Broncos do not play well on defense, you can bet that they will lose again to the Patriots at home. New England won last year, 16-3, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.

Miami @ Carolina

Dolphins +10 Points

Over/Under 39.5 Points

The bottom is slowly giving out on the Miami Dolphins’ season. Somehow, they managed to start the season 4-2, but have lost two straight and now get into the most difficult stretch in their schedule. They will take on 6-3 Carolina on Monday night before facing the Patriots and Bills twice each before season’s end. Don’t forget a Christmas Eve date with AFC West leader Kansas City. It is highly possible that the Dolphins, current owners of the NFL’s worst offense, do not win again in 2017.

Last week, Miami squandered the best performance of the season by quarterback Jay Cutler and lost to Oakland 27-24. Cutler threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns, but the Dolphins committed 11 penalties and found a way to lose to the Raiders. The running game is virtually nonexistent. Miami averages 77.6 yards rushing per game, 30th in the NFL. Head coach Adam Gase’s offense is dead last in scoring (14.5 points per game).

The Dolphins take that offense up against a Carolina defense that is fourth in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.7). In last week’s win over Atlanta, the Panthers held the Falcons to just 53 yards on the ground while chalking up 201 of their own. QB Cam Newton had 86 yards on nine carries and rookie Christian McCaffrey gained 66 yards on 15 carries. Each scored a touchdown in the win.

The two teams have only met five times total. Miami won the first four, but Carolina won the last meeting back in 2013. The Panthers have won their last two games and they are just 2-2 at home this season. Both teams traded key players away last week before the trade deadline. The Dolphins got rid of leading rusher Jay Ajayi and Carolina traded leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

Dallas @ Atlanta

Falcons -3 Points

Over/Under 50.5 Points

The Dallas Cowboys are right back in the thick of the playoff hunt with three straight victories. Their fate is likely in the hands of the legal system as running back Ezekiel Elliott awaits a six-game suspension. He was able to play last Sunday in a win over Kansas City and appears to be a go for Sunday’s game against Atlanta. In each of the past three wins Elliott has been a factor rushing for over 100 in wins over San Francisco and Washington and then totaling 97 in the win over the Chiefs. If Dallas can run the football, good things will happen in Atlanta.

The Falcons (4-4) have lost four of their past five games, two of them by three points and another by six. The Atlanta pass rush has not been as fierce as last season when LB Vic Beasley led the league in sacks. So far, the Falcons have just 18 sacks total as a team and Beasley has just four to his name. Atlanta is just mediocre against the run giving up 114.5 yards per game (18th in the NFL) and if they can’t stop Elliott the Falcons are in trouble.

Atlanta has been somewhat of a nemesis for the Cowboys over the years. In the past six meetings between the two franchises dating back to 2001, the Falcons have won four times including the last two. Atlanta beat Dallas the last time the teams met in Atlanta back in 2012. Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards that day and the Falcons held Dallas to just 65 yards on the ground. If Atlanta can get a repeat of that performance, they can get themselves back into the NFC South race. New Orleans (6-2) and Carolina (6-3) are currently ahead of the Falcons.

NFL WEEK 9 PREVIEWS

Detroit @ Green Bay

Lions -2.5 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

A bye week was probably exactly what Green Bay needed last week. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in a loss to Minnesota and backup Brett Hundley didn’t look particularly comfortable in a loss to New Orleans. With a week to regroup, the Packers now get back to business against NFC North rival Detroit on Monday night.

Hundley, in his third year with Green Bay, showed his lack of experience in a 26-17 loss to the Saints. He was 12-for-25 for 87 yards. The former UCLA star threw one interception and was sacked once. What will help him against the Lions on Monday is a running game led by Aaron Jones who had 131 yards on 17 carries. The problem is that Detroit is fairly stout against the run giving up an average of 91.6 yards per game, which is seventh in the NFL.

The Lions defense is very opportunistic as well which has yielded 16 takeaways so far this season, which is tied for second-best in the league. Detroit already has more takeaways than its defense did in all of 2016. Still, the Lions have found a way to lose three straight after starting the season 3-1. Where the Lions have failed recently is on third down and in the red zone. In a 20-15 loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday night, Detroit was just 2-of-12 on third down and had to settle for five Matt Prater field goals when the offense had plenty of opportunities to score.

If that doesn’t change, the Lions may endure more pain at the hands of Green Bay. The Lions do not do very well at Lambeau Field, site of next Monday night’s game. In fact, Detroit has won exactly one game at the historic venue. That came in 2015. In the three games since that win, the Packers have won each time and have won 19 of the last 23 games played between the two teams. The big difference this time around will be the play of Hundley. He is not Rodgers, but if he doesn’t make mistakes Green Bay has a shot at winning at home.

Oakland @ Miami

Raiders -3 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

The Miami Dolphins have one of the worst offenses in the NFL and somehow they are 4-3. That offense is likely to get them in trouble though especially against the teams remaining on their schedule. Miami lost to Baltimore 40-0 last Thursday night. The Ravens held the Dolphins to just 196 total yards and backup quarterback Matt Moore was picked off twice and sacked three times. Moore was subbing for the injured Jay Cutler, who really hadn’t done that much better in guiding a Dolphins offense that is dead last in the league in scoring (13.1 points per game).

Now, the Dolphins must figure out their offensive woes quickly as they take on 3-5 Oakland, a 34-14 loser to Buffalo last week. The Raiders’ season has been a disappointing one after the success they had a year ago. Oakland has lost five of its last six games after starting the season with consecutive victories. Like Miami, the Raiders have had problems on offense. Even after acquiring RB Marshawn Lynch, the running game is a mess. Oakland rushes for just 88 yards per game, 26th in the league. It doesn’t help that the team’s turnover ratio is minus-6 after the Raiders turned the ball over four times on Sunday against the Bills.

It is truly amazing that Miami still has a winning record. Despite having a minus-60 point differential, the Dolphins have won four games against pretty decent competition. There are only four teams in the NFL with a point differential worse than Miami’s. Two of them have yet to win a game. Miami has been shutout in two games this season and if their performance continues, the Dolphins might not win again. They still must face New England and Buffalo twice each.

The key to Sunday night’s game might be Oakland QB Derek Carr. Carr has 1,654 yards passing and 12 touchdowns. He has had to carry the Raiders’ offense at times and he is capable of doing so. There is talk that Cutler, who is still listed as ‘Out,’ may be back and ready to play against the Raiders. If so, the Dolphins offense might fare a little better.

If history is any indication, the Dolphins might somehow get to 5-3. Miami has beaten Oakland in five straight meetings (and eight of the last nine) between the two teams. The last time the Raiders beat the Dolphins was in 2007, a 35-17 victory that, ironically, was played in Miami.

Kansas City @ Dallas

PK

Over/Under 51.5 Points

The Dallas Cowboys reminded the NFL that they indeed are a team to be reckoned with in consecutive wins over San Francisco and Washington just last week. The Cowboys’ offense mustered up 73 points while the defense gave up just 29. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is still dodging suspension, has come through big in both games rushing for over 100 yards in each as well as scoring a pair of touchdowns in both games.

Elliott is the key to the Dallas offense which is now second in the NFL in rushing and fifth in scoring (28.3). Elliott ran for 150 against the 49ers and 147 in last week’s win over rival Washington, a win that gives the Cowboys a one-game advantage over the Redskins in the NFC East Division. The Cowboys running back is now third in the NFL in rushing with 690 yards. Elliott will surely be one of the keys as Dallas takes on Kansas City this Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs have struggled recently dropping two straight to Pittsburgh and Oakland. Defensively, the Chiefs aren’t as strong as they should be for a division leader. Head coach Andy Reid’s defense might have trouble containing Elliott. The Chiefs are 26th in the NFL against the run giving up an average of 124.6 yards per game. In the loss to Pittsburgh, Kansas City gave up 194 yards on the ground, 179 of them to the NFL’s leading rusher Le’Veon Bell.

The two teams have not played since the 2013 season when Dallas traveled to Arrowhead Stadium and lost to the Chiefs 17-16. The last time the two teams played in Texas, the Cowboys were 31-28 winners in the old Texas Stadium back in 2005. Chiefs’ sack leader LB Justin Houston is listed as questionable as is Dallas WR Cole Beasley.

Buffalo @ NY Jets

Bills -3 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

The Buffalo Bills can move into a tie for first place in the AFC East with a win over the New York Jets on Thursday night. A Bills (5-2) victory would tie them with New England, a team Buffalo will face twice in December. First-year head coach Sean McDermott and the Bills have won four of their last five games including last week’s 34-14 beat down of the Oakland Raiders. The Jets? They are just trying to prove they are not the worst team in the NFL.

The Jets were doing a good job of showing the NFL that they were not tanking the season when they started out 3-2. Since then, things haven’t gone so well for the Jets, losers of three straight albeit by a touchdown or less. New York is about as mediocre as a team can get. The Jets rank 20th through 25th in most every single statistical category, both on offense and defense. With three straight losses under their belt, a fourth straight might cause the Jets to implode. After the Bills, New York will still face the likes of Kansas City, New Orleans, Denver, and New England for a second time.

What the Jets will have to do on Thursday to have any chance of an upset is to slow down the Bills’ running game. It’s no secret that McDermott and the Buffalo offense like to turn around and hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy. Buffalo averages just under 125 yards rushing per game and their defense is one of the league’s best. The Bills are third against the run (80.1 yards per game) and third in scoring defense (16.4 points per game). When you play good defense and run the ball in the NFL, good things usually happen. If they happen on Thursday night, Buffalo will enjoy its status as a division leader and the Bills will be that much closer to ending an 18-year playoff drought.

Buffalo beat the Jets in the season opener 21-12. McCoy rushed for 110 yards and the Buffalo defense limited New York to just 214 yards total. It was Buffalo’s first win over the Jets in three tries. The Jets won both games last season. Those are the only two Jets’ victories over the Bills since 2013.

NFL WEEK 8 PREVIEWS

Houston @ Seattle

Texans +5.5 Points

Over/Under 45.5 Points

The Houston Texans need to find a way to beat good football teams. They have three wins thus far over teams with a combined 6-14 record. Other than their win over 4-3 Tennessee, the Texans have not been all that impressive. Now, they head to one of the toughest places to play in the National Football League – Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks have won three straight and their defense is once again the NFL’s best. Seattle is allowing a league-low 15.7 points per game. Anytime you have a defense that can prevent opponents from scoring, you have a chance. The Seahawks offense has not been outstanding, but quarterback Russell Wilson (1,556 yards passing, 11 TDs) has done enough to generate four wins. The running game still needs some work, but Seattle will be in every game because of its defense.

Houston (3-3) has found its quarterback of the future in rookie Deshaun Watson. He has been aided by a running game that is third in the NFL (137.7 yards per game). The one-two punch of D’onta Freeman and Lamar Miller has helped the Texans rank third in scoring offense in the NFL (29.2 points per game). After putting up just 20 points in the first two games of the season, Houston has scored 157 in its last four games.

Houston has never beaten the Seahawks in Seattle. The two teams have only played three times in NFL history. Seattle has won two including the only game played in Seattle. That was back in 2005 when Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander ran for 141 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-10 Seattle victory.

Dallas @ Washington

Cowboys -2 Points

Over/Under 50.5 Points

After two straight losses, Dallas rebounded with a 40-10 victory over winless San Francisco. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott totaled 219 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Head coach Jason Garrett will have his star for at least one more week while the legal system deals with his suspension. That means the Cowboys will have Elliott when they take on NFC East rival Washington on Sunday.

The Redskins will have not only Elliott to deal with, but also the rest of the Dallas offense. Quarterback Dak Prescott has 1,426 yards and 14 touchdowns thus far this season. He became just the second Cowboys quarterback to register three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the same game with his performance last week against the 49ers. The Dallas running game is second in the NFL averaging 147.5 yards per game and if not Elliott (540 yards), the Cowboys also have former Redskins 1,000-yard rusher Alfred Morris.

A win by either team puts the winner back into contention for a division title with Philadelphia. The loser is still in it but has an uphill battle to make it to the postseason. The Redskins are led by QB Kirk Cousins who is once again enjoying a productive season. Cousins has 1,334 yards passing through just five games. Entering their sixth game, the Redskins only two losses have come to NFC East leader Philadelphia and AFC West leader Kansas City.

Dallas won both games with the Redskins last season. Both games were close decided by five points or less. The Cowboys have had somewhat of a hold on the series between the two long-time rivals. Dallas has won four of the last five and six of the past eight meetings. Sunday’s game takes place at FedEx Field where the Cowboys have won the last four games between the two teams.

Pittsburgh @ Detroit

Steelers -3 Points

Over/Under 45 Points

It’s probably a good thing that the Detroit Lions had an extra week to prepare for their next opponent, the 5-2 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Lions have given up 79 points in their last two games, both losses, and are in desperate need of a win. At 3-3, Detroit is right in the thick of the NFC North race which is up for grabs now that Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out for at least eight weeks.

Detroit will play host to the Steelers, a 29-14 winner over AFC North foe Cincinnati last week. The Steelers are solid on both sides of the ball with a defense that ranks third in the NFL in scoring (16.6 points per game) and an offense that features QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell, and WR Antonio Brown. Bell ran for 134 yards in the win over Cincinnati, Brown caught a touchdown, and Roethlisberger threw a pair of scoring passes. Bell is second in the NFL in rushing (684 yards) while Brown leads the league in receiving yards with 765.

The Lions defense, which was a big reason for the team’s 3-1 start to the season, has faltered in recent weeks and head coach Jim Caldwell hopes the bye week will help the unit regroup. Detroit is third in the NFL in takeaways with 14 on the season. Nine of those are interceptions and if the Detroit defense can force turnovers against Pittsburgh, the Lions will have a shot at a victory.

The Lions have never beaten Pittsburgh at Ford Field. The two teams have only played once there back in 2009 when the Steelers claimed a 28-20 win. Pittsburgh has won the last four over Detroit. The Lions last win over the Steelers was in 1998 in the team’s old home, the Pontiac Silverdome.

Denver @ Kansas City

Broncos +7 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

It’s an old AFC West rivalry that dates back to the days of the AFL. Denver travels to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on Monday night. Both teams have lost each of their last two games. Kansas City was unbeaten at 5-0 before losing to Pittsburgh at home and then Oakland on a last-second Raiders touchdown. Head coach Andy Reid needs his defense to step up and deliver. The Chiefs’ offense is second in the NFL in scoring (29.6 points per game), but the defense gave up 31 in its loss to Oakland and 34 in its last victory over Houston. Super Bowl contenders do not normally give up 23 points per game as the Chiefs are currently.

Denver (3-3) has now lost three of its last four games and last Sunday failed to score for the first time in over 20-plus seasons. The Broncos were shutout by the Los Angeles Chargers 21-0 last week. It was the first time since the 1992 season that Denver failed to score. The Chargers defense limited Denver to just 69 yards rushing and sacked quarterback Trevor Siemian five times.

Monday night will be the first of two games against the Chiefs this season. The two teams will meet in the season finale, a game that could determine the division winner and who gets into the postseason. The Broncos desperately need a victory and if history has any say Denver has a great chance of handing the Chiefs their third straight loss.

While Kansas City has beaten Denver the last three times the two teams have played, prior to that Denver won seven in a row. Prior to meeting last Christmas Day at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the Broncos had won five in a row on the Chiefs’ home turf. For that to happen, the Broncos are going to have to get production from Siemian as well as their running game. The Denver defense is ninth in the league in scoring defense (19.7 points per game) and will have its hands full trying to slow down one of the most dynamic offenses in football.

NFL WEEK 7 PREVIEWS

Kansas City @ Oakland

Chiefs -3 Points

Over/Under 46.5 Points

Thursday night’s AFC West Division rivalry game starts off Week 7. Kansas City, which was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten by Pittsburgh, travels to Oakland to take on the beleaguered Raiders. After winning their first two games of the season, Oakland has dropped four straight to fall to 2-4. Quarterback Derek Carr, who missed two games, returned last week but the Raiders gave up a last-second field goal and lost 17-16 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The once explosive Oakland offense has been nothing like what it was a year ago. The running game is awful averaging just 93.7 yards a game, 24th in the NFL. The lack of consistency running the football has affected the passing game too which is 26th (184.7 yards per game) in the league. Not having Carr for two games hurt, but in his return last Sunday Carr threw for just 171 yards, threw two interceptions and was sacked once. That kind of performance isn’t going to cut it against the Chiefs (5-1).

Kansas City won five in a row before running into a defense that has given them trouble for the past several years. The Chiefs’ offense, which was No. 1 in the NFL in points per game, managed just 13 on Sunday. Head coach Andy Reid and company still had a shot to win in the fourth quarter but the offense just didn’t produce. The NFL’s leading rusher, rookie Kareem Hunt, was held to just 21 yards on nine carries against the Steelers. He will need to be much better against Oakland.

The Chiefs have won the last five consecutive meetings with the Raiders, including the last two at the Oakland County Coliseum. The Raiders last win over Kansas City was in November of 2014 when Oakland won 24-20 at home. Chiefs RB Charcandrick West and WR Tyreek Hill are listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game.

Atlanta @ New England

Patriots -3 Points

Over/Under 55 Points

After a 3-0 start to the 2017 season, the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons have dropped two consecutive games. Ironically, both losses have come to AFC East teams. The Falcons will face their third straight AFC East opponent on Sunday night in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. Atlanta travels to New England to avenge last year’s defeat. The offense is going to have to be much better if the Falcons plan on having a legitimate shot to win.

So far this season, the dynamic Atlanta offense has been mediocre at best. Quarterback Matt Ryan and company average 24.2 points per game, but they are not the same Falcons offense from a year ago. Devonta Freeman leads the team in rushing with 353 yards and Tevin Coleman has added another 213, but wide receiver Julio Jones, one of the game’s greats, has yet to score a touchdown. Jones has 25 receptions and 367 yards, but he has had only three catches that have produced 20 yards or more and has not been to the end zone. That must change.

The Patriots have fixed some of their defensive troubles that plagued them earlier in the season. New England is still 30th in the NFL in points allowed per game (26.5), which is hard to believe. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s unit has played well the past two weeks, but they must continue to get better as the season progresses.

Offensively, quarterback Tom Brady is playing as if he were in his 20s again. He has thrown for 1,959 yards and 13 touchdowns thus far this season. The New England passing game is first in the NFL (309.8 yards per game) and the running game, led by Mike Gillislee’s 290 yards and four touchdowns, is just good enough to be dangerous.

The Patriots did have trouble with Kansas City and Carolina, which both feature multiple weapons on offense. Atlanta is similar with both Freeman and Coleman in the backfield and Jones on the outside. If New England allows Ryan and his cast to have success, the Patriots could be in for a long night. Atlanta needs some success. Sunday night’s game is the first of three consecutive road games.

Washington @ Philadelphia

Eagles -4.5 Points

Over/Under 48.5 Points

The Philadelphia Eagles proved they were for real with a 28-23 win over Carolina last Thursday. Now, they must do it again against NFC East Division rival Washington. The Eagles (5-1) beat the Redskins in the season opener, 30-17, behind a great effort from QB Carson Wentz who seems to get better every week. A victory for Philadelphia would complete a season sweep of the Redskins for the first time since the 2013 season.

Wentz was pressured all night by Carolina last week but still managed to throw for 222 yards and three Eagles’ touchdowns. The second-year pro out of North Dakota State has thrown for 1,584 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He is helped by a ground game that generates 132.5 yards per game, the fifth-best rushing unit in the league. LeGarrette Blount leads the Eagles with 390 yards on the ground. The ability to run the football has taken some of the pressure off of Wentz.

On the other side of the ball, the Eagles’ defense is the NFL’s best against the run. Philadelphia allows opponents just 65.7 yards rushing per game. When opponents can’t run the ball, the Eagles are able to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks like they did the first time around in Washington. Philadelphia held the Redskins to just 64 yards rushing and Eagles’ DE Brandon Graham had 3.5 of the 4.0 sacks on Washington QB Kirk Cousins. Cousins did throw for 240 yards and a touchdown, but the constant harassment by Philadelphia forced the Washington quarterback to throw an interception and fumble the ball twice. If the Eagles repeat that performance, they will take a three-game lead in the NFC East with a win over the Redskins.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -5.5 Points

Over/Under 41.5 Points

When all seemed lost for the Cincinnati Bengals, head coach Marvin Lewis’s team responded with consecutive victories over Cleveland and Buffalo. With an extra week of preparation, Cincinnati now heads to AFC North Division rival Pittsburgh, a team that has had trouble with recently. The Bengals have lost four straight games to the Steelers including that AFC Wild Card game at the end of the 2015 season. Winning at Heinz Field is something that is difficult for any team, but the Bengals did win there in 2015.

The Bengals’ offense has not been as productive as it has in years past. The run game is 28th in the NFL (84 yards per game) and the Bengals score just under 17 points per game. It won’t get any easier for Cincinnati as they will play the rest of the season without TE Tyler Eifert who will have back surgery. What has helped Lewis and company get two wins this season is a defense that is second in the league in points allowed per game, 16.6. Defense will be the key if the Bengals are to have a shot at beating the Steelers on Sunday.

The Steelers (4-2) have been a model of inconsistency picking up solid wins over Baltimore and previously unbeaten Kansas City last week, then losing games to Chicago and Jacksonville. Last week, the Steelers defense limited NFL leading rusher Kareem Hunt to just 21 yards on nine attempts in a 19-13 victory over the Chiefs. Pittsburgh’s Killer B’s – QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell, and WR Antonio Brown – have been solid so far this season. Roethlisberger has 1,521 yards passing and seven touchdowns. Bell has 550 rushing yards and four touchdowns and Brown has 48 catches for 700 yards. If the three get loose against Cincinnati, look out.

NFL WEEK 6 PREVIEWS

NY Giants @ Denver

Broncos -11.5 Points

Over/Under 39.5 Points

Somehow, the New York Giants’ season just keeps getting worse. The Giants were 0-4 heading into last week’s game against the Chargers, also 0-4, when things took another tumble. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a fractured ankle and he will likely miss the remainder of the regular season. Yes, the Giants lost, 27-22, for their fifth straight defeat of the season. This is fresh off an 11-5 year in which the Giants earned a wild card. Now, they head to Denver to face the 3-1 Broncos who are coming off a bye week.

The problems on offense for New York stem from an inability to run the football. The Giants average 77.8 rushing yards per game, 30th in the NFL. Without the ability to run the ball, teams can rush QB Eli Manning and the results produce just 16 points per game for the Giants. With their best offensive player now out, things might even get worse. If Beckham’s injury wasn’t enough, receivers Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard both left last Sunday’s game with ankle injuries.

For Denver, running the football has helped QB Trevor Siemian to grow up in the Broncos offense. Denver averages 143 yards per game and RB C.J. Anderson is fourth the league in rushing with 330 yards. Siemian has been efficient completing 62.7 percent of his passes and has thrown more touchdowns (7) than interceptions (4).

The Denver defense appears to be back to Super Bowl form yielding just 260.8 total yards per game, tops in the NFL. Teams average just 50.8 rushing yards against the Broncos. That is not what the Giants want to hear, but if Manning is going to have any success they will have to find a way to run the ball.

Denver has beaten the Giants three of the past four times the two teams have met. They last played in 2013 when Denver scored a 41-23 win at MetLife Stadium.

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

Chiefs -5 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

The last remaining unbeaten in the NFL gets a rematch of its divisional playoff game last season when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. The Steelers came to Kansas City last year and earned an 18-16 victory and a trip to the AFC championship. Now, Pittsburgh comes to Arrowhead on the heels of a huge loss to Jacksonville in Week 5.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions last week and two were returned by Jacksonville for touchdowns in a 30-9 loss. When Roethlisberger throws picks, the Steelers lose. It’s pretty simple for Pittsburgh. Don’t turn the ball over and the Steelers will have a chance for success.

The Chiefs have the NFL’s best offense right now averaging 32.8 points per game. They can thank the league’s second-best rushing attack for that. Rookie Kareem Hunt has been spectacular rushing for 609 yards and four touchdowns. He also 16 receptions for 166 yards and two more scores. Hunt, WR Tyreek Hill (356 yards, 2 TDs), and QB Alex Smith (1,391 yards, 11 TDs) have led Kansas City to its best start in recent years.

The bad news for the Chiefs is that they may be without TE Travis Kelce and WR Chris Conley was lost for the season when he tore his Achilles tendon last week. Kelce will have to pass the league’s concussion protocol in order to play this week. He suffered a hard hit in the second quarter of last week’s win over Houston.

The Chiefs defense has been suspect at times. They did give up 34 points last week to the Texans and Pittsburgh has the kinds of weapons that can put up points by the dozens. Running back Le’Veon Bell (371 yards) and WR Antonio Brown (545 yards receiving) have been relatively quiet thus far this season. The Kansas City defense will have to keep them quiet.

The two teams have played in each of the last three regular seasons. Pittsburgh is 2-1, but both victories came at home. The Steelers lost at Arrowhead 23-13 back in 2015.

Philadelphia @ Carolina

Panthers -3 Points

Over/Under 45.5 Points

On Thursday night, the Eagles and Panthers will get to challenge each other for NFC supremacy. Both teams enter Thursday with 4-1 records. Carolina is coming off back-to-back impressive victories over the Patriots (33-30) and the Lions (27-24). The Panthers defense is solid and QB Cam Newton is on a roll.

Philadelphia’s only loss thus far is to the NFL’s only unbeaten, Kansas City, back in Week 2. The Eagles have three consecutive wins thanks to the improved play of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. Last year’s No. 2 overall pick has 1,362 yards passing and 10 touchdowns so far. In last week’s 34-7 win over Arizona, Wentz threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns.

What has really helped Wentz’s development is an Eagles running game that is fifth in the NFL averaging 138.8 yards per game. Leading the way is LeGarrette Blount who has 323 yards rushing. Wentz’s go-to receiver has been TE Zach Ertz who has 32 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns. The Carolina defense will have its hands full trying to stop the Philadelphia offense.

Carolina could take a page from the Eagles’ playbook and do a better job of running the ball. The Panthers only ran for 28 yards in their win over Detroit last week. Newton more than made up for it with 355 yards passing and three touchdowns. It’s not that the Panthers lack talent. They have the dynamic rookie Christian McCaffrey as well as wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin (team-high 272 yards) and Devin Funchess (team-high 3 TDs). Even tight end Ed Dickson (11 catches, 271 yards) has done an admirable job in replacing injured Greg Olsen.

The Panthers defense is why Carolina is 4-1. Julius Peppers leads the team with 5.5 sacks and Kawaan Short and Mario Addison each have three. Carolina is third overall in the league giving up just 274 total yards per game and eighth in scoring defense yielding 18.8 points.

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

Titans -1.5 Points

Over/Under 46.5 Points

If not for the gracious gods of scheduling, it is highly likely that the Indianapolis Colts would be winless heading into Week 6. As is stands, the Colts, who possess the NFL’s worst defense, are 2-3 and will battle for positioning in the competitive AFC South Division when they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans on Monday night. Tennessee, also 2-3, will probably have to play again without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota who is nursing a hamstring injury.

The Colts, who give up an NFL-worst 31.8 points per game, were lucky enough to face Cleveland and San Francisco in the first five weeks of the season. Both are winless thus far this season and represent the Colts only two wins. Indianapolis almost gave away last week’s game to the 49ers, but rookie RB Marlon Mack, who had 91 yards rushing, set up an Adam Vinatieri 51-yard field goal to earn the victory in overtime.

Indianapolis has its own quarterback problems starting Jacoby Brissett in place of the injured Andrew Luck. Brissett played well in the win over San Francisco throwing for 314 yards and a touchdown. Without Luck, the Colts offense has been lackluster scoring just 19.4 points per game (22nd in the NFL).

For Tennessee, they will have to make do with Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Titans have lost consecutive games and have scored just 24 points total in the two losses. It would help if the normally strong Titans running game could take some of the pressure off of Cassel. Tennessee is ninth in the league in rushing offense averaging 124.8 yards per game. Last week in a 16-10 loss to Miami, the Titans managed just 69 yards on the ground.

To make matters worse for Tennessee, the Titans have lost 11 straight to the Colts. The Titans last win over Indianapolis was in 2011. It is the only Tennessee win over the Colts since the end of the 2008 season.

NFL WEEK 5 PREVIEWS

Minnesota @ Chicago

Vikings -3.5 Points

Over/Under 46.5 Points

The NFC North Division matchup between rivals Minnesota and Chicago on Monday night will also mark the first start for Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. After an awful showing last week in a 35-14 loss to Green Bay, Mike Glennon was officially benched by head coach John Fox. In the loss to Green Bay, Glennon’s passing numbers weren’t all that bad – 21-for-33 for 218 yards and a touchdown – but his inability to keep control of the football was the deciding factor. Glennon threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball away twice against the Packers. For the season, the former Tampa Bay draft pick has five interceptions and five lost fumbles.

Only three other quarterbacks drafted in the first round made their NFL debuts on Monday night. Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers were winners in their first game while University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh lost his first NFL start, which ironically came as a member of the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings are coming off a 14-7 loss to Detroit. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook had 66 yards on 13 carries before leaving the game in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury. It is possible that Cook suffered a torn ACL. If that is the case, he will be done for the season. Backup QB Case Keenum started in place of Sam Bradford once again and was adequate (16-of-30, 219 yards). Bradford’s status is still unclear and Keenum will likely start again in Chicago.

The Bears have just one win thus far this season. It was a good one too, a 23-17 upset of the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bears ran for 222 yards in that victory and will need that kind of production against Minnesota to keep the pressure off of Trubisky. Jordan Howard, the team’s leading rusher had 140 yards on 23 carries against the Steelers. Howard, in his second season, has 252 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

Kansas City @ Houston

Chiefs -1 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

It could be an offensive outburst next Sunday night when Kansas City heads to Houston. The Texans, which started the season scoring just 20 points in its first two games, have erupted for 90 over the past two weeks. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has played the two best games of his young career and Houston head coach Bill O’Brien just might have something special brewing.

On the other end, Kansas City might have the most dynamic offense in the entire league. At times, the Chiefs look like a college team running a number of zone read-type plays and all sorts of trickery, even lining up TE Travis Kelce at quarterback on occasion. The Chiefs lead the NFL in rushing thanks to the addition of first-round draft pick Kareem Hunt. Through three games, Hunt had 401 yards on the ground to lead the league and he has accounted for six total touchdowns. Hunt is also the first player in NFL history to have three 50-yard-plus touchdown plays in the first three games of his NFL career.

Watson put his talents on display last week in a 57-14 drubbing of Tennessee. Watson connected on 25-of-34 passes, threw four touchdown passes, and ran for one more. Watson was not the only Texan who was lighting it up. The Houston offensive line paved the way for the Texans to rush for 173 yards led by 75 by Lamar Miller. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 10 receptions for 107 yards a touchdown.

While Kansas City is third in the league in scoring (31.0 points per game), the Texans are fourth at 27.5. The team that gets after the quarterback better will likely have the advantage. Houston will have to keep Kansas City LB Justin Houston (4.0 sacks) and DE Chris Jones (3.0) away from Watson.

Green Bay @ Dallas

Cowboys -2 Points

Over/Under 52.5 Points

The Green Bay Packers (3-1) are on a roll. They have won their last two games over Cincinnati and Chicago but now must face the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium this Sunday. The Packers hold a slim 18-17 lead in the series between the two teams thanks to last year’s 34-31 victory in an NFC Divisional Playoff game. Head coach Mike McCarthy and company are riding the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers who has 1,146 passing yards and 10 touchdowns thus far this season. If the Packers are going to make a legitimate case for an NFC title, they are going to have to find a way to run the football.

Running the football is something Dallas (2-2) does pretty well, though they are not on the same pace as they were last year. Second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott has 277 yards rushing through four games and the Cowboys are averaging 114.3 yards per game (14th in the NFL). In last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys’ running game really clicked as it rushed for 189 yards. Elliott has 85 and Alfred Morris added 76 on just two carries.

Green Bay has won six of the last seven meetings with Dallas. In addition to last year’s playoff victory, the Packers won at AT&T Stadium during the 2013 season. For Green Bay to win, it is going to have to stop the run. Currently, the Packers are 19th in the NFL giving up 111 rushing yards per game. Dallas is going to have to hold on to the football. Ryan Switzer’s fumble on a punt return was one of the key turning points in the Cowboys loss to the Rams last week.

New England @ Tampa Bay

Patriots -5 Points

Over/Under 56 Points

One of the biggest surprises of the young 2017 NFL season is the demise of the New England Patriots defense. After a season in which defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s defense led the league in points allowed per game, the Patriots are 31st through four weeks. The 33-30 loss to Carolina last week marked just the second time in franchise history that New England gave up 30 or more points in consecutive weeks. Head coach Bill Belichick’s unit is giving up an uncharacteristic 31 points per game and it needs to stop. New England heads to Tampa Bay this Thursday night.

The Patriots are 2-2 and in danger of letting their hopes for defending their Lombardi Trophy slip away. New England’s offense continues to shine as QB Tom Brady leads the league in passing (1,399 yards). The Patriots lead the NFL in passing (328.3 yards per game) and are second in scoring (32.3 points per game). They have scored 30 or more points in all of their games but one.

New England’s defense now faces the NFL’s third-best passing offense in Tampa Bay. Quarterback Jameis Winston is coming off his best game this season in a 25-23 win over the New York Giants. Winston completed 22-of-38 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriots cannot allow him to have too much success on Thursday if they plan on coming home with a win.

Tampa Bay is 2-0 at home this season and have not beaten New England since 2000. The Patriots have won the last three meetings between the two teams in 2013, 2009, and 2005. Tampa Bay won at home against New England in 1997, a 27-7 victory over the Patriots. If the Bucs offense puts up four scores or more, it is likely they could pull the upset.

 

NFL WEEK 4 PREVIEWS

Washington @ Kansas City

Chiefs -7 Points

Over/Under 49.5 Points
The AFC’s last remaining unbeaten welcomes the 2-1 Washington Redskins to Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night. Kansas City appears to have the offensive weapons to take on anyone in the NFL. The Chiefs are coming off a 24-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, the third straight game in which rookie RB Kareem Hunt has proved he is worthy of the league’s Rookie of the Year award. Hunt rushed for 172 yards on 17 carries. He became the first player in NFL history with three 50-yard-plus runs in the first three games of his career.

Hunt leads the NFL with 401 yards rushing, but he is not the only Chiefs’ offensive weapon. The speedy Tyreek Hill has 16 receptions for 253 yards and two scores and TE Travis Kelce has 14 catches and one touchdown. Kelce has even lined up at quarterback in certain situations as Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy has put together one of the most unique offenses in the NFL.

The Redskins fell to Philadelphia in Week 1 but followed that up with two consecutive wins including last week’s very impressive victory over the Oakland Raiders. Washington QB Kirk Cousins completed 25-of-30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns. The Redskins defense also played well sacking Raiders QB Derek Carr four times and picking him off twice.

The Chiefs and Redskins have only played each other nine times since the AFL-NFL merger. Washington has won only once and that was back in 1983 at the old RFK Stadium. The last meeting between the two teams was in 2013. Kansas City won 45-10. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the more difficult places to play especially on a Monday night.

 

Oakland @ Denver

Broncos -2.5 Points

Over/Under 47 Points
The Raiders-Broncos AFC West showdown on Sunday lost some of its luster when both teams were beaten rather handily last week. Denver traveled to Buffalo where the Bills loaded the box and dared the Broncos to throw. Denver QB Trevor Siemian just wasn’t consistent enough and the Broncos fell 26-16. Oakland played at Washington and had similar troubles as QB Derek Carr was picked off twice and sacked four times in a 27-17 loss.

Moving forward, it will be the Denver running game that must improve. C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles combined for just 92 yards last week. The running game can take some of the pressure off of Siemian who was 24-for-40 last week with two interceptions. He was also sacked three times as Buffalo was able to force Denver into sure passing situations.

For Oakland, it’s just a matter of playing better. Carr did not play well against Washington completing just 19-of-31 passes. The powerful Raiders running game produced just 32 yards. Oakland has one of the best offensive lines in the league. Their performance last week was an anomaly. It is possible that the playing on the East Coast and the time difference did play a role in how Oakland played.

The Raiders own the advantage in the long-running series between the two rivals. Oakland has 62 wins to Denver’s 51 (there have been two ties), but it is the Broncos who have controlled the series over the last five to six seasons. Denver won eight straight between November 2011 and October 2015 and has won nine of the last eleven games. The Broncos won the last meeting on January 1 of this year, 24-6, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the same venue for Sunday’s game.

 

Indianapolis @ Seattle

Seahawks -13 Points

Over/Under 41 Points
If not for the Cleveland Browns being on the schedule in Week 3, the Indianapolis Colts would likely be 0-3 entering their Sunday night game with Seattle. The Seahawks, surprisingly, are also 1-2 thanks, in large part, to an offense that is anemic at best. Head coach Pete Carroll’s team did manage to score 27 points last week but the defense fell apart in a 33-27 defeat at Tennessee. Both Seahawks losses have come on the road.

Indianapolis has been without starting quarterback Andrew Luck for the first three games. He is listed as out for this Sunday’s game as well though he may return to practice this week. Without Luck, the Colts have been awful. Backup Scott Tolzien threw two pick-sixes in the season opener and was benched. Jacoby Brissett, obtained in a trade with New England just prior to the start of the season, has stepped in performed better. Still, the Colts offense leaves much to be desired. Indy ranks in the bottom third of the NFL in rushing, passing, and points per game.

The Colts defense isn’t much better. Head coach Chuck Pagano’s unit gives up 30 points per game, 31st in the NFL. That isn’t going to cut it, but the Seattle offense has only managed 16 points per game thus far. Russell Wilson and kicker Blair Walsh have been the only real weapons for the Seattle offense. The running game has fallen into the hands of rookie Chris Carson with the failure of Eddie Lacy to be effective.

Normally stout, the Seattle defense was gashed for three consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter of last week’s loss to the Titans. The Seahawks gave up 24- and 55-yard touchdown passes and a 75-yard run by DeMarco Murray. That is not characteristic of a Seattle defense. Indianapolis has not played at Seattle since 2005 when they lost 28-13. The Colts have won the last two meetings – 2009 and 2013 – but both games were played at Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

Steelers -3 Points

Over/Under 41.5 Points
Sunday’s Steelers-Ravens matchup could have an effect on the outcome of this year’s AFC North title. The rivals each enter the game with 2-1 records and both are coming off their first losses of the season. Pittsburgh fell 23-17 to Chicago in overtime while Baltimore was crushed at home by Jacksonville, 44-7. None of that matters though when these two teams meet.

Pittsburgh leads the series (25-21) between the two teams but has managed only two wins over the Ravens in the last eight attempts. That includes a win the last time the two teams met on Christmas Day last season. Pittsburgh won 31-27 at home. The Steelers have not won at M&T Bank Stadium since the 2012 season.

It’s no secret that the Steelers will have to shut down the Baltimore running game. The Ravens are currently fourth in the NFL in rushing averaging 142.3 yards per game. If Pittsburgh can stop the run, it would force the Ravens passing game to make plays, something it has not done this season. Baltimore is dead last in the league in passing yards per game (121.3).

It is the Baltimore defense, which fell apart last week, that has been the reason why the Ravens are 2-1. Head coach John Harbaugh’s unit gives up 18 points per game (fifth in the NFL). Pittsburgh’s running game, which features RB Le’Veon Bell, has not performed well thus far this season. The Steelers are averaging just 69 yards per game. With a big game last week, WR Antonio Brown now leads the NFL in receiving yards with 354. Brown, Bell, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger must have a big day against the Baltimore defense to pull off a win in Baltimore.

 

 

NFL WEEK 3 PREVIEWS

Seattle @ Tennessee

Titans -3 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

The Seattle Seahawks (1-1) have exactly one touchdown this season. That better change if head coach Pete Carroll and company plan on beating the Tennessee Titans at home this weekend. Kicker Blair Walsh has been the team’s primary weapon thus far hitting five field goals. Walsh missed the extra point after Seattle’s only touchdown this year, a scoring pass from QB Russell Wilson to WR Paul Richardson. After Tennessee’s offensive explosion last week, the Seahawks are going to have to get the offense on track.

Tennessee, also 1-1 so far, recorded their first win of the season in a 37-16 victory over Jacksonville. The Titans rushed for 179 yards and were led by Derrick Henry’s 92 on 14 carries. DeMarco Murray aggravated a hamstring injury and only carried nine times for 25 yards. Murray is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with Seattle.

The Seahawks offense is anemic at best. They are 29th in the league in passing averaging 158 yards in their two games. Quarterback Russell Wilson has suffered from the inconsistency of the Seahawks’ offensive line. Running back Eddie Lacy is beginning to fade rookie Chris Carson is starting to emerge as the team’s No. 1 back. Carson had 93 yards on 20 attempts in the win over San Francisco. Heading into Sunday’s game with Tennessee, Richardson is listed as questionable after breaking his right index finger against the 49ers. He caught the touchdown from Wilson despite the injury.

Seattle’s defense will have to keep them in this game as they have done the last several times the two teams have played. Seattle has won six of the last seven meeting dating back to 1994. The last time Tennessee beat Seattle was in 2010 in Seattle. Tennessee has never beaten Seattle in Nashville. The last time the Titans beat the Seahawks at home was when the franchise was in Houston back in 1993.

 

Kansas City @ LA Chargers

Chiefs -3 Points

Over/Under 46.5 Points

The Chiefs, off to a 2-0 start, look like they might be the best team in football right now. The offense is creative and produces 34.5 points per game and the defense applies enough pressure to opposing offenses to be dangerous. Kansas City will head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers on Sunday looking for their seventh straight win over their AFC West rivals. The Chargers, 0-2 to start the 2017 season, have not beaten the Chiefs since 2013.

Give the Chargers some credit though. They have lost two games by a total of five points. They dropped a 24-21 decision to Denver in Week 1 and lost 19-17 on a last-minute field goal to Miami last week. Los Angeles’ problem is the lack of a running game. They are averaging just 54.5 yards per game, 31st in the NFL, through two games. The fact that their defense gave up 122 yards to Miami’s Jay Ajayi last week is not good news either. The Chiefs may have the league’s Rookie of the Year in Kareem Hunt, who has accounted for 355 total yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.

The 2-0 start fares well for Kansas City. Since 1990, 63 percent of teams that start a season 2-0 make the playoffs. History is also in the Chiefs’ favor. Kansas City has won six straight in the series with the Chargers. Their last loss was at the end of the 2013 season, a 27-24 defeat in overtime at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This year, the Chargers will host the Chiefs from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., outside of Los Angeles. The stadium seats roughly 27,000 and only 25,381 showed up to watch last week’s loss to the Dolphins.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers continues to shine and lead the offense. He has 523 yards passing and four touchdowns in the team’s two games. The leading rusher is Melvin Gordon who has just 67 yards on 27 carries. The Los Angeles defense has kept the Chargers in games. Defensive end Joey Bosa (1.5) and OLB Melvin Ingram (2.5) have combined for four sacks. The pair will have to apply pressure to Chiefs QB Alex Smith and slow down Hunt and the Chiefs’ running game.

 

Oakland @ Washington

Raiders -3 Points

Over/Under 54 Points

Picking up where they left off last season, the Oakland Raiders (2-0) head to the nation’s capital to take on Washington in what will be a battle of two of the highest paid players in the NFL. Oakland QB Derek Carr signed a new five-year, $125 million contract in the offseason that made him the league’s highest paid player until Detroit’s Matthew Stafford inked his new deal. The Redskins’ Kirk Cousins was given the franchise tag by Washington and will earn just under $24 million this season.

Carr is off to a phenomenal start with 492 yards passing, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. In Oakland’s 45-20 win over the New York Jets last Sunday, Carr was 23-of-28 for 230 yards and three touchdowns. All three scoring tosses were to WR Michael Crabtree, who finished the game with six catches for 80 yards. Carr and the Raiders were also aided by a ground game that generated 180 yards against the Jets. Jalen Richard led Oakland with 58 yards on just six carries as the Raiders averaged 6.7 yards per rush attempt.

The Redskins won their first game of the season last week as they generated a powerful ground game of their own against the Los Angeles Rams. Washington ran for 229 yards led by Rob Kelly’s 78. Chris Thompson only had three carries, but he produced 77 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins was adequate going 18-of-27 and tossing the game-winning touchdown pass, an 11-yarder to Ryan Grant with just 1:49 remaining in the game.

Washington’s defense is going to have to be up to the task of slowing down one of the best offenses in the NFL. The Raiders lead the league in scoring offense so far this season averaging 35.5 points per game. Washington is giving up 25 points a game.

The two teams haven’t played since 2013 when the Redskins won in Oakland, 24-14. In fact, Washington has beaten Oakland the last two times the teams have met. Oakland last won at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, in 2005.

 

Dallas @ Arizona

Cowboys -3 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a miserable loss to Denver last week and need a win over team they haven’t beaten for quite some time. The Cowboys will take on the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night at Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., a venue where Dallas has won exactly once. That was back in 2006 when the Cowboys beat the Cardinals, 27-10. In the four games since (three in Arizona), the Cardinals have won them all, including two in overtime.

For Dallas to have a shot at winning in Arizona, they are going to have to fix their running game. The Cowboys managed just 40 yards against the Broncos. Ezekiel Elliott had just eight yards on nine carries. That forced QB Dak Prescott to attempt 50 passes, something that head coach Jason Garrett would like to avoid. The Cowboys are much better when the ground game is working.

Arizona got its first win last week, a 16-13 victory in overtime over Indianapolis. The Cardinals offense sputtered without RB David Johnson, who is going to miss a considerable chunk of the season after breaking a wrist in last week’s season opener. Chris Johnson led the rushing attack with 44 yards on 11 carries and QB Carson Palmer was 19-for-36 for 332 yards and a touchdown. The scoring toss, Arizona’s only touchdown against the Colts, was a 45-yarder to J.J. Nelson who wound up with 120 yards receiving on five catches on Sunday.

The Cardinals are going to have to find a running game if they are to beat the Cowboys. Denver rushed for 178 yards last week with C.J. Anderson getting 118 of those. If Arizona can have that kind of success, it will make things much easier for Palmer. The Cardinals were missing four offensive starters in Indianapolis including two offensive linemen, guard Mike Iupati and OT D.J. Humphries. Both are listed as out of Monday’s game with Dallas.

NFL WEEK 2 PREVIEWS

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

Jaguars -2 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

It’s an AFC South battle in Week 2 when Tennessee travels to Jacksonville to take on the 1-0 Jaguars. The Titans lost a second consecutive season opener, a tough 26-16 defeat at the hands of the Oakland Raiders. The Titans defense, considered pretty stout, gave up 262 passing yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Oakland quarterback Derek Carr. It was Tennessee’s third straight loss to the Raiders in three seasons. All three losses were in Nashville.

The Titans need their running game to get on track quickly. Last year’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray and backup Derrick Henry are too talented to manage just 95 total yards on the ground. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was 25-of-41 for 256 yards but did not have a touchdown. The Titans downfield passing game was virtually non-existent and the newest Titans wide receiver, Eric Decker, had just 10 receiving yards on three catches.

Tennessee has to face a confident Jaguars squad that set a franchise record with 10 sacks in its opener, a 29-7 win over last year’s AFC South Division champion, Houston. The Jags held the Texans to just 52 total first-half yards and sacked QB Tom Savage six times forcing him from the game. For the game, the Jacksonville defense gave up just 203 yards and the unit produced four takeaways. The Jags forced only 13 turnovers in the entire 2016 season.

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette was impressive in his debut. The first-year pro carried the ball 26 times for 100 yards. His punishing style of running battered the Houston defense. Fournette’s longest run was just 17 yards and he earned every single one of his 100 yards last Sunday. The bad news for Jacksonville is that they have likely lost WR Allen Robinson for the season. After his first reception of the year, Robinson went down and it is believed that he has a torn ACL.

Dallas @ Denver

Broncos -2.5 Points

Over/Under 42 Points

The Dallas Cowboys travel to face the Broncos in Week 2 looking to do something they haven’t done since 1992 – win in Denver. Two of the NFL’s most recognizable franchises have only met on the field 12 times. One of those was Super Bowl XII, a Dallas 27-10 victory. Denver holds a 7-5 advantage in the series including the last five straight victories. The Cowboys and Broncos last faced each other in 2013 at AT&T Stadium in Texas. The Broncos outlasted the Cowboys, 51-48. Only one of the past five victories by Denver has been by more than seven points. In 1998, the Broncos won 42-23.

Fast forward to 2017 and the 1-0 Cowboys have an impressive 19-3 win over the Giants to start the season under their belt. Quarterback Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott picked up right where they left off last season. Prescott completed 24-of-39 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown while Elliott gained 104 yards on 24 carries. The Cowboys gained 392 yards of offense and dominated the time of possession. The Dallas defense did a number on the Giants limiting them to just 35 rushing yards and 233 overall.

The Broncos were winners over their AFC West rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, last Monday night. Denver jumped out to a 24-7 lead and blocked a Chargers field goal with one second left to play to preserve a 24-21 victory. Quarterback Trevor Siemian was efficient completing 17-of-28 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked twice and threw an interception. The Dallas defense, which rattled veteran Eli Manning last week, could easily do the same to Siemian who is in just his second year as a starter. The Broncos’ running game, which gained 140 yards against the Chargers, could help ease the pressure on Siemian. C.J. Anderson ran for 81 yards and former Kansas City Chief Jamaal Charles ran for 40 yards on 10 carries. Denver will also have history on its side. Dallas has not beaten the Broncos since 1995.

Green Bay @ Atlanta

Falcons -3 Points

Over/Under 53.5 Points

It’s a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game when Green Bay travels to Atlanta to play the first regular season game in the Falcons’ new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For the first time in 26 years, sunlight will rain down on players in Atlanta as the new stadium’s retractable roof will remain open. Both teams enter Sunday night’s game having won in Week 1. Neither team was outstanding in victory, but both the Falcons and the Packers have their eyes set on another trip to the NFC title game.

Atlanta has won the last two meetings between the two teams including last year’s NFC championship. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan outplayed Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers completing 27-of-38 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns. The Falcons were not as impressive in their Week 1 win over the Chicago Bears. Ryan threw for 321 yards and a touchdown and wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu each had over 60 yards receiving, but the defense had some issues. While they did register four sacks against the Bears, Atlanta also gave up 125 rushing yards and an average of 6.6 yards per carry.

The Packers recorded a 17-9 win over Seattle as the Green Bay defense played very well against a somewhat erratic Seahawks offense. Green Bay hit Seattle QB Russell Wilson 10 times and had six tackles for loss. Rodgers was his usual self, throwing for 311 yards and a beautiful 32-yard touchdown strike to WR Jordy Nelson. Now full-time running back Ty Montgomery carried the ball 19 times for 54 yards and a touchdown and also caught four passes for 39 yards.

Atlanta will have to slow down Rodgers as the Packers offense is loaded with talent. In addition to Montgomery and Nelson, who had seven catches for 79 yards against Seattle, Green Bay has last year’s breakout star WR Davante Adams, WR Randall Cobb (nine catches, 95 yards versus Seattle), and TE Martellus Bennett. The Packers were very unpredictable on the road last year finishing 4-4 away from Lambeau Field.

Detroit @ NY Giants

Giants -3 Points

Over/Under 43 Points

It is safe to say that the New York Giants are a different football team when WR Odell Beckham Jr. is not on the field. Last week without their star receiver, the Giants managed just 233 total yards. Quarterback Eli Manning looked clueless at times without the threat of Beckham, one of the game’s best at his position. New York’s running game was nonexistent gaining just 35 yards in a 19-3 loss to Dallas. Head coach Ben McAdoo needs to right the ship quickly as the Detroit Lions come to MetLife Stadium for a Monday night showdown.

The Lions recorded one of Week 1’s biggest surprises in a 35-23 win over Arizona. The Lions trailed 17-9 late in the third quarter. Quarterback Matthew Stafford then took over. The NFL’s highest paid player, Stafford threw three of his four touchdowns passes to lead the Detroit comeback. Golden Tate hauled in 10 passes for 107 yards and rookie WR Kenny Golladay caught two of Stafford’s touchdown passes. Even more impressive was the Detroit defense which forced four Arizona turnovers, three of which were interceptions of Cardinals QB Carson Palmer.

The Giants defense, which finished second in the NFL in points allowed last season, could not stop the Cowboys last week. New York allowed 22 first downs and 392 total yards. The Detroit running game isn’t nearly as good as Dallas, but the passing is better. The Giants did beat the Lions last December, 17-6, in a game played at MetLife Stadium. In fact, the Giants have won four of the last five meetings with the Lions. Three of those wins came on the road. New York finished last season by winning six straight home games. If Beckham plays on Monday night, the Giants will have a great opportunity to pick up their first win of the season.

NFL Week 1 Preview

Seattle @ Green Bay

Packers -3 Points

Over/Under 50.5 Points

After an unbeaten preseason, the Seattle Seahawks travel to an unfriendly place – Lambeau Field – for a Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Both teams are favorites to win their divisions, Seattle the NFC West and Green Bay the NFC North. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is a favorite to capture his third MVP award coming off a 2016 season in which he once again eclipsed 4,000 yards passing to go with 40 touchdown passes.

Rodgers will have to be sharp as the Seattle defense is finally healthy again. Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas both missed significant portions of the season with injuries. Both are back at full strength. Seattle added DT Sheldon Richardson in a recent trade with the New York Jets. Head coach Pete Carroll’s defense should be back to its normal self.

Offensively, the Seahawks must improve upon a running game that was one of the NFL’s worst in 2016. The problem with doing so is that the team did not make any offseason moves to bolster a mediocre offensive line. Add to that the loss of George Fant to a season-ending ACL injury and the prognosis for new running back Eddie Lacy doesn’t look good. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin is one of the league’s most underrated and quarterback Russell Wilson is healthy after battling nagging injuries all last season.

The Packers lead the series between the two teams, 12-8, including wins in the last two meetings. The past two meetings have both been at Lambeau Field, a place where Seattle has won just once and that was back in 1999. Green Bay won 38-10 last season, one of the Packers’ six straight victories to end the 2016 regular season. Green Bay upgraded its running game by drafting three running backs – Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays – each of whom made the final roster. Converted WR Ty Montgomery will start in the backfield. The defense also improved the secondary with the addition of second-round draft pick Kevin King.

 

Oakland @ Tennessee

Titans -2 Points

Over/Under 50.5 Points

Two teams with similar makeups meet in Week 1 in Tennessee when the Titans host one of last year’s surprise teams, the Oakland Raiders. The Titans had the second-best run defense in the NFL a year ago and a running game on offense that is one of the league’s best. All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin leads an impressive Tennessee offensive line that cleared the way for 136.7 rushing yards per game (third in the NFL) last year. DeMarco Murray led the Titans in rushing with 1,287 yards. He scored nine touchdowns.

Murray, QB Marcus Mariota, and an upgraded receiving corps have Titans fans hopeful for a more dynamic offense in 2017. Tight end Delanie Walker is a difference maker and Mariota now has WR Eric Decker and No. 5 overall draft pick Corey Davis as weapons. Still, the Tennessee philosophy is simple – control the ball on offense and shut down the run on defense.

What both the Titans and the Raiders must improve upon this season is their pass defense. While second against the run, Tennessee was 30th (269.2) in pass defense. Oakland wasn’t much better coming in at 24th (257.5). The Titans will have their hands full trying to slow down what may be the best one-two receiving tandem in the NFL in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 3,937 yards and 28 touchdowns and should be fully recovered from the leg injury that ended his season in Week 16 last year. Oakland has a stout offensive line of its own and they will get to block for RB Marshawn Lynch who came out of retirement to play for his hometown team. The Raiders ran for 120.1 yards per game last year good enough for sixth in the league.

The Titans and Raiders have played in each of the last two seasons. Both games were in Nashville and the Raiders were victorious in each. Last year, the Raiders jumped out to a 17-3 halftime lead and held on for a 17-10 victory. The Titans, led by Murray’s 114 rushing yards, did not find the end zone until Murray scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter. The Titans have won their last four games at home including wins over Houston, Denver, and Green Bay.

 

NY Giants @ Dallas

Cowboys -4 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

The big news surrounding Sunday night’s Cowboys-Giants clash revolves around who will or will not play. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended by the NFL for his involvement in a domestic dispute (among other things) and his status for Week 1 was up in the air. Elliott appealed the league’s decision and heard on Tuesday that the suspension will stand, but the NFL’s leading rusher is eligible to play against the Giants.

For New York, it is wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., one of the NFL’s bright young stars, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Beckham suffered an ankle injury in the Giants’ second preseason game. Giants’ coaches, players, and fans are thankful that the injury is not worse than it looked. The injury appeared to be more severe when it occurred. If Beckham plays on Sunday night, the Giants will be that much better. If not, QB Eli Manning will have to rely on Brandon Marshall, one of the team’s offseason acquisitions.

The Cowboys lost last season’s opener to the Giants, 20-19. New York beat Dallas in both meetings between the two teams last year, which were two of the three losses suffered by the NFC East champs in 2016. With Elliott playing, the Cowboys will have the NFL’s leading rusher and the Offensive Rookie of the Year, QB Dak Prescott, reunited again. Prescott defied the norm and had one of the better seasons for a rookie in NFL history. Prescott threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns. Even more impressive was that he threw just four interceptions the entire season.

The Giants leaned heavily on a vastly improved defense a year ago. New York finished second in the NFL in scoring defense allowing just 17.8 points per game just one year after ranking near the bottom of the league in most defensive statistical categories. Where the Giants need to be better is on the ground. While New York is clearly Manning’s team, the Giants could be that much better if they can improve upon the 88.3 rushing yards per game in 2016. That total was 29th in the NFL.

Sunday night’s game will mark the fourth time in the past six seasons that the Giants and Cowboys will be the NFL’s Sunday night kickoff game. Prior to New York’s win last season, Dallas won the previous four season opening games with the Giants. The Cowboys lead the NFC with 32 wins home openers since 1970.

 

LA Chargers @ Denver

Broncos -3.5 Points

Over/Under 43.5 Points

The freshly moved Los Angeles Chargers could be one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season if they can just stay healthy. Quarterback Philip Rivers lost WR Keenan Allen and RB Danny Woodhead for the season last year. Allen is back and healthy while Woodhead has moved on to New England. The Chargers drafted former Clemson WR Mike Williams to pair with Allen, but he is still recovering from a back injury and is probably a few weeks away from practicing again. Still, Rivers will have enough weapons to make the Chargers a formidable Week 1 opponent for AFC rival Denver.

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon returns after rushing for 997 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns. Los Angeles added OT Russell Okung in the offseason to improve the offensive line and a running game that finished just 26th in the league last year. Where new head coach Anthony Lynn will likely see bigger improvement is on defense. The NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, DE Joey Bosa, returns for a full season to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Bosa recorded 10.5 sacks in just 12 games last season.

Unfortunately, the Chargers have to go up against their nemesis, Denver, in the season opener. L.A. has lost the last four times (and five of the last six) that the team has played the Broncos in Denver. The Broncos had a tough time last year adjusting to the post-Peyton Manning era. A year after winning the Super Bowl, the Broncos failed to reach the postseason. Quarterback Trevor Siemian won the job again after battling second-year pro Paxton Lynch in the offseason. Lynch injured a shoulder and will miss four to six weeks so the Broncos brought back former QB Brock Osweiler, who was released in Cleveland.

The Broncos will once again be solid on defense with linebacker Von Miller who had a team-high 13.5 sacks in 2016. Denver was hoping that Miller would team with DE Shane Ray, who had eight sacks last year, to form one of the NFL’s top pass rushing duos. That won’t happen until later in the season since Ray was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 5 with a wrist injury.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 1:00p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Arizona

Detroit

-0
+0
+105
-125
48.5 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+105
-125
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) at Houston Texans (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 1:00p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Jacksonville

Houston

+3.5
-3.5
-110
-110
40.5 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+165
-190
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 1:00p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Tampa Bay

Miami

-1
+1
-120
+100
45.5 O/U o:-110
u:-110
-128
+108
Oakland Raiders (0-0) at Tennessee Titans (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 1:00p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Oakland

Tennessee

-0
+0
-110
-110
51.5 O/U o:-110
u:-110

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at Washington Redskins (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 1:00p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Philadelphia

Washington

+1.5
-1.5
+100
-120
48 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+115
-135
Indianapolis Colts (0-0) at Los Angeles Rams (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 4:05p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Indianapolis

LA Rams

-3
+3
-115
-105
47 O/U o:-110
u:-110
-160
+140
Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 4:25p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Seattle

Green Bay

+3
-3
-105
-115
49.5 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+145
-165
Carolina Panthers (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 4:25p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
Carolina

San Francisco

-7
+7
+120
-140
48 O/U o:-110
u:-110
-270
+230
New York Giants (0-0) at Dallas Cowboys (0-0)
Sun, Sep 10, 2017 – 8:30p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
NY Giants

Dallas

+3.5
-3.5
-110
-110
49 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+165
-190
New Orleans Saints (0-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-0)
Mon, Sep 11, 2017 – 7:10p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
New Orleans

Minnesota

+3.5
-3.5
-110
-110
48 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+165
-190
Los Angeles Chargers (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
Mon, Sep 11, 2017 – 10:20p ET
Teams Spread Total Moneyline
LA Chargers

Denver

+3
-3
+105
-125
44 O/U o:-110
u:-110
+155
-175



feedwidget @ Surfing Waves

NFL Playoffs – Super Bowl 51

New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

Patriots -3 Points

Over/Under 59 Points

The 2016 season finally comes to an end on Feb. 5 with Super Bowl 51 to be played at NRG Stadium in Houston. It will also bring an end to what many have been calling Revenge-gate. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, suspended for the first four games of the regular season, returned to the Patriots lineup with a vengeance leading his team to 13 wins in 14 games. Brady’s suspension, handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, was related to his actions in the whole Deflate-gate fiasco. One more Patriots victory and it could be the ultimate slap in the face to Goodell and the league.

In order to get that win, the Patriots will have to overcome the NFL’s best offense. Their Super Bowl opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, put up points by the bunches. The Falcons averaged 33.8 points per game in the regular season, 4.5 points more than their closest competition (New Orleans). In two playoff games, Atlanta put up 36 against a very good Seattle defense and exploded for 44 points against Green Bay in the NFC Championship game.

How does New England slow down Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and company? Well, on paper the answer is easy; executing might be more difficult. New England head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have the NFL’s best defense. The Patriots gave up just 15.6 points per game during the regular season. New England gave up over 20 points just five times all season. The 31 points scored by Seattle in a November loss to the Seahawks was the most allowed all year. The Belichick-Patricia defense held 10 of 16 opponents to 17 points or less. In last week’s AFC title game, the Patriots held Pittsburgh, one of the NFL’s best offenses, to just nine points for most of the game before a late touchdown. Give Belichick and his staff enough time, and they can come up with a way to stop almost anyone.

The Falcons are somewhat an opposite of New England. In 11 of 16 regular season games, the Falcons scored 30 or more points. Atlanta won just one game during the season when it scored less than 30 – a 23-16 victory over Denver. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, son of Super Bowl-winning coach Mike, has put together one of the best offenses in NFL history scoring 540 points in the regular season. The total ties the Falcons for the seventh-best season in NFL history with the 2000 Rams, aka the Greatest Show on Turf.

Shanahan has built the offense around quarterback Matt Ryan who is the likely NFL MVP. Ryan threw for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns during the regular season and has 730 yards and 7 scoring throws in the postseason. Wide receiver Julio Jones showed no ill effects of a toe injury that plagued him near the end of the season when he caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC Championship game. What really makes the Atlanta offense dangerous is the two-pronged attack at running back. Devonta Freeman (1,079) and Tevin Coleman combined for 1,599 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns and another 883 and 5 in receiving yards and touchdowns. Freeman and Coleman are not so much complementary as they are alike. Coleman is a bigger, faster version of Freeman, who is much quicker and has a greater capacity for making defenders miss.

What Super Bowl 51 comes down to though, is exactly how the previous 50 were decided – defense. In Super Bowl XLVIII, the offensive juggernaut known as the Denver Broncos were led by future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning. The Broncos ran into the NFL’s best defense, Seattle, and were promptly beaten 43-8. Last year, it was those same Broncos, under head coach Gary Kubiak, who had the league’s best defense and it shut down the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, Carolina’s Cam Newton.

The Falcons defense, well, it had its share of problems throughout the regular season. Atlanta finished the regular season just 25th in total defense and was particularly awful against the pass. Out of 32 teams in the league, the NFC champion was just 28th in pass defense. At 25.4 points per game, Atlanta was also 27th in scoring defense. Still, the Falcons defensive coordinator’s unit gave up just 20 and 21 points in Atlanta’s two playoff games. What makes Smith’s defense go starts with DE Vic Beasley. The second-year pro out of Clemson led the NFL with 15.5 sacks during the regular season. Beasley and the Atlanta pass rush made life hectic for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers last week. That type of activity led Atlanta to 22 takeaways during the regular season. When combined with the Falcons’ 11 turnovers, a +11 turnover margin helps one to see why head coach Dan Quinn and Atlanta have been so successful in 2016.

Atlanta is the 22nd team to reach the Super Bowl with the NFL’s top-scoring offense. The 21 teams before them have gone a measly 10-11. The NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense has made the Super Bowl 18 times. New England will be the 19th. In those previous 18 games, the top-ranked defense is 13-5, winning nearly 75 percent of the time. Is it evidence of things to come? Fans will find out on Feb. 5.

NFL Playoffs -Conference Championships

Green Bay @ Atlanta

Falcons -5 Points

Over/Under 61 Points

Two of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL will meet for the NFC Championship on Sunday when Green Bay, upset winners of top-seeded Dallas, travels to Atlanta. The Falcons and their fans get one more game in the Georgia Dome before they move to Mercedes Benz Stadium where they will begin playing their home games next season. Atlanta will try to send their fans off with a victory over one of the hottest teams in football right now.

The Packers, 34-31 winners over the Cowboys in last weekend’s divisional round, have won eight straight games since suffering through a four-game losing streak at mid-season. A number of injuries to three of their top corners, LB Clay Matthews, and running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks, left Green Bay decimated. A 33-32 loss to Atlanta started the losing skid. After a loss to the Washington Redskins, the fourth in a row, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers proclaimed that Green Bay could run the table. He couldn’t have been more prophetic.

Rodgers is the big reason why the Packers were able to close the regular season with six straight victories. In those six games, he did not throw an interception and was nearly flawless. In the final two games of the season against division rivals Minnesota and Detroit, Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and had four touchdown passes in each game. The win over Detroit gave the Packers the NFC North Division title and a trip to the postseason. Rodgers finally threw an interception in last week’s game with the Cowboys, but he also completed possibly his most important pass of the season. With just 12 seconds remaining, Rodgers scrambled to evade the Cowboys pass rush and found TE Jared Cook for a 36-yard gain to set up K Mason Crosby’s 51-yard game-winning field goal.

It will be up to Rodgers and the Green Bay offense to keep up with the NFL’s top scoring team, Atlanta. The Falcons averaged over 34 points per game during the regular season and put up 36 in their win over Seattle in last week’s other NFC divisional round playoff. League MVP candidate Matt Ryan leads the Falcons offense after having led the league in passing yards (4,944) during the regular season. What Atlanta needs this Sunday is for Julio Jones to get more involved in the offense. Jones has been bothered by a turf toe injury and caught six passes for 74 yards against the Seahawks last week.

If Jones is slowed by the injury once again, Ryan has plenty of other weapons including dynamic running backs Devontae Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Last week, the pair combined for 102 yards rushing, 102 yards receiving, and a pair of touchdowns. While the Falcons defense can put up the points, its defense is going to have to find a pass rush or Rodgers will pick them apart. Like last week’s Packers-Cowboys showdown, the winner of the NFC Championship might be the team who gets the ball last.

Pittsburgh @ New England

Patriots -5.5 Points

Over/Under 50 Points

While Green Bay is the hottest team in the NFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the equivalent in the AFC. The Steelers have won nine straight including last week’s 18-16 win over Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. Now, Pittsburgh will have to win on the road once again as they travel to top-seeded New England on Sunday. The Steelers have not fared so well against the Patriots recently having lost three straight. Pittsburgh hasn’t had much luck against New England in the postseason either. The last two times the teams met in the playoffs just happened to for the AFC title. New England won both times.

What has to happen for Pittsburgh is that QB Ben Roethlisberger has to play well on the road. This season, his performance away from Heinz Field has been very mediocre. Last week at Kansas City, Roethlisberger failed to lead the Steelers to the end zone. Kicker Chris Boswell kicked an NFL postseason record six field goals to give Pittsburgh the win. The Steelers need to score touchdowns, which will be difficult against the NFL’s stingiest defense. New England finished the regular season first in the NFL in scoring defense giving opponents less than 16 points per game.

For New England, it all starts with the head coach Bill Belichick-quarterback Tom Brady connection. Brady has been absolutely masterful after sitting out the first four games of the regular season. He threw just two interceptions all season and led the Patriots to a 14-2 record despite playing much of the season without star TE Rob Gronkowski. Wide receiver Julian Edelman has picked up the slack and last week it was RB Dion Lewis who provided the offensive fireworks. The 5-8 Lewis caught a touchdown pass from Brady, returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter. While the Pittsburgh defense will devise a way to slow down Edelman, the Patriots running game, or find a way to pressure Brady; Belichick is surely working on exploiting matchups and finding holes in the Steelers defense.

This is the Patriots sixth straight trip to the AFC Championship game. Belichick and Brady have won four Super Bowls and would love to make it five. That would tie them with San Francisco and Dallas and leave them one behind Pittsburgh, which has won six Super Bowl championships.

NFL Playoffs – Divisional Round

Seattle @ Atlanta

Falcons -5 Points

Over/Under 51 Points

The Seahawks, 26-6 winners over Detroit in last week’s Wild Card playoff, now must travel to the Georgia Dome where they will face the NFL’s best offense, the Atlanta Falcons. They will have to do it this time without All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas who was injured and lost for the season in Week 13. Seattle is hopeful that this trip to Atlanta is much different than the last trip for an NFC Divisional Playoff game. The two teams played in January of 2013. The Falcons won 30-28 to advance to the NFC Championship.

Seattle defeated Atlanta the last two times the teams have played, including a 26-24 win earlier in the 2016 season. The Seahawks had squandered a 17-3 lead and trailed 24-17 with less than five minutes to play. Seattle QB Russell Wilson led two scoring drives to pull off the win. The game featured a heated matchup between Seattle CB Richard Sherman and Falcons WR Julio Jones. Expect the two to clash again. Without Thomas playing behind him, it will be interesting to see how Sherman and the Seahawks defend the Falcons passing game.

That passing game is led by first-team All-Pro QB Matt Ryan who threw for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns this season. Ryan completed 69.9 percent of his passes and had a league-best 117.1 passer rating. The big question surrounding Ryan has to do with playoff games. In five trips to the postseason, the Falcons quarterback has registered just one win. Playing at home should be an advantage. The Seahawks were just 3-4-1 away from CenturyLink Field.

Houston @ New England

Patriots -15 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

There is no questioning the dominance of the New England Patriots. They won the AFC East Division for the eighth straight season and now have an opportunity to reach the AFC Championship game for the sixth straight year. Reaching the conference title game seems to be a forgone conclusion given their opponent, the Houston Texans. Earlier this season, New England dismantled Houston 27-0 and did it without quarterback Tom Brady. The two teams have played eight times in NFL history; New England has won seven. They played once in the postseason back in January of 2013. The Patriots won big, 41-28, in a game also played in Foxborough.

If Houston is to have any success, its defense will have to come up with some plays against Brady and company. In a win over the Raiders last week, DE Jadeveon Clowney and OLB Whitney Mercilus harassed Oakland rookie QB Connor Cook all game long. Mercilus recorded two sacks and Clowney batted down two passes and even picked one off. That type of play will be needed again on Saturday night.

Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler cannot repeat his poor performance against the Patriots earlier in the season. He threw for just 196 yards and an interception in the 27-0 loss, but showed why Houston put up $72 million to obtain him last offseason in the win over Oakland. Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller are going to have to generate some points against the NFL’s stingiest defense. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick somehow managed to produce the NFL’s best scoring defense, one that allowed less than 16 points a game during the regular season.

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

Chiefs -1.5 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

Earning the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs gave Kansas City a home game this Sunday. Playing at Arrowhead Stadium, especially in the winter, is never easy. Even so, the Chiefs have lost four straight home playoff games dating all the way back to the 1990s. Kansas City has not won a postseason game at Arrowhead since 1993. To change that, the Chiefs will need to slow down the Big Three of Pittsburgh – QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, and RB Le’Veon Bell.

The Steelers trio was healthy and firing on all cylinders in the team’s 30-12 win over Miami last week. Bell ran for 167 yards and Brown caught five passes from Roethlisberger, two of them for touchdowns. The Chiefs know very well of what the Steelers are capable. In Week 4 of the regular season, Roethlisberger ripped the Kansas City defense apart throwing five touchdown passes in a 43-14 rout. That game was in Pittsburgh though and a change of venue just might be what Kansas City needs.

The Chiefs are going to have to get speedy WR Tyreek Hill involved. In Kansas City’s last four games, Hill has scored on a play of at least 68 yards. He is a threat to score every single time he touches the ball and head coach Andy  Reid uses him in the passing game, in the running game on jet sweeps, and on special teams on punt and kick returns. Reid is also well aware of Pittsburgh’s woes on the road this year. Roethlisberger threw just nine of his 29 touchdown passes away from home. He also completed less than 60 percent of his passes on the road.

Green Bay @ Dallas

Cowboys -4.5 Points

Over/Under 52 Points

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is hoping that history does not repeat itself when his team travels to AT&T Stadium on Sunday to face Dallas. The Packers-Cowboys rivalry is one the NFL’s best and the two teams have met seven times in the postseason. The last four times that Green Bay has faced the Cowboys in Texas (that dates back to 1983), they have lost. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers would like that to change.

Rodgers, who threw 40 touchdown passes during the regular season, is one of the big reasons why the Packers have won their last seven games in a row. That includes a 38-13 dismantling of one of the NFL’s best defenses in the New York Giants. Rodgers has thrown four touchdowns in each of the Packers last three games and the offense has scored 30-plus points five games in a row. The Dallas defense will be ready though just as they were earlier in the season when they held Rodgers and Green Bay to just 16 points in a 30-16 win.

The big story for the Cowboys is, of course, their rookie tandem on offense, QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. The former Ohio State star led the NFL in rushing finishing the season with 1,631 yards and he rushed for 15 touchdowns. Prescott might have been even more impressive. Taking over for the injured Tony Romo, Prescott played like a veteran throwing for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns. The rookie quarterback threw just four interceptions and set a rookie record for number of completions before a first interception. Just like their opponent, Green Bay has to find a way to slow down the Dallas offense in what could turn into a shootout in Texas.

NFL Playoffs – Wildcard Round

Oakland @ Houston

Texans -3.5 Points

Over/Under 36.5 Points

For the first time since 2002, the Oakland Raiders will play in the postseason. It’s a great accomplishment for the franchise. The only problem when they travel to Houston this Saturday is that they may have to face the Texans with a rookie quarterback who played for the first time in his career last week. Raiders’ starter Derek Carr suffered a season-ending broken fibula in a Week 16 win over Indianapolis. Backup Matt McGloin started last week’s game against Denver but injured his left shoulder giving way to Connor Cook, who suffered through his first action of the season.

Head coach Jack Del Rio has not given any indication as to who will start on Saturday, but you can bet that the Raiders game plan will include a heavy dose of running backs Latavius Murray, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington. Oakland averaged over 120 rushing yards per game (6th in the NFL) and will have to have success running the football to take some pressure off of whoever starts at quarterback.

On the Texans’ side, it will be Brock Osweiler’s job to minimize any mistakes and let the Houston ground game take over (116 yards per game). Osweiler was benched in Week 16 in favor of backup Tom Savage, but returned in last week’s loss to Tennessee. Where Osweiler is at his best is in an up-tempo situation. He has done his best in a no-huddle offense, yet head coach Bill O’Brien has not used it all that much. He may be inclined to do so this Saturday and have Osweiler get the football to RB Lamar Miller (1,073 rushing yards) and WR DeAndre Hopkins (954 receiving yards).

Detroit @ Seattle

Seahawks -8 Points

Over/Under 42.5 Points

Not too long ago the Detroit Lions were 9-4 and in complete control of the NFC North Division. Then, they proceeded to lose their final three games of the season, finish 9-7, and take second place in the division. If not for a Washington Redskins loss to the Giants on the final weekend of play, Detroit would be sitting at home for the postseason. Instead, they get to travel to Seattle (10-5-1) to face the Seahawks.

Seattle has won nine straight home playoff games at CenturyLink Field. Playing there is hard enough for opponents, but Detroit did not fare all that badly the last time the Lions were there. Detroit lost to Seattle 13-10 during the 2015 season and had a chance to win in the final minutes of the game. The problem for Detroit, in addition to playing in Seattle in the playoffs, is that they have really had little success against teams with a winning record this season. A win over the Redskins is the Lions only victory over a team that finished over .500. Plus, Detroit went just 3-5 on the road this season.

The Lions defense will have to contend with Seattle QB Russell Wilson (4,219 passing yards) and WR Doug Baldwin (1,128 receiving yards). The Seahawks running game has suffered this season mainly due to injuries at running back and on the offensive line. Thomas Rawls is back though he rushed for just 22 yards in his last two games. Should Seattle beat Detroit, they would travel to Atlanta to face the second-seeded Falcons, a team they beat 26-24 earlier this season.

Miami @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -10 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

First-year Miami head coach Adam Gase is surely up for the league’s coach of the year after his Dolphins started the season 1-4 and then rebounded to go 10-6 and earn a wild card. Ironically, the Miami turnaround began in Week 6 with a home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dolphins opponent this Sunday in the wild card playoffs. The big difference this time around is that Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill likely will not play.

Tannehill suffered a sprained ACL and MCL in his left knee in a Miami victory over Arizona. Backup Matt Moore has gone 2-1 in Tannehill’s place and would start Sunday if the Dolphins starter is not ready. Miami will rely on RB Jay Ajayi who has 1,272 yards on the season, 204 of those coming in that victory over Pittsburgh in Week 6. Surprisingly, in Gase’s last appearances against the Steelers (one as Miami head coach and two as an assistant in Denver) his teams have put up 29, 30, and 31 points. Exactly five years ago this Sunday, a Gase-coached Tim Tebow led Denver to 447 total yards and a victory over the Steelers.

In Week 6, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger played hurt and the Steelers offense sputtered. Pittsburgh has scored 24 or more points in eight straight weeks. That includes seven consecutive wins to close the season. Pittsburgh will likely give Miami a heavy dose of RB Le’Veon Bell, who missed four games this season and still finished fifth in the league in rushing (1,268 yards). With electric WR Antonio Brown (1,284 yards, 12 TDs) on the outside, the Steelers will be hard to stop especially since they are playing at home.

NY Giants @ Green Bay

Packers -4.5 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

With a win in the season finale over Detroit, Green Bay captured the NFC North Division and the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs. The Packers will host the Giants on Sunday in what could be the best game of the postseason. Both teams are incredibly hot. Green Bay won its last six games of the regular season while the Giants won nine of their final eleven. The teams have met seven times in the postseason, most recently in 2008 and 2012. Both games were played at Lambeau Field and both were won by the Giants.

The Packers’ offense has been nearly unstoppable and has scored 30 or more points in each of its last four games. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (4,428 passing yards, 40 TDs) played himself into contention for the league MVP over the latter half of the season. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson returned after missing last season and produced 1,257 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. The running game, which lost RB Eddie Lacy earlier in the season, is now relying on WR Ty Montgomery, the team’s leading rusher with 457 yards.

The Packers’ offense will go up against possibly the hottest defense in the NFL right now. In the Giants last three wins, they have given up 10, 6, and 7 points and that’s 23 points to some pretty good offenses in Dallas, Detroit, and Washington. The Giants spent millions of dollars to shore up their biggest weakness from the 2015 season. The results have been a unit that is second in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.8) and third against the run (88.6 yards per game). Sunday’s game should be a classic late-season matchup in cold weather that will be won by the team that plays solid defense and doesn’t turn the ball over.

2016 NFL Season Historic NFL Odds

Week 17 NFL Odds

Green Bay @ Detroit

Packers -3 Points

Over/Under 49.5 Points

It’s fitting that the final game of the season this Sunday night will be for a division title. The Lions, losers to the Cowboys last week, can win their first division crown in 23 years with a win over Green Bay. A win would also guarantee Detroit a spot in the playoffs. A loss will not eliminate the Lions, but would certainly hurt their chances. Should the Lions fall to the Packers, which has happened once already this season, Detroit would need the New York Giants to beat Washington (8-6-1).

The problem facing Detroit is twofold. One, their defense will have to go up against the hottest quarterback in the league right now in Aaron Rodgers. The 12-year veteran has 4,128 yards passing and 36 touchdowns and is a big reason why the Packers have won their last five games in a row. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery has moved into the role of the Packers feature back and given Green Bay some semblance of a running game. That is the other problem concerning Detroit – the lack of a running game. With Theo Riddick out of the lineup, the Lions have left the offense up to QB Matthew Stafford and his cast of receivers. Zach Zenner provided a little spark (64 yards on 10 carries) against the Cowboys, but not enough. If Detroit doesn’t run the ball against Green Bay, they are in trouble.

Oakland @ Denver

Broncos -1 Points

Over/Under 40 Points

A rivalry dating back to the old American Football League, the Raiders and Broncos meet on Sunday in a game that will help decide the AFC West Division winner. If Oakland wins, the division title is theirs and with it comes the possibility of the No. 1 seed in the postseason. The only problem? Oakland will have to do it with their backup quarterback Matt McGloin. Raiders’ starter Derek Carr suffered a broken leg in last week’s win over Indianapolis. He will likely miss the entire postseason, including a possible Super Bowl appearance.

The Broncos, last year’s Super Bowl champion, were eliminated from the playoffs last week in a loss to Kansas City. It has been a tough second half of the season for Denver, which has dropped three straight. In those three losses, the offense has produced just 23 points. The defense is still solid – sixth in the NFL in scoring defense (19.4 points per game) – and they will be going against a quarterback who hasn’t played much in his four years in the league. Should Oakland lose in Denver on Sunday, they can still win the AFC West with a Chiefs loss to San Diego. The worst-case scenario for Oakland still gives them a No. 2 seed, a first-round playoff bye, and a home game in the postseason.

NY Giants @ Washington

Redskins -7 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

The 10-5 Giants really have nothing to play for in Week 17. They have locked up the first wild card slot and will be the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs whether they win or lose at Washington on Sunday. On the other end, the Redskins desperately need a victory to have any chance at making the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Washington (8-6-1) can get the second NFC wild card with a win over New York and a Detroit loss to Green Bay on Sunday night.

Washington beat the Giants in the first game between the two teams earlier in the season. Dustin Hopkins kicked a fifth field goal with 1:51 left in the game for a 29-27 win. The Redskins hopes lie firmly on the shoulders of their quarterback Kirk Cousins. The fifth-year pro is the second-leading passer in the NFL with 4,630 yards. He has thrown 24 touchdowns and is the catalyst in one of the NFL’s best offenses. Cousins and the Redskins will go up against one of the best defenses in the league. The Giants spent over $200 million last offseason to upgrade what was a horrible defense. The money spent was well worth it. The Giants are third in scoring defense giving up just 18.3 points per game. In their last two wins over Dallas and Detroit, the Giants gave up a total of just 13 points.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

Bucs -5 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

Carolina has had one of the NFL’s most disappointing seasons. A year after playing in the Super Bowl, the Panthers started the season 1-5. The once heralded Carolina defense is a figment of imagination this season. The Panthers are 27th in the NFL yielding 25.7 points per game. Last year’s league MVP Cam Newton has been beat up all year and has just 18 touchdown passes and five scores on the ground. The Panthers will head to Tampa on Sunday where the Bucs have the slimmest chance of making the postseason.

Tampa Bay (8-7) blew an opportunity last week when the Bucs lost to New Orleans 31-24. Head coach Dirk Koetter benched All-Pro RB Doug Martin last week, a controversial decision that led to the Bucs gaining just 89 yards on the ground in the loss to the Saints. Tampa Bay beat Carolina, 17-14, earlier in the season and to do it again they will need a big day from QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans. Evans is fifth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,256.

The Bucs playoff hopes are slim. They will have to win, of course, and then need a series of eight different things to happen. One of those, a Giants-Redskins tie, is highly unlikely. Still, a Bucs win would guarantee a winning season for Koetter in his first season in Tampa.

 

Week 16 NFL Odds

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -5 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

The Week 16 matchup between the Ravens and Steelers will determine the AFC North champion and who goes to the playoffs and who stays home. It’s a Christmas Day game that should be one of the most physical games of the 2016 season. Baltimore has beaten Pittsburgh the last four times the two division rivals have met. That includes a 21-14 in Baltimore earlier this season. The loss was one of four straight by Pittsburgh in the middle portion of the season.

Since losing to Dallas a week after losing to Baltimore, Pittsburgh has reeled off five straight wins. After trailing to Cincinnati last week, the Steelers scored the game’s final 18 points and won 24-20 to move to 9-5 on the season. The Steelers have done it with a ground game led by Le’Veon Bell who has 1,146 yards on the season. The Pittsburgh offense has plenty of playmakers including Bell, WR Antonio Brown (1,188 yards) and QB Ben Roethlisberger (3,540 passing yards, 26 TDs).

The Steelers defense is what has really picked up. Head coach Mike Tomlin’s defense has allowed opponents 20 points or less in each of its wins during the recent win streak. Pittsburgh is now ninth in scoring defense giving up 19.7 points per game. The Baltimore defense is equally impressive giving up just 18.8 per game. The Ravens have won three of their last four, but a costly 30-23 loss to New England put Baltimore in a position where they must win this week in order to have a chance at winning the division.

Denver @ Kansas City

Chiefs -3 Points

Over/Under 37 Points

It’s an AFC West showdown on Christmas night when Denver heads to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs. Denver has lost three of its last four games and is now in a position where they must win this week at Kansas City (10-4) and then beat the 11-3 Raiders next week just to make the playoffs. The Broncos defense was outstanding last week holding the vaunted Patriots offense to just 16 points. Tom Brady has just 188 yards passing, but the Denver offense failed for the second week in a row putting up just a field goal in a 16-3 loss.

The Chiefs blew an opportunity to at least clinch a playoff spot when they fell at home to Tennessee on a last-second field goal. Kansas City led 17-7 before the Titans scored the game’s final 12 points including a Ryan Succop 53-yard game-winning field goal into the wind as time expired. What the Chiefs should work on this week is getting the ball to playmaker Tyreek Hill. Hill is one of the most dynamic players in the league. He has six receiving touchdowns, two rushing scores, and has scored once each on a kickoff return and a punt return.

For Denver, it will be the offense that will determine whether or not the Broncos will make the postseason. More specifically, the Denver running game needs to generate something to take some pressure off of QB Trevor Siemian. The Broncos are just 27th in the NFL in rushing averaging 91.3 yards on the ground per game.

Detroit @ Dallas

Cowboys -7 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

It’s been many years since a Lions-Cowboys clash actually meant something. Dallas has already clinched a playoff spot and Detroit leads the NFC North for the first time in a long time. The Lions need a win though to keep ahead of surging Green Bay. Detroit will face the Packers in the final week of the season. A win over the Cowboys would not only give them a big feather in their cap, it would also help in the Lions’ playoff hopes.

For Detroit to have any shot at beating Dallas, it will come down to two things – running the football and stopping the run. Rookie Ezekiel Elliott had another great day last week with 159 yards rushing moving his season total to 1,551. He continues to lead the league and posture himself as a candidate for the league MVP.

Fellow rookie Dak Prescott continues to enjoy a very impressive first season. He was sharp last week completing 32-of-36 passes in a win over Tampa Bay. Once again, Prescott did not throw an interception. He has just four for the season. What will beat the Lions is the Cowboys No. 2 ranked rushing offense. Behind the legs of Elliott, Dallas averages 154.5 points per game. The Dallas offense is fourth in the league in scoring (26.1) and the defense is just as good, holding teams to 18.4 points per game (fourth in the NFL).

Indianapolis @ Oakland

Raiders -3 Points

Over/Under 53 Points

The Colts chances of winning the AFC South and gaining a berth to the playoffs were all but extinguished last week even after an impressive win over Minnesota. At 7-7, the Colts sit behind both Houston and Tennessee in the division. To win, the Colts must beat Oakland this Saturday and then Jacksonville in Week 17. But that’s not all. Houston must lose both of its last two games and then Tennessee would have to lost to 2-12 Jacksonville this week and then beat Houston next week. Yes, highly unlikely.

Regardless, it starts for the Colts at Oakland on Saturday. The Colts defense is severely mediocre and facing a Raiders team that is third in the league in scoring might just be too much to handle. Raiders QB Derek Carr (3,705 yards, 25 TDS) is a legitimate MVP candidate. Latavius Murray (737 yards rushing) leads the sixth-best rushing attack in the league and WR Amari Cooper (1,038 yards) is a playmaker.

For Indianapolis, they will likely have to outscore Oakland in a shootout. Indianapolis averages nearly 26 points a game and in their last two wins they have managed 41 and 34 points respectively. The owner of the NFL’s richest contract, QB Andrew Luck has 3,631 yards passing and 27 touchdowns. T.Y. Hilton is the Colts leading receiver and the NFL’s No. 2 with 1,248 yards. Frank Gore leads a ground game that is suspect at times with 891 yards.

 

Week 15 NFL Odds

Carolina @ Washington

Washington -6.5 Points

Over/Under 51 Points

The Panthers would love to see the 2016 end…and fast. After playing in the Super Bowl a year ago, Carolina forgot how to play defense and QB Cam Newton has found that playing up to his MVP status of a year ago is more difficult than it seems. Still, Carolina has been playing better more recently and picked up a win over San Diego last week. A win over Washington on Monday night would surely help ease the pain of what has been a long year for head coach Ron Rivera.

The Redskins scored a much-needed win over NFC East rival Philadelphia. The problem for Washington is that they need those types of wins over the next three weeks to keep their postseason chances alive. With the Giants’ win over Dallas and Tampa Bay on a five-game win streak, the ‘Skins cannot afford a loss in the season’s final three weeks. Washington’s success will lie directly on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Redskins QB is in the Top 5 in most statistical categories and led Washington in the win over Eagles with two passing touchdowns to give him 23 on the season.

The Panthers have won the last four straight games in the series including last year’s 44-16 blowout. The last time Washington beat the Panthers at FedExField in Landover, Md., was in 2006. The Redskins won 17-13.

Tampa Bay @ Dallas

Dallas -7 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

Because of their five-game win streak, the NFL opted to make Tampa Bay’s game with Dallas this week’s Sunday night showdown. The Bucs have caught fire, especially on defense, and are now in a position to win the NFC South. After starting the season 1-3, head coach Dirk Koetter and his staff have improved tremendously. In the Bucs last five games, the defense is giving up just over 10 points per game. Last week, they held Drew Brees and the Saints to just 11 points.

Koetter and company face a tough task on Sunday night playing the Cowboys, owners of the NFL’s best record. On top of that, Tampa Bay must travel to AT&T Stadium, a place they haven’t won since XXXXX. Dallas is coming off just their second loss of the season. Both Cowboys’ losses have been to the Giants. Last week, the Dallas offense mustered just seven points. If that happens again, head coach Jason Garrett and the Cowboys are in trouble.

Dallas has both a Top 5 offense and a Top 5 defense, which is why they have been so successful all year. Ezekiel Elliott continues to lead the NFL in rushing and did rush for over 100 yards in the loss to the Giants last week. Quarterback Dak Prescott suffered his first loss as a starter last week. He will need to refocus his efforts and help the Dallas offense produce points.

Oakland @ San Diego

Oakland -3 Points

Over/Under 49.5 Points

The AFC West picture got really interesting when the Raiders lost to the Chiefs for the second time this season last week. The two teams are now tied at 10-3. Both will need to win out to have a shot at winning the division. For Oakland, it starts with another division opponent on Sunday, San Diego. The Raiders have won the last three games with the Chargers including a 34-31 victory earlier this season.

The two teams have two of the best offenses in the NFL and are capable of putting up plenty of points as seen in the first game between the two teams this season. Oakland’s Derek Carr and San Diego’s Philip Rivers are two of the top quarterbacks in the league. What the Chargers lack is defense. The loss of guys like safety Eric Weddle last offseason really took a hit on San Diego. A number of injuries on both sides of the ball have riddled the Chargers as well for the second consecutive season.

Oakland will try and exploit the San Diego defense. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree form one of the more dynamic pairs of receivers in the league. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders need big efforts from defensive ends Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Mack is among the league leaders with 15 sacks on the season. Irvin has added five. Both will need to put pressure on Rivers on Sunday.

New England @ Denver

New England -3 Points

Over/Under 43.5 Points

The game that all NFL fans want to see is New England at Denver. The two teams have been among the best in the league for much of the last decade and are winners of the last two Super Bowls. The Patriots and Broncos have played some great games over the past few years including two thrillers last season.

The Broncos have actually won the past two games between the two teams. Both games were played last season at Sports Authority Field in Denver, the site of Sunday’s game. Denver won 30-24 in overtime during the regular season and 20-18 in the AFC Championship game. In fact, the last time New England won in Denver was in a lopsided 41-23 back in 2011. The game was one of many that featured New England’s Tom Brady against Denver’s Peyton Manning. Times have changed and while Brady is still looking sharp for the Patriots, Denver has a first-year starter in Trevor Siemian.

Siemian has played well for most of the season, but is still young. Under head coach Gary Kubiak, the Broncos are more of a run-first offense and losing RB C.J. Anderson earlier in the season did not help. Denver has lost three of their last five games and now stands at 8-5. With division rivals Kansas City and Oakland both 10-3, the Broncos need wins to keep themselves alive in the postseason race.

 

Week 14 NFL Odds

Baltimore @ New England

Patriots -7 Points

Over/Under 45 Points

The Ravens travel to Foxborough on Monday night looking for their first-ever regular season win in New England. The two teams have met just 12 times, four in the postseason. The Patriots have won nine of those games and seem to have the upper hand in the series. Monday’s game will go a long way in helping determine both teams’ fate with regard to this postseason.

Baltimore is 7-5 and must keep pace with Pittsburgh, also 7-5 and coming off a big win over the Giants (8-4). The Ravens offense exploded last week generating over 500 yards of total offense in a 38-6 blowout of Miami. Don’t expect the New England defense to allow the Ravens to duplicate that effort. The Patriots defense is tied with Baltimore’s unit for second in the NFL in points allowed. Both teams allow just 17.3 points per game. Expect a low scoring game on Monday.

New England will be without TE Rob Gronkowski who is out for the season with a back injury. The Pats beat Los Angeles, 26-10, last week without their star. Quarterback Tom Brady and veterans WR Julian Edelman and RB LeGarrette Blount stepped up as they will have to do the rest of the season. Edelman had eight catches for 101 yards against the Rams and Blount got closer to 1,000 yards for the season with 88 and a touchdown on Sunday. A Patriots win keeps the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and home-field advantage alive.

Dallas @ NY Giants

Cowboys -3 Points

Over/Under 47.5 Points

Coming off a 27-14 loss to Pittsburgh, the Giants need a win to ensure they will enter the postseason as a wild card. New York is the only team to beat the Cowboys, claiming a 20-19 win back in Week 1. The Cowboys have won 11 straight since and are clearly the NFL’s best team at the moment. The Giants have actually won the last two against Dallas and would like nothing more than to make it three straight. New York is 5-1 at home this season, which may or may not be an advantage considering Dallas is unbeaten on the road.

The Giants’ woes revolve around their lack of a running game. Against the Steelers, New York managed just 56 yards on the ground. As a team, the Giants average 77.5 per game, 31st in the NFL. A lack of a running game against the Cowboys means that QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr are going to have to take control. The Dallas defense is one of the better units in the league though giving up just 19 points a game (fifth overall).

While the Giants defense is much improved over last year, first-year head coach Ben McAdoo’s unit has to face the likes of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. A first-round draft pick, Elliott is the NFL’s leading rusher. Prescott, who took over as the starter for Tony Romo and has yet to lose a game, has played like a seasoned veteran. If he continues to do so, the Cowboys should lock up the NFC’s No. 1 seed very soon.

Seattle @ Green Bay

Seahawks -3 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

Seattle has won three of the last four times that the Seahawks have played Green Bay. The Packers, coming off a big 21-13 win over Houston last week, have struggled this season and at 6-6 are in danger of missing the postseason. Sunday’s game against Seattle (8-3-1) is a virtual must-win against a team that has dominated the series between the two teams recently.

What Green Bay does have going for itself is six straight home wins over the Seahawks including a 27-17 win last season at Lambeau Field. Seattle has not won a game at Lambeau since 1999 and the Packers are 4-2 at home this season. The Green Bay defense will have to play as it did in the win over the Texans. Seattle erupted for 40 points last week in their win over Carolina.

Seattle continues to march toward the playoffs and will not face a team with a winning record the rest of the season. After Green Bay, the Seahawks face all three NFC West opponents – Los Angeles, Arizona, and San Francisco. Green Bay actually does the same as it will face Chicago, Minnesota, and NFC North leader Detroit to close the season.

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

Bucs -2.5 Points

Over/Under 51.5 Points

With their first four-game winning streak of the Jameis Winston era, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now in a position to gain a wild card berth. At 7-5, the Bucs are right in the thick of the playoff race and a win over New Orleans, a team they play twice in a span of 13 days, would keep their hopes alive. What Dirk Koetter has done in Tampa is downright amazing.

The Bucs started the season 1-3 and the defense was absolutely awful. Over the past four weeks, the Tampa Bay defense has given up just under 11 points per game. Winston, who has 3,180 yards and 23 touchdowns, has been outstanding as has his top receiving target Mike Evans. The big wide receiver is third in the NFL with 1,058 receiving yards.

The Saints have been one of the NFL’s most inconsistent teams in 2016. Behind a productive offense, New Orleans won four of five games in the middle of the season, but have dropped three of their last four. Quarterback Drew Brees leads the league with 3,913 passing yards and while the Saints offense is second in scoring (28.9 points per game); the defense gives up an average of nearly 28 points a game. If they give up 28 to Tampa Bay, the Saints lose.

 

Week 13 NFL Odds

Carolina @ Seattle

Seahawks -6.5 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

After a disappointing loss to Oakland last Sunday, Carolina’s chances of getting back to the postseason are all but gone. The Panthers aren’t scoring like they were a year ago when they owned the NFL’s best offense and part of the reason is a banged up offensive line. Center Ryan Kalil won’t make the trip to Seattle for Sunday night’s game. His replacement, Gino Gradkowski, is questionable as is OT Daryl Williams. The results of the injuries to the offensive line have left reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton not playing like an MVP.

The Panthers score 25 points a game, but give up 25 on defense, something that is very uncharacteristic of a Ron Rivera defense. Rivera, the Panthers head coach, has a hard time identifying just one thing that has caused the poor season. Carolina will just keep plugging away and they have to do it against one of the NFC’s best. Winning at CenturyLink Field in Seattle is tough. Doing so with a maligned offensive line and a subpar defense makes it even tougher.

What the Seahawks hope Carolina does not do is take a page from the Tampa Bay defensive playbook. The Bucs beat Seattle last week 14-5 and did so by pressuring Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on 60 percent of his passes. The results produced six sacks and Seattle never got into any rhythm on offense. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will have to regroup his offense and get back to what the Seahawks do. In the end, it will be Seattle’s league-leading defense that will be the difference.

Tampa Bay @ San Diego

Chargers -3.5 Points

Over/Under 47 Points

A month ago, it looked like Tampa Bay might once again battle for a Top 5 draft pick. The defense was atrocious and the offense wasn’t much better. Then came three consecutive wins that included the Bucs best defensive performance of the year. Tampa Bay sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson six times and held the Seahawks to just five points. First-year head coach Dirk Koetter hopes that his defense’s performance continues.

The Tampa Bay offense looked strong too led by second-year QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans. Winston was 21-for-28 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, both to Evans, in the win over Seattle. With eight catches and 104 yards, Evans moved into second in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,020. Leading rusher Jacquizz Rodgers will miss Sunday’s game though. The Chargers defense is one of the poorer units in the league. San Diego allows 26.5 points per game.

What San Diego does well though is score. Quarterback Philip Rivers leads the NFL’s fifth-ranked pass offense. San Diego scored 28.3 points a game, fourth-best in the league. The Chargers are 5-6 after a 21-13 upset of AFC South leader Houston last week.  Rivers completed 22-of-30 passes for 242 yards and all three Chargers touchdowns. Surprisingly, Tampa Bay is 4-1 on the road this season. While the Chargers are a longshot for the postseason, the Bucs still have an outside shot and must keep pace with Atlanta in the NFC South.

Washington @ Arizona

Cardinals -3 Points

Over/Under 49 Points

Despite a Thanksgiving Day loss to Dallas, the Redskins are still very much alive in the NFC wild card race. The loss was just Washington’s second in its last nine games. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing his way into the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the league. Cousins is second to only Drew Brees in passing yards (3,540) and the Redskins are a Top 10 scoring offense averaging 25.5 points per game. Now, they have to travel to Arizona and face a Cardinals team that is fighting for its playoff life.

Arizona enters Sunday’s game 4-6-1 and on a two-game losing streak. The once proud Cardinals defense has given up 68 points in the last two weeks. Making matters even worse is the weekly injury report which includes CB Patrick Peterson who is listed as questionable. Ed Stinson and Christian Bryant are both out for the game against Washington.

The Cardinals are hard to figure out. Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown for 2,931 yards, RB David Johnson is having a solid year with 921 yards, and veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 78 catches for 802 yards. The Arizona defense is good enough to allow just 20.7 points per game, 11th in the NFL. But, the Cardinals just have never been consistent all season. After putting up 33 and 28 points in wins over San Francisco and the Jets, Arizona managed two field against Seattle. A loss surely crushes their playoff hopes.

Indianapolis @ NY Jets

Colts -2 Points

Over/Under 48.5 Points

Monday night in New York in a must-win for the Indianapolis Colts who, at 5-6, need to win to keep pace with Houston and Tennessee in the AFC South. The Colts might be forced to do it without starting quarterback Andrew Luck. The fifth-year pro missed last Thursday’s game with Pittsburgh due to a concussion. Luck is in the final stages of the NFL’s concussion protocol and will practice this week. Further evaluation will determine if he plays on Monday night. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is optimistic that his star will be able to play.

Pagano is less optimistic about the rash of injuries that is taking over his team. Five players – WR T.Y. Hilton, CB Vontae Davis, OL Denzelle Good, LB Robert Mathis, and CB Patrick Robinson – did not participate in the Colts’ Monday practice. All five suffered injuries in the Thanksgiving night loss to Pittsburgh. Playing without any one of these players on Monday night severely affects the Colts chances of a win.

The Jets continue to show their ineptitude on offense. They average just 17.8 points a game, 28th overall in the league. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is back as the starter. He was 22-for-32 for 269 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots last week, but the Jets managed just 64 yards on the ground. The Colts defense is not very good. Indianapolis is 30th in the NFL in total defense giving up 395 yards a game.

Dallas @ Vikings

Cowboys -3 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

The Minnesota Vikings have stumbled midway through the season by going 1-5 in their last 6 games, but still only sit one game out of first place in the NFC North at 6-5 behind the 7-4 Detroit Lions. Their defense deserves most of the credit for the Vikings still being in it. A top 10 defense that can play with anyone, but they’ll have their hands full when they host the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday.

The Cowboys are 10-1 on the year, and have won 10 games in a row after losing their first to open the season. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie runningback Ezekiel Elliott have both put on a show all season. Are we looking at the dominant Cowboys backfield for the next 5-10 years? That very well may be the case as both rookies have to be towards the top of the rookie of the year race. Dak has had to deal with the added pressure of replacing the franchise quarterback Tony Romo, and quieted the critics even again when Romo recently started becoming healthy.
The Cowboys’ top 5 offense has been unstoppable at times, but it’ll be interesting to see what gives when strength goes against strength this Thursday between the Cowboys offense and vaunted Vikings defense. Dez Bryant will also look to make his presence known against a strong Minnesota secondary. One of the better Thursday night matchups in a few weeks, this game should be one of the better games in week 13 of the NFL season.

Denver @ Jacksonville

Broncos -4 Points

Over/Under 40 Points

The Jacksonville Jaguars enter week 13 on a six game losing streak as they get ready to play host to the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos this Sunday. The Broncos will be coming off a tough divisional loss at home to the second place Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams are currently trailing the first place Oakland Raiders who currently sit at 9-2 entering this week.

Jacksonville has been a huge disappointment this season after showing promise of a young and up and coming team last year behind stars like Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns, but they’ve seemingly digressed noticeably. Their offensive line has been part of the problem, and the defense isn’t what it was a few years ago. They’ll be facing a hungry Denver team who is still very much in the playoff hunt.
The Denver Broncos are hopeful to get back starting quarterback Trevor Siemian this week and to get their dominating defense back on track after giving up 30 points to a Chiefs offense last week. While the Jaguars clearly have the weapons to stay with the Broncos, they’ve simply underachieved this year and have less to play for at this point late in the season.

Kansas City @ Atlanta

Falcons -4 Points

Over/Under 49 Points

The Atlanta Falcons looked like arguably the best team in the league at one point in the season, then they cooled off, but are gaining steam again as they’ve won 3 of their last 4 and are coming off a dominating win at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Matt Ryan is playing up to expectations and along with a weapon like Julio Jones on the outside and Devonta Freeman in the backfield handling the running game.

When the Falcons play at home in the Georgia Dome, few defenses can slow down their playmakers and explosive offensive weapons that can take it to the house at any given time. The Falcons are benefiting from the Panthers and Saints having relatively bad seasons, but Atlanta has some impressive wins, especially by beating the Broncos at Mile High, and a tough loss at Seattle by 2 points, which is always one of the hardest stadiums to play at in the league.

Kansas City is having a strong year in their own right and is coming off of a big win at Denver on Sunday Night Football. Alex Smith is steady at quarterback and Travis Kelce and company contribute enough to keep them in most games, while the defense is also very strong this year, particularly the secondary. The Chiefs have won 6 of their last 7 games and will be no easy out, even at home, for the Atlanta Falcons. This very well should be a highly contested game from beginning to end.

Houston @ Green Bay

Packers -6.5 Points

Over/Under 45.5 Points

After a four game losing streak, the Packers bounced back in week 12 with a big win on the road at Philadelphia on Monday Night Football. They currently sit at 5-6 on the year which is good for third place in the NFC North behind the Lions and Vikings. Aaron Rogers has looked mortal at times and for the better part of this year with the lowest completion percentage of his career thus far.

The Texans currently stand in first place in the AFC South, and a half game up on the Tennessee Titans. Brock Osweiller has been inconsistent for much of the year and isn’t living up to the $18 million contract that he signed just this last offseason with the Texans. Despite the less than mediocre play at quarterback, the Texans are still in first place and have a strong defense in place.
The Texans enter week 13 having lost their last 2 games and the Titans are nipping at their heels in the AFC South. Green Bay seems to be feeling it once again and are riding the momentum back to Lambeau Field this Sunday. In order to stay in the game the Houston Texans will need a big performance from their secondary, as well as the defense as a whole.

Philadelphia @ Cincinnati

PK – Even

Over/Under 42.5 Points

The Philadelphia Eagles come sliding into week 13 of the NFL season having lost three of their last four games. After getting off to a hot start and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz outperforming expectations, the Eagles have come back to Earth in a big way and currently sit in the basement of the NFC East at 5-6. The Eagles looked like a complete team in the early going of the season, but both sides of the ball have faltered down the stretch these last few weeks.

The Cincinnati Bengals are looking even worse that the sliding Eagles, as they’re currently in third place of the AFC North at 3-7-1 and have lost their last 3 games. Their season went from ugly to worse after week 11 when star wide receiver AJ Green tore his ACL which will end his season, and runningback Giovani Bernard also tore his ACL later that week, also ending his season.
Two desperate teams will square off on Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium. While the Eagles may be in slightly better standings, both teams are on the verge of being irrelevant this year with their tough divisional competition. It’ll be two offenses with lots of potential but lots of inconsistencies throughout the year. The Bengals will have to overcome the loss of two offensive pieces if they want to grab a win at home against the Eagles.

Detroit @ New Orleans

Saints -6 Points

Over/Under 54 Points

The Detroit Lions have been a slight surprise this season as they currently lead the AFC North division above the Minnesota Vikings and the third place Green Bay Packers. They enter week 13 having won six of their last seven games and with some impressive wins along the way. Two big divisional wins against the second place Vikings, as well as big wins over Washington and Philadelphia.

The Lions are coming off a big win late in the fourth quarter over the Vikings last week on Thanksgiving where an interception inside of two minutes setup Matt Prater for the game winning field goal. Detroit has been playing complete ball of late but clearly their strength is the offense and led by quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Lions will have to bring their best as they’re going into one of the hardest environments to play in all of the National Football League: The Superdome in New Orleans. Drew Brees and the Saints dropped two of their last three but the offense awoke in a big way last week when they put up 49 points on a Rams defense that’s considered to be arguably the best in the league. They’ll look to continue their dominant performance next week again in the Superdome.

San Francisco @ Chicago

Bears -1 Point

Over/Under 3.5 Points

The San Francisco 49ers are having a nightmare of a season thus far on their way to a 1-10 record. If not for the Browns they’d likely be the worst team in the league. San Francisco entered the season with high hopes on new head coach Rich Kelly, but expectations died a long time ago. With no quarterback and an inconsistent running game combined with a stout division in the NFC West, the 49ers had the cards stacked against them this year.

The Chicago Bears have only been slightly better as they currently hold down the last spot in the NFC North at 2-9. They lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler early on in the season to a thumb injury, and Brian Hoyer has been less than stellar in replacing him. Coach John Fox and Bears fans had reason to think that this year could be a turning point, and it was, but in a bad way. Now the Bears may be without Cutler next season and will be looking for answers to fill the void this offseason if the two sides do part ways.
In the battle of the last place teams, somebody has to win despite their best efforts to lose. Bragging rights and draft order will be on the line when the two square off this Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. May the less-horrible team win.

Los Angeles @ New England

Patriots -13.5 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

The New England Patriots are 9-2 entering week 13 and have won six of their last seven games. That’s good enough for first place in the AFC East, as well as the second seed currently in the AFC behind the Oakland Raiders. Tom Brady and company have been dominant even after losing Gronkowski for a few weeks to injury. Brady was banged up a bit, himself, but did manage to play in their relatively close win at the Meadowlands against the Jets in week 12.

The Rams are as unbalanced of a team as there is in the NFL. On one side of the ball, their defense is one of the best. What happened last week in the Superdome at the hands of Drew Brees was extremely impressive and does little to tarnish the Rams defense which has been as good as any defense in the league this year. Their defensive line is immovable and their secondary is also stingy.
While Drew Brees may have had his way with the Rams defense in the Superdome last week, there’s few defenses that can stop Drew Brees in the dome. Last week was a fluke, and the Los Angeles defense will look to prove it as they take on Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough. Brady and company will try to close the half game gap the Raiders hold over them for first seed in the AFC when the two meet this Sunday.

Miami @ Baltimore

Ravens -3 Points

Over/Under 40.5 Points

The Miami Dolphins have been among the hottest teams in the NFL over the last six games. They’ve gone a perfect 6-0 in those games and have gotten balanced production from both sides of the ball. They currently sit in second place of the AFC East behind the New England Patriots, and are very much in the wild card hunt as we enter the final quarter of the season.

They’ll face a Baltimore Ravens team that is extremely unbalanced, but seems to do enough to find a way to win as they currently sit in first place in the AFC North. Joe Flacco and the offense has been putrid at points this season, though it’s hard to say how much of that blame goes to an offensive line that’s been injured all year and used 9 different starting combinations of linemen due to their injury problems. Regardless, their performance has been bad enough that it cost Marc Trestman his job earlier this season as offensive coordinator of the Ravens.
While the Baltimore offense has been hard to watch, their defense is back top a top ranked unit, especially in the run where they’re once again a force in the ground game. No runningback has topped 100 yards on the ground against them, but they’ll face a tough test in the Miami offense this Sunday. Both teams are right in the thick of the hunt and will be thirsty for a win on Sunday, this should be a great contest with major playoff implications.

Buffalo @ Oakland

Raiders -3 Points

Over/Under 49 Points

Rex Ryan’s stingy Buffalo defense will travel out west to take on the high flying Raiders offense led by Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Oakland offense has been dangerous all year on their way to a 9-2 mark which is good enough for first place in the AFC West, as well as the top seed currently in the AFC. Their offense is explosive and is averaging close to 30 points a game this year. It’s going to take a special defense to stop them, but Rex Ryan thinks his Bills are just that.

Rex Ryan has long been considered one of the defensive masterminds around the league, but he’ll have to scheme up something special if he hopes to keep Derek Carr and company in check on Sunday in the Coliseum. While Tyrod Taylor and the offense have been steady after firing their offensive coordinator earlier in the season, this particular game will rest on the defense’s ability to contain the Raiders offensive weapons both on the outside and in the run game.
The Bills currently sit at 6-5 which is only good for third place in the AFC East, but they’re still a big part of the wild card race in the AFC. This is close to a must win for them if they hope to keep pace with the other teams vying for those two wild card spots in the AFC. Derek Carr and crew will be ready as they need to win to retain their top seed in the AFC over the New England Patriots.

New York @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -6 Points

Over/Under 48 Points

The New York Giants are quietly having a great year. While 9-2 teams like the Raiders and Patriots soak up all the press, the Giants are still a very solid 8-3 and their offense led by Eli and Odell Beckham Jr. looks unstoppable at times this year. They’ve also gotten OBJ some much needed help on the outside with rookie receiver Sterling Sheppard who has come up big for the Giants early on in his NFL career.

The Steelers aren’t too far behind as they currently sit a half game back in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens and are 6-5 entering week 13. Just a few weeks ago the Steelers went on a skid as they lost four games in a row, before bouncing back these last two weeks with solid wins. Ben Roethlisburger was banged up a bit but seems to be back to full health, and Antonio Brown is still stating his case as the best wide receiver in the league this season.

Two good teams that both need a win to keep contention in their respective divisions. Giants at Steelers should be one of the premium matchups this week and will come down to the final quarter of play. The Steelers have shown to be vulnerable at home this year to good teams, but Eli and his offense will have to pick apart a suspect Pittsburgh secondary if they hope to put one in the win column when these two teams meet in week 13 this Sunday.

 

Week 12 NFL Odds

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles Monday Night Football Odds

Packers +3.5 Points

Over/under: 47.5 Points

Kansas City @ Denver

Broncos -3.5 Points

Over/Under 38.5 Points

Where the Chiefs and Broncos end up in the postseason may come down to the two games the teams have with each other remaining on their schedules. The first of those takes place Sunday night in Denver. For most of the last four seasons, the Broncos have owned Kansas City sweeping the Chiefs in the 2012, ’13, and ’14. Kansas City finally broke the streak last season when the Chiefs won at Sports Authority Field in Denver, 29-13, part of the 10-game win streak head coach Andy Reid and company enjoyed in closing the 2015 season.

This year, Kansas City doesn’t enter Sunday night’s game with a long winning streak, but they did win five in a row before losing a close game to Tampa Bay last week. The Chiefs most recent problem has been putting points on the board. The offense is struggling and that is not a good sign since KC now has to face one of the NFL’s best defenses. Von Miller is just half a sack (9.5) behind league leaders Lorenzo Alexander, Cliff Avril, and Kansas City’s Dee Ford each of whom has 10 on the season.

Along with Ford, the Chiefs got a bit of a boost last week when All-Pro Justin Houston returned to the lineup. Houston, who had knee surgery in February, was finally healthy enough to play. Last week was a good time for him to return. Ford had to miss the second half of last week’s game and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Denver. Both Denver and Kansas City will lean on their running games. The Broncos will start rookie Devontae Booker who has taken over for C.J. Anderson, lost for the season with a knee injury.

Green Bay @ Philadelphia

Eagles -4 Points

Over/Under 47.5 Points

Not too long ago, the Packers and Eagles played a November game that was the league’s best game of the week. Now, it’s two teams that are fighting to stay alive in the postseason race. Green Bay has not won since October 20, a win over Chicago which is now 2-8. The Packers have fallen apart on both sides of the ball. The defense is awful and the offense has no running game. The Eagles aren’t much better having won just once in their last four games.

Monday night’s game is a must-win for both teams. The Packers, 4-6, cannot afford another loss especially since they must face division leaders Seattle and Houston in the coming weeks. Green Bay must also face Detroit, which beat Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day to take the NFC North lead, and the Vikings prior to the end of the season. For the Packers to be successful, they are going to have to run the football. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been the team’s leading rusher in two of their last four games. The team did sign former Seattle RB Christine Michael and James Starks returned from a knee injury. Without a running game and improved play on defense, Green Bay will have trouble getting to the postseason for an eighth consecutive year.

Philadelphia still has a shot at the postseason, but the Eagles have to keep up with the rest of the NFC East. Dallas is now 10-1 after beating the Redskins (6-4-1) on Thursday. Head coach Doug Pederson and his team still has dates remaining with all three division opponents (Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants).

Carolina @ Oakland

Raiders -3 Points

Over/Under 49.5 Points

When Carolina travels to Oakland on Sunday, it will be just the sixth time in NFL history that the two teams have played. The last time the two teams played, it was 2012. The Panthers won 17-6 and won the game prior to that, in 2008, by the exact same score. Don’t expect the Raiders to score just six points with an offense built around QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper. Oakland and Carr have the league’s fourth-best passing offense and the Raiders’ 27.2 points a game is No. 5 in the NFL.

The Panthers have won three of their last four and have made some big improvements on defense. After giving up 40-plus points twice earlier in the season, Carolina has not given up more than 20 in the last four games. Oakland has been somewhat of a surprise this season. The Raiders were labeled a contender by many experts and head coach Jack Del Rio and the rest of the Raiders are proving they are indeed worthy.

Oakland has not beaten Carolina since 2004 and that game was in Charlotte. The Raiders have only beaten the Panthers once in Oakland and that was way back in 2000. Oakland got five touchdown passes from Rich Gannon and won 52-9. Carr is capable of doing the same if Carolina’s defense does not apply adequate pressure. Don’t forget that the Raiders also average 118 yards a game on the ground. The Carolina defense is now ranked No. 2 in rush defense. Something has to give on Sunday.

Seattle @ Tampa Bay

Seahawks -6 Points

Over/Under 45 Points

Coming off a huge win over Kansas City last week, Tampa Bay now must face Seattle (7-2-1) and do so with a banged up secondary. The Buccaneers will be without Jude Adjei-Barimah, their nickel cornerback, as he begins a four-game suspension this week. Head coach Dirk Koetter will also likely be without corner Brent Grimes, a Pro Bowler last year, who injured a quad in the win over the Chiefs. Playing without those two in the secondary could spell disaster for a team that ranks near the bottom of the league in most defensive statistical categories.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has improved and is healthy. His numbers lately show that he is performing well. Wilson was 25-for-37 for 348 yards and three touchdowns in a win over New England two weeks ago. Running back Thomas Rawls is back from an injury and the Seahawks running game is getting better. The Seattle defense continues to be among the NFL’s best. The Seahawks are currently first in scoring defense giving up 17.3 points per game.

Head coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are playing for home field advantage in the playoffs. Seattle has only lost once in its last eight games and they do not face a team with a winning record the rest of the regular season. Dallas holds the top seed in the NFC right now with the Seahawks right behind at No. 2.

 

Week 11 NFL Odds

Houston @ Oakland

Raiders -6 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

The Raiders had an extra week to prepare for the AFC South leader Houston. The Texans are coming off their first road win of the season, a 24-21 triumph over Jacksonville. The score was not indicative of how dominant the Texans were. The Houston running game was solid as Lamar Miller (83 yards) led an attack that generated 181 yards on the ground. Houston’s defense harassed Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles to the tune of two sacks, an interception, and a fumble. The Texans will need to do the same to Raiders QB Derek Carr on Monday night if they are going to have success.

The Raiders are one of the best offenses in the league. Carr leads a top five passing attack with 2,505 yard and 17 touchdowns on the season. The wide receiving tandem of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree has produced over 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns thus far this season. If that isn’t enough, Oakland is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (127.8). The Texans will have their hands full.

What Oakland does not excel at is defense. Even though they have one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in Khalil Mack (7.0 sacks), the Raiders still give up nearly 25 points a game. They will have to slow down the Houston running game and put some pressure on QB Brock Osweiler. One big thing in the Raiders’ favor is Houston’s lack of success on the road.

Green Bay @ Washington

Redskins -2.5 Points

Over/Under 50 Points

Sunday night’s NFL match-up will feature two teams headed in opposite directions. The Redskins have lost just one time in their last seven games. The Packers, on the other hand, have won just once in their past five tries. It will be up to Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to lead the Packers to a win on the road in the nation’s capital.

The Packers lack of a running game has hurt them. Running back James Starks is finally back after an injury, but he was largely ineffective last week as Green Bay rushed for just 69 yards in a 47-25 loss to Tennessee last week. Twenty-seven of those yards came from Rodgers. That kind of production on the ground usually doesn’t lead to success in the NFL.

The Redskins, meanwhile, are playing just well enough to become a factor in the NFC East. Quarterback Kirk Cousins leads a pretty efficient passing game (third in the NFL at 298.8 yards per game) and the defense has come up with some big plays. Last week, it was Preston Smith’s fourth-quarter interception that sealed the victory over Minnesota. Plus, the Redskins haven’t lost at home since the second week of the season.

Philadelphia @ Seattle

Seahawks -6 Points

Over/Under 44.5 Points

Fresh off one of the biggest victories of the NFL season, the Seahawks welcome 5-4 Philadelphia to CenturyLink Field. Each week is basically a must-win for the Eagles who are in last place in the ultracompetitive NFC East. Philadelphia proved that it can play with the league’s best when the Eagles stunned Atlanta 24-15 last week. The Eagles defense slowed down QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, and RB Devonta Freeman just enough to gain a huge victory.

Rookie QB Carson Wentz must now face arguably the NFL’s best defense at home on their own field. CenturyLink Field is one of the most difficult places to play in the league and you can bet the noise level will rattle the young quarterback. All four of the Eagles losses have come on the road.

The Seahawks once again found some offense in a 31-24 win over New England last week. Quarterback Russell Wilson was 25-for-37 for 348 yards and three touchdowns and the Seattle defense stopped the Patriots on four plays inside their five-yard line as the game ended. It helps that Wilson is healthy and that guys like rookie C.J. Prosise are contributing in the running game, which is just 30th out of the 32 NFL teams.

Arizona @ Minnesota

Cardinals -1 Point

Over/Under 40 Points

Coming into the season, both the Cardinals and the Vikings were serious contenders for the NFC title. Ten weeks later, both teams are in danger of not making the postseason. The Cardinals have struggled all year long to maintain any consistency and are just 4-4-1 after beating San Francisco (1-8) on a last-second field goal. The Vikings started the season 5-0 and haven’t won since.

The Vikings have to stop their four-game slide or things are going to get much worse. After losing two starting offensive linemen for the season, Minnesota’s running game and pass protection have fallen apart. Vikings QB Sam Bradford has had a rough time getting anything going. The once powerful Vikings running game is 31st in the NFL averaging just 69.8 yards per game. One plus is that the defense is still very good, but it can’t be expected to carry the Vikings.

The Cardinals have only lost once in their last five games. That includes a 6-6 tied with Seattle. Quarterback Carson Palmer and the Cards have resurrected their passing game and the Arizona defense remains stout. The Cardinals are not that great on the road (1-2) and while Minnesota is 3-1 at home, the Vikings haven’t won there since Oct. 9.

 

Week 10 NFL Odds

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles -1 Point

Over/Under 51 Points

The Philadelphia Eagles take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday with a 1:05 kick off time. The over/under has shifted from a low of 48.5 points to a high of 51 points from Bovada to 5Dimes Sportsbook. When a large total like that shifts that far north it’s a sign to fade the public and keep your eye out on the under.

The Falcons are 1-6 straight up and 1-5-1 against the spread in their last 7 matchups on the road against Philadelphia. Eagles however are 7-2 straight up in their last 9 games after 2 or more losses.

Lines in this game consistently shifted from +1 to +2 points from the time it opened.

Cincinnati Bengals @ NY Giants

Bengals -1 Points
Over/Under 47 Points
The Bengals and Giants don’t meet too often, only nine times in NFL history. The Giants sit in second place in the NFC East while the Bengals at 3-4-1 are not far off the pace in the AFC North where Pittsburgh and Baltimore are both 4-4. Monday night’s game will surely please fans that will get to see two of the top six passing offenses in the league.

The Bengals, led by QB Andy Dalton, have the fourth-best passing attack in the NFL and feature one of the league’s premier receivers in A.J. Green. Green is second in the NFL behind Julio Jones with 896 receiving yards so far this season. The Giants’ secondary has been rattled lately, especially rookie cornerback Eli Apple who was benched last week against Philadelphia. Apple will play against the Bengals, and he will have to be on top of his game to hang with Green.

Neither team ranks favorably on defense. The Bengals are normally very stout on defense but have had their share of issues this season. The unit has recorded 25 sacks, but the desire to rush the passer has created serious running lanes to the tune of 116.1 rushing yards per game, 23rd in the NFL. Cincinnati is 0-3-1 when opposing teams throw for over 250 yards.

Seattle @ New England

Patriots -7.5 Points
Over/Under 48 Points

The last time the Patriots and Seahawks got together it was for a Super Bowl title. New England won the day led by Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady. The star quarterback has been on fire since his return from a four-game suspension. The Patriots are 7-1 and averaging almost 35 points a game in the four games since Brady’s return. The big surprise though is the New England defense.

Head coach Bill Belichick has always been somewhat of a defensive guru. The Patriots are second in the NFL yielding just 16.5 points per game. Belichick’s defense will face a Seattle offense that has had its share of troubles putting the ball into the end zone this season. In their first two games of the season, the Seahawks scored just 15 points total. Later, they struggled to a 6-6 tie with Arizona.

Quarterback Russell Wilson has been slowed by an injury and is not as dynamic as he is normally. An injury has also hampered running back Thomas Rawls and the running game has been atrocious. The Seahawks are 30th in the NFL in rushing averaging only 75.4 yards per game. While the offense has struggled, Seattle is still a stalwart on defense and Sunday night’s game just might be a battle of two of the league’s best defenses.

Dallas @ Pittsburgh

Steelers -2.5 Points
Over/Under 49.5 Points

It’s been a while since the Cowboys and Steelers have played each other. The two teams have played three times in Super Bowls and have a long history. They enter Sunday’s matchup heading in opposite directions. The Cowboys are 7-1 and haven’t lost since the season opener. The Steelers were 4-1 at the beginning of October and haven’t won since. They have fallen to 4-4 and after last week’s loss to Baltimore have relinquished the lead in the AFC North.

The Cowboys are solid on both sides of the ball. Rookie QB Dak Prescott has performed so well that the Cowboys may never go back to Tony Romo who was injured in the first game of the season. Dallas is first in the NFL in rushing (165.3 yards per game) largely thanks to another rookie, Ezekiel Elliott. The Dallas running back leads the NFL in rushing with 897 yards. The Cowboys score almost 28 points a game (4th in the NFL) and defensively are tied for fourth in scoring defense giving up 17.5 points per game.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was hurt in a loss to Miami. He had surgery to clean up some damage to a knee and, thanks to a bye week, was back in action last week. It didn’t matter all that much as Pittsburgh couldn’t run the football. If they are unable to get RB Le’Veon Bell going against Dallas, Pittsburgh could be in for a long day.

Miami @ San Diego

Chargers -4 Points
Over/Under 48.5 Points

If there are two teams vying for comeback of the year, its Miami and San Diego. The Dolphins were written off after they started the season 1-4 under new head coach Adam Gase. The Chargers also started 1-4 and head coach Mike McCoy’s job appeared to be on the line. Then, a funny thing happened to both teams – they started winning. The Dolphins have won three straight thanks to an offense that is now producing and San Diego has won three of four behind the arm of QB Philip Rivers.

Miami running back Jay Ajayi has rushed for over 500 yards in the three straight victories. He had two straight games of over 200 yards and is currently sixth in the league in rushing. Ajayi is big reason for the success of the Miami offense and, ultimately, the team. Gase and the Dolphins have also taken some of the pressure off of QB Ryan Tannehill, which has allowed him to play better.

The Chargers have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. They just have problems stopping people. San Diego scores 29.6 points per game, third-best in the league, but gives up 27.4 points a game. Rivers led the offense to 43 points last week, but the defense did give up 35. Sunday’s winner will probably be the team that runs the ball more effectively. The Chargers have the league’s third-leading rusher, Melvin Gordon, who has rushed for 768 yards.

 

Week 9 NFL Odds

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

Ravens -3 Points
Over/Under 43 Points
One of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL comes down to whether or not Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plays. Roethlisberger suffered a meniscus injury to his left knee a little over two weeks ago in a loss to Miami. He has practiced this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday. It was believed that the star quarterback would miss at least four weeks. If he returns, he gives the Steelers a greater chance of winning in Baltimore.

Winning in Baltimore, and just beating the Ravens for that matter, has been very difficult for Pittsburgh lately. The Steelers haven’t won in M&T Bank Stadium since 2012 and have lost the last three games in the series. Baltimore swept Pittsburgh last season and, remember, the Ravens finished 5-11. Even with Roethlisberger in the lineup, a Steelers’ victory is going to be difficult.

The Ravens, currently 3-4, continue to rely on a punishing defense. Baltimore ranks ninth in the NFL in scoring defense giving up just 19.9 points per game. The problem is on the other side of the ball where the Ravens score just 19 points a game. They are not very dynamic on offense and their run game is subpar. Even so, the Baltimore defense is good enough to shut down Pittsburgh if QB Joe Flacco and company can generate any points.

Indianapolis @ Green Bay

Packers -7.5 Points
Over/Under 54 Points

Can the Colts stop anyone? With an injured defense, probably not. Even at full strength, Indianapolis has issues. Now, they will face Green Bay and quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. The Colts will have to prepare to do so without CB Vontae Davis who is undergoing concussion protocol. Frankie Williams was elevated from the practice squad just in case Davis cannot go. It might not matter.

While the offense hasn’t been its usual self, the Packers still have an array of weapons to attack defenses with. The injury to Eddie Lacy has hurt the running game and the Packers have tried a number of things to fix it. The Knile Davis experiment has been a bust so head coach Mike McCarthy may continue to use wide receivers Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery in the backfield. What can’t happen is that Rodgers is the team’s leading rusher as he was last week in a 33-32 loss to Atlanta. Rodgers rushed six times for a career-high 60 yards.

Which Andrew Luck will show up? Last week, he played probably his worst game of the season. Luck was 19-of-35 for 210 yards and had two turnovers. The Colts offensive line has not done a great job protecting him either. Luck has been sacked a league-high 31 times so far this season. But, remember the Colts are ninth in the NFL in scoring.

Denver @ Oakland

Raiders -1.5 Points
Over/Under 44 Points

The winner of this game controls the AFC West. Both Denver and Oakland are 6-2 and the Broncos have controlled the series between the two teams for the better part of five years. Denver won eight straight against the Raiders until the last meeting between the two teams last December. It was in that game that Raiders DE Khalil Mack recorded five sacks and Oakland beat Denver 15-12 at home.

The Raiders get the luxury of playing at home again and they are coming a 513-yard passing game by quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders quarterback fired four touchdown passes as Oakland beat Tampa Bay in overtime. Carr will face a much tougher defense this week. The Broncos rank No. 1 against the pass giving opposing quarterbacks just 183.9 yards per game. Carr will face a fierce pass led by Von Miller and it is highly likely that his stat line will be nowhere near what it was a week ago.

Denver QB Trevor Siemian will once again count on his cast of weapons against a suspect Oakland defense. Siemian threw for 276 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over San Diego. Rookie RB Devontae Booker ran 19 times for 54 yards and a score and wide receivers Demaryious Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for over 140 yards receiving. The Raiders’ defense, while improving, gives up over 25 points per game.

Buffalo @ Seattle

Seahawks -7 Points
Over/Under 43.5 Points

The Buffalo Bills will have to be content playing for a wild card berth after last week’s devastating 41-25 loss to New England. After four straight wins, the Bills have dropped their last two and now face the monumental task of defeating NFC West Division leader Seattle at CenturyLink Field. Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan calls Monday night’s game in Seattle a must-win. He’s probably right as the rest of the Bills schedule features Cincinnati, Oakland, and Pittsburgh.

For Buffalo to win, QB Tyrod Taylor is going to have to make some plays. While the Bills running game is second in the NFL (154.1 yards per game), the passing game is terrible. Taylor has thrown for 1,480 yards and nine touchdowns. He has only been intercepted twice, but he and his receiving corps are far from being considered dangerous. The Seahawks are a Top 10 defense in most every statistical category including rushing. They give up less than 90 yards a game but did give New Orleans a 100-yard rusher in a loss to the Saints last week.

Leading rusher LeSean McCoy is listed as questionable after missing last week’s game against the Patriots. McCoy has rushed for 598 yards and six touchdowns and would definitely help the Bills if he plays on Monday. Buffalo even went out and signed Percy Harvin, who had to un-retire in order to join the team. Whether Harvin can help provide some spark to the offense remains to be seen.

 

Week 8 NFL Odds

Minnesota @ Chicago

Vikings -4.5 Points
Over/Under 41 Points
The Vikings lost for the first time last week to a very good Philadelphia defense. Quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked six times and picked off once in a 21-10 defeat. Minnesota will not see as a good a defense on Monday night in Chicago, but they need to find a way to produce yards on the ground. With both starting offensive tackles gone for the season due to injury, the Vikings need to find a way to run the ball and protect the quarterback.

Chicago gets some good news with the return of their starting quarterback Jay Cutler who has been out since Week 2 with a thumb injury. Backup Brian Hoyer broke an arm in last week’s loss to Green Bay and is likely done for the season. Number three Matt Barkley, who relieved Hoyer against the Packers, will be the backup.

Regardless of who is at quarterback, the Bears need to run the football. They average just 87.9 yards per game and that is a big reason why Chicago is dead last in the NFL in scoring putting up only 15.9 points per game. Minnesota has won three straight against the Bears.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Cowboys -4 Points
Over/Under 43 Points

It’s a battle for the NFC East Division as the Eagles, fresh off a victory over Minnesota, travel to Dallas. The Cowboys get the benefit of a week off and are riding a five-game winning streak coming into Sunday night. The Eagles defense will be tasked with stopping the NFL’s leading rusher in rookie Ezekiel Elliott. The Ohio State product has three straight 100-yard games and leads the league with 703 yards in six games.

The game will also feature a pair of rookie quarterbacks, neither of which was supposed to be a starter this early in the 2016 season. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz was declared the Game 1 starter when Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota and he has excelled leading the Eagles to a 4-2 start. For the most part, Wentz has showed tremendous poise and has performed more like a veteran at times than a rookie.

Dallas is in the same boat with Dak Prescott who replaced Tony Romo in Week 1 when he went down with an injury. Prescott has won all five games that he has started. He has been precise and has thrown just one interception thus far. His play has been bolstered by the running of Elliott. If Dallas can run the ball against a stingy Eagles defense, they can have some success on Sunday night and build their lead in the NFC East.

Green Bay @ Atlanta

Falcons -3 Points
Over/Under 52.5 Points

The Falcons have cooled off somewhat after starting the season 4-1. They have lost two close games to Seattle (26-24) and San Diego (33-30). Atlanta still has the league’s best offense led by QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones. The Falcons are first in the NFL in scoring (32.7 points a game) and Ryan leads all quarterbacks with 2,348 yards passing.

Atlanta needs running back Devonta Freeman to be at full strength on Sunday as Tevin Coleman will be out. Freeman is the team’s leading rusher with 508 yards and two touchdowns. Where the Falcons are going to have to improve is on defense. They need to figure out a way to slow down opposing offenses. Atlanta has given up less than 26 points in a game just once and that was in their 23-16 win over Denver.

Green Bay is 4-2 but has struggled some offensively due to the injury to RB Eddie Lacy. In last week’s win over Chicago, the Packers used wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb in the backfield as they rushed for 103 yards. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers attempted 56 passes in the game. The Packers cannot become a throw-it-every-down team if they plan to chase Minnesota for the NFC North title. A loss on Sunday would put them in a two-game whole behind the Vikings presuming they win on Monday night.

San Diego @ Denver

Broncos -4.5 Points
Over/Under 44 Points

Less than three weeks ago, the Chargers beat the Broncos for the first time since 2013. Denver had won five straight against San Diego before the Chargers figured out how to play some defense. It is also helped that the Denver offense was not the typical head coach Gary Kubiak offense. The Broncos haven’t been running the football effectively as of late. That changed last week as RB C.J. Anderson ran 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown in a very impressive 27-9 win over Houston.

Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian continues to play more like a seasoned veteran than a first year starter and the Broncos defense is simply outstanding. They are sixth in the league in scoring defense (16.7 points per game) and have yet to give up more than 23 points in a single game (and that was to the NFL’s No. 1 offense, Atlanta).

San Diego has found some life the past two weeks, which also equates to a way to save head coach Mike McCoy’s job. The Chargers were 1-4 before consecutive wins over Denver and Atlanta, two of the league’s best teams this season. Philip Rivers leads a very good offense. The Chargers average 29.1 points per game good enough for third in the NFL. Rivers has 2,018 yards passing and 13 touchdowns. Running back Melvin Gordon has improved tremendously and has 461 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.

If the Chargers can begin to figure out their defense (San Diego is 24th in the NFL in scoring defense), they could ultimately turn their season around. A big step forward would be beating the Broncos at home.

 

Week 7 NFL Odds

Houston @ Denver

Broncos -7.5 Points

Over/Under 40.5 Points

The Houston Texans rediscovered their running game and quarterback Brock Osweiler proved why the franchise decided to spend millions on him in the offseason in the team’s win over Indianapolis last week. Now, head coach Bill O’Brien and company get to test their recipe for success against the slumping Denver Broncos.

Denver started the season 4-0 but has lost its past two games, including last week’s 21-13 defeat to the Chargers. While Houston has re-established the run, Denver has yet to establish a consistent ground game something that is imperative in a Gary Kubiak offense. Without the solid run game, the play action passing that Kubiak offenses are known for cannot have great success. First-year quarterback Trevor Siemian, and his backup rookie Paxton Lynch, have both played well, but the lack of a running game does not bode well for the rest of the schedule.

The two teams haven’t played since 2013 when Denver won 37-13 in Houston. The last time the two teams met in Denver, it was Houston that grabbed a 31-25 victory back in 2012.

Seattle @ Arizona

Cardinals -2 Points

Over/Under 43.5 Points

The Cardinals have won their share of games over the past three years. With Bruce Arians as the head coach, Arizona has won 35 games in the past three regular seasons. They have serious problems with one opponent – Seattle. The Seahawks have beaten the Cardinals in four of six games over the past three years. The fact that the Cardinals play at home is no advantage either. The last time the two teams met at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the Seahawks drilled Arizona, 36-6.

This time around, the Cardinals are coming off a big Monday night win, a 28-3 victory over the New York Jets. Arizona has evened its record at 3-3 after a poor 1-3 start to the 2016 season. One of the big reasons for the turnaround is the running of David Johnson. The second-year pro rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a win over San Francisco and followed that performance up with 111 yards and three more scores in the win over the Jets. Johnson’s running makes the passing game all the more effective.

The Cardinals are also improving defensively. They rank third in the NFL against the pass (191 ypg), fourth in total defense (295 ypg), and sixth in scoring defense (17.3 ppg). If there is a better defense in the league, it would be the Seahawks. Seattle is third in scoring defense (15.6) and beat the league’s best offense (Atlanta) last week.

Seattle had problems early in the year on offense, but quarterback Russell Wilson and an improved running game with Christine Michael (354 rushing yards) has helped the Seahawks average 30 points a game over the last three weeks.

New England @ Pittsburgh

New England -7 Points

Over/Under 46 Points

The Steelers will start Landry Jones at quarterback in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger this week. Big Ben was hurt in the second quarter of Pittsburgh’s loss to Miami last week. He will have surgery and could be back after the Steelers’ bye week in time for Baltimore. With Jones at the helm of the offense, RB Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers’ offensive line is going to have to come through.

The Patriots are averaging 469 yards per game since the return of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. In his two games, Brady has thrown for 782 yards and seven touchdowns. That is not good news for Pittsburgh which has one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The Steelers are ranked 29th (out of 32 teams) in pass defense. They were also gashed for 222 rushing yards last week by the Dolphins.

If the Steelers get DE Cam Heyward and LB Ryan Shazier back, it may make a bit of a difference. Neither has been given the okay yet. Without the pair, Brady may have another field day picking apart the Steeler secondary.

San Diego @ Atlanta

Falcons -6.5 Points

Over/Under 53 Points

The Chargers probably saved Mike McCoy’s job for a few more weeks by beating AFC West leading Denver last week. San Diego’s defense gave up its fewest points of the season in a 21-13 victory. If the Chargers can continue to improve defensively, they could turn their season around. Up next is a very good Falcons team that San Diego has only beaten once… ever.

The two franchises have only played nine times and Atlanta has won eight times. The only time the Chargers won Ronald Reagan was the still the U.S. president and the Falcons played at Fulton County Stadium. This year, Atlanta comes into the game off a tough 26-24 loss to the Seahawks.

The Atlanta offense is as good as it gets. They lead the league in scoring (33.2 points a game) and average 457.8 yards of offense per game. The Chargers, while improving on defense, are going to have their hands full with QB Matt Ryan and one of the game’s best wide receivers in Julio Jones. The game could turn into a shootout. San Diego is third in the NFL in scoring averaging 28.8 points per game.

 

Week 6 NFL Odds

NY Jets @ Arizona

Broncos -3 Points

Over/Under 44 Points

Carson Palmer should be back for the Cardinals who got a much needed win over San Francisco last week. The win was costly though as both guards on the offensive line, Evan Mathis and Mike Iupati, went down with injuries. Mathis is done for the season, but Iupati is listed as questionable.

The key for Arizona will be to get RB David Johnson going again. The second-year back ran for 157 yards on 27 carries against the 49ers last week. Johnson scored twice and carried much of the offensive load for the Palmer-less Cardinals. The defense also sacked 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert seven times, an added bonus.

If Arizona can apply pressure to Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, he is susceptible to throwing interceptions. It was Fitzpatrick who threw six picks in a loss to Kansas City earlier this season. The Jets have lost three straight and have produced just 33 points in those three losses. If they cannot put up points this week, they are in trouble against the Cardinals.

Kansas City @ Oakland

Chiefs -1 Point

Over/Under 46.5 Points

It’s a classic AFC West showdown as the Chiefs travel to Oakland on Sunday. The Chiefs will have had the benefit of an extra week off to prepare after their bye. Oakland comes in riding a three-game win streak thanks to a 34-31 win over San Diego last Sunday.

While the Raiders offense is spectacular, head coach Jack Del Rio’s defense better figure some things out…and soon. The Raiders are giving up 27.4 points per game and what was considered one of the league’s better pass rushes has a whopping total of seven sacks. Defensive end Khalil Mack, who finished with 15 sacks last season and was considered a favorite for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award, has just one sack.

Oakland is fourth in the NFL in scoring (28.4 points per game) and QB Derek Carr (11 TD passes) and WR Amari Cooper (456 receiving yards) are coming into their own. The Raiders are off to their best start in 14 years, but they are going to need to stop the Chiefs on Sunday.

One plus for the Raiders is that the Chiefs offense is a work in progress. QB Alex Smith is solid, but the running game is by committee again and Kansas City lacks a big-play wide receiver. The Chiefs are mediocre across the board as evidenced by their 2-2 record, but they were 1-5 last year before winning 10 straight to qualify for the postseason.

Atlanta @ Seattle

Seahawks -6.5 Points

Over/Under 46.5 Points

Who would have thought the Atlanta Falcons would be 4-1 and atop the NFC South? Well, the Falcons did. Their offense is the best in the league and the defense, well, the Falcons offense is good enough right now to cover up for a suspect defense. That offense will be tested against one of the league’s better defenses in Seattle.

The Falcons are averaging 35 points per game mostly thanks to a passing game that features the deadly combination of QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones. Ryan leads the NFL with 1,740 passing yards and Jones is third (just two yards behind leader Marvin Jones) with 517 receiving yards. Head coach Dan Quinn and the Falcons have proved themselves beating both of last year’s Super Bowl participants, Carolina and Denver, in successive weeks.

The Seahawks are 3-1 thanks, in large part, to a stingy defense that is giving up just 13.5 points per game (3rd in the NFL). The offense struggled early but has scored 37 and 27 points in its last two games, both wins. Quarterback Russell Wilson will have had a week off to recover from a minor injury and Atlanta will have to battle the elements at CenturyLink Field which includes the 12th man, Seattle’s home crowd.

Dallas @ Green Bay

Packers -4.5 Points

Over.Under 47.5 Points

The Dallas Cowboys front office can pat itself on the back after two of the best draft picks in recent memory. Dallas is 4-1 and leading the NFC East thanks to a pair of rookies drafted earlier this year. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is the NFL’s leading rusher with 546 yards on 109 carries. Quarterback Dak Prescott has yet to throw an interception and has a QB rating of 86.7. He has filled in more than admirably for the injured Tony Romo, so much so that it may be a tough decision when the veteran is healthy.

Green Bay is 3-1, but the Packers are not their usual selves. The offense is a little off and with RB Eddie Lacy and WR Randall Cobb both questionable for Sunday’s game, it may be way off. Still, QB Aaron Rodgers has managed and the Packers are off to a good start in 2016. Through four games Rodgers has just 876 yards passing, averaging about 219 per game, and nine touchdowns. He and the Packers offense will face a Cowboys defense that is solid and improving.

Dez Bryant will return this week for the Cowboys after missing two games with a leg injury. That could add another dimension to the Dallas offense. The Cowboys leading receiver thus far? Cole Beasley with 27 catches for 332 yards.

 

Week 5 NFL Odds

LA Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals -8 points

Over/Under 42.5 points

It’s hard to believe that the Rams are 2-1 and Arizona is 1-2 and struggling. Carson Palmer threw three picks last week as the Cardinals fell badly to Buffalo, 33-18. For head coach Bruce Arians and his team to get out of their slump, they need to score early and often. The Cards have not scored a point in the first quarter this season.

Buffalo had success running the football against the Cardinals last week. Los Angeles needs to do the same. Running back Todd Gurley has to have success if the Rams are going to win on the road, as they did a year ago. On their trip to University of Phoenix Stadium last year, Gurley tore through the Cardinals’ defense for 146 yards on 19 carries. The Rams as a team gained 164 yards on the ground in a 24-22 victory.

For Arizona, it’s a matter of Palmer getting hot, not turning the ball over, and RB David Johnson continuing to play well. Johnson is the team’s leading rusher and second-leading receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald (20 rec., 218 yds., 3 TDs).

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Cowboys -2 points

Over/Under 45 points

The Cowboys are 49ers are headed in opposite directions and where they end up will fall largely on the guy playing quarterback. The Cowboys are 2-1 as rookie Dak Prescott took over for the injured Tony Romo and led Dallas to two victories. The former Mississippi State quarterback has yet to throw an interception and is doing an admirable job running the Cowboys’ offense.

On the other end, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has been busy fielding questions about San Francisco’s quarterback position. Starter Blaine Gabbert is 30th in the league in passing yards and the offense as a whole is just 16-of-46 on third down. Backup Colin Kaepernick has been in the news more for his protesting of the national anthem than for his quarterback play. Kelly claims that the former 49ers starter is just not 100 percent yet. When he is, he may be taking over for Gabbert who has completed just 55 percent of his passes thus far this season.

Regardless, Kelly needs to ensure that his defense can slow down the Cowboys offense. So far this season, San Francisco is giving up almost 28 points per game. That is surprising considering that the 49ers shutout the Rams in Week 1.

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers -5 points

Over/Under 47 points

The Steelers suffered their worst loss in 27 years when they were beaten by Philadelphia 34-3 last week. The usually productive Pittsburgh running game was held to 27 yards. The Steelers do get Le’Veon Bell back from suspension this week and the Chiefs did give up over a 130 yards on the ground to the Jets last week.

While Kansas City did give up some yards on the ground, their defense played on a different level. The Chiefs caused eight turnovers, picking up two fumbles and intercepting Jets’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick six times. Don’t look for Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger to make quite as many mistakes.

The Steelers secondary has given up over 300 yards passing in each of their three games. Pittsburgh is fourth against the run though (75.3 yards per game) and the Chiefs still have not used Jamaal Charles this season. Pittsburgh is very good at home and a Sunday night at Heinz Field is a very difficult environment in which to win.

NY Giants at Minnesota Vikings

Vikings -5 points

Over/Under 43 points

The Vikings just don’t seem to care. Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the season before the first game. Star running back Adrian Peterson will likely miss the season as well after a knee injury. The offense is sputtering. For head coach Mike Zimmer and the rest of the Vikings, they don’t care. They win anyway.

After three weeks, the Vikings are 3-0 and host the 2-1 Giants who are much better defensively than a year ago. The Giants finished dead last in total defense and were near the bottom in many other categories last season. New head coach Ben McAdoo and the front office worked hard on improving the Giants defense and it is paying off. The Giants did lose to Washington last week, but more importantly lost RB Shane Vereen for the season.

Minnesota’s defense is averaging five sacks per game, the NFL’s best. They sacked Carolina QB and reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton eight times last week. The Vikings defense is also tied for second in the league in interceptions. That defense is the reason why they have wins over the Panthers, Green Bay, and Tennessee to start the season. Without a solid running game, the Giants will struggle in Minnesota on Monday night.

Week 4 NFL Odds

Carolina @ Atlanta

Falcons -1.5 Points

Over/Under 49.5 Points

The Houston Texans rediscovered their running game and quarterback Brock Osweiler proved why the franchise decided to spend millions on him in the offseason in the team’s win over Indianapolis last week. Now, head coach Bill O’Brien and company get to test their recipe for success against the slumping Denver Broncos.

Denver started the season 4-0 but has lost its past two games, including last week’s 21-13 defeat to the Chargers. While Houston has re-established the run, Denver has yet to establish a consistent ground game something that is imperative in a Gary Kubiak offense. Without the solid run game, the play action passing that Kubiak offenses are known for cannot have great success. First-year quarterback Trevor Siemian, and his backup rookie Paxton Lynch, have both played well, but the lack of a running game does not bode well for the rest of the schedule.

The two teams haven’t played since 2013 when Denver won 37-13 in Houston. The last time the two teams met in Denver, it was Houston that grabbed a 31-25 victory back in 2012.

Dallas @ San Francisco

Cowboys -1 Point

Over/Under 50.5 Points

The Cardinals have won their share of games over the past three years. With Bruce Arians as the head coach, Arizona has won 35 games in the past three regular seasons. They have serious problems with one opponent – Seattle. The Seahawks have beaten the Cardinals in four of six games over the past three years. The fact that the Cardinals play at home is no advantage either. The last time the two teams met at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the Seahawks drilled Arizona, 36-6.

This time around, the Cardinals are coming off a big Monday night win, a 28-3 victory over the New York Jets. Arizona has evened its record at 3-3 after a poor 1-3 start to the 2016 season. One of the big reasons for the turnaround is the running of David Johnson. The second-year pro rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a win over San Francisco and followed that performance up with 111 yards and three more scores in the win over the Jets. Johnson’s running makes the passing game all the more effective.

The Cardinals are also improving defensively. They rank third in the NFL against the pass (191 ypg), fourth in total defense (295 ypg), and sixth in scoring defense (17.3 ppg). If there is a better defense in the league, it would be the Seahawks. Seattle is third in scoring defense (15.6) and beat the league’s best offense (Atlanta) last week.

Seattle had problems early in the year on offense, but quarterback Russell Wilson and an improved running game with Christine Michael (354 rushing yards) has helped the Seahawks average 30 points a game over the last three weeks.

Detroit @ Chicago

Bears -2 Points

Over/Under 48 Points

The Steelers will start Landry Jones at quarterback in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger this week. Big Ben was hurt in the second quarter of Pittsburgh’s loss to Miami last week. He will have surgery and could be back after the Steelers’ bye week in time for Baltimore. With Jones at the helm of the offense, RB Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers’ offensive line is going to have to come through.

The Patriots are averaging 469 yards per game since the return of future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. In his two games, Brady has thrown for 782 yards and seven touchdowns. That is not good news for Pittsburgh which has one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The Steelers are ranked 29th (out of 32 teams) in pass defense. They were also gashed for 222 rushing yards last week by the Dolphins.

If the Steelers get DE Cam Heyward and LB Ryan Shazier back, it may make a bit of a difference. Neither has been given the okay yet. Without the pair, Brady may have another field day picking apart the Steeler secondary.

San Diego @ Atlanta

Falcons -6.5 Points

Over/Under 53 Points

The Chargers probably saved Mike McCoy’s job for a few more weeks by beating AFC West leading Denver last week. San Diego’s defense gave up its fewest points of the season in a 21-13 victory. If the Chargers can continue to improve defensively, they could turn their season around. Up next is a very good Falcons team that San Diego has only beaten once… ever.

The two franchises have only played nine times and Atlanta has won eight times. The only time the Chargers won Ronald Reagan was the still the U.S. president and the Falcons played at Fulton County Stadium. This year, Atlanta comes into the game off a tough 26-24 loss to the Seahawks.

The Atlanta offense is as good as it gets. They lead the league in scoring (33.2 points a game) and average 457.8 yards of offense per game. The Chargers, while improving on defense, are going to have their hands full with QB Matt Ryan and one of the game’s best wide receivers in Julio Jones. The game could turn into a shootout. San Diego is third in the NFL in scoring averaging 28.8 points per game.

Week 3 NFL Odds

Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Texans -1.5 points

Over/Under 40.5 points

The Houston Texans look like a brand new team behind new quarterback Brock Osweiller and his arsenal of weapons at the wide-out position and in the backfield. Houston is off to an impressive 2-0 start and have looked dangerous thus far in the early going of the 2016 regular season. If that offense can keep clicking like it is with Brock and DeAndre Hopkins leading the charge, the Texans are a team to watch throughout the season and possibly into the Playoffs. They’ll be visiting a Patriots team that is also 2-0 behind Tom Brady’s replacement Jimmy Garoppolo, however, Garaooppolo is now dealing with injury issues and may have to sit week 3, which would leave Jacoby Brissett as the remaining starter for the Pats and wide receiver Julian Edelman acting as emergency backup.

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars

Ravens -1 points

Over/Under 47 points

The Baltimore Ravens came back from a 1st quarter 20-2 deficit to defeat the browns by a final score of 25-20. They held Josh McCown and the Browns to zero scores in the final 3 quarters of the game, and sealing the deal with an interception at the goaline by Ravens linebacker CJ Mosely. It was an impressive comeback for a Ravens squad that still has a lot of question marks, but is still off to a strong 2-0 start on the year after beating Buffalo in week 1. The Jaguars are at the other end of the spectrum after getting off to a disappointing 0-2 start with a lot of promise leading up to the season. They got smacked bad at San Diego by a strong Chargers team. Jacksonville will be desperate for a win and should be able to pick apart that Ravens’ suspect secondary.

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals -3 points

Over/Under 41 points

The Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos are off to a hot start even after many expected a rebuilding after the loss of Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiller to the Texans, but they look as strong as ever and that defense is back at full strength. They’re coming off an impressive 34-20 win at home against Andrew Luck and the Colts with the defense chipping in with two touchdowns. They’ll be entering Cincinnati to take on a Bengals team that just got smacked by their new division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. Combined with their solid win from week 1 against the Jets, the Bengals enter Sunday’s big game with a 1-1 record, and looking to bounce back from a poor offensive and defensive performance last week on the road.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles

Steelers -3.5 points

Over/Under 46.5 points

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter week 3 ranked atop many experts’ NFL Power Rankings with that powerful offense clicking on all cylinders. They’ve started the season with two solid wins after dominating the Redskins in week 1 and then finishing off the Bengals at home just last week. Ben Roethlisburger and Antonio Brown look as dangerous as ever and are lighting things up, while DeAngelo Williams has been good in Bell’s absence while he serves his four game suspension for missing drug tests. They’ll be traveling to Philadelphia to take on the new Eagles behind rookie quarterback Carson Wentz who has been lights out thus far in his first two weeks in the NFL. Wentz displays all the tools to be a star in the league for years to come and has the Eagles off to an easy 2-0 start after dismantling the Browns in week 1 and then the Bears in similar fashion last week.

 

 

Week 2 NFL Odds

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Ravens -5.5 points

Over/Under 42.5 points

The Ravens opened the season last week with a decent win at home over the Buffalo Bills. The offense had a few big splash plays from the passing game but was overall pretty average. However, the defense looks to be back to form by keeping the Bills under 170 yards of total offense. The Browns looked like the Browns in week 1 when they played at Philadelphia behind quarterback Roger Griffin III, but he’ll now miss time with an injury and hand the reigns over to Josh McCown who threw for over 400 yards last year against the Ravens. Both teams have question marks, but the Ravens still like a team of mystery who could either fade as the season goes on, or find that playoff determination that’s served them in the past.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers -3 points

Over/Under 48.5 points

A young budding rivalry brewing in the AFC North is the Steelers and Bengals. The two teams have created a lot of bad blood between them stemming from physical games bordering on the edge of the rule book at times. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is at the top of the hate list after some malicious hits on steeler players as the Bengals seemingly unraveled and self destructed in the playoffs in Pittsburgh last season. Cincinnati once again seems primed to take the next big step in the playoffs, but they’ve looked like that for years now. The Steelers look to be like arguably the best high powered offense in the league with Ben Roethlisburger throwing to Antonio Brown and their cast of solid wide receivers. Expect a close and extremely physical game when these two meet this Sunday.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Jets -1.5 points

Over/Under 40.5 points

Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills offense got off to a horrific start last week at Baltimore against a young and unproven Ravens defense. They were held to less than 170 yards of total offense, which is impressively bad. Their defense was better, but not good enough as they gave up a few big pass plays allowing the Ravens to take the opener by a score of 13-7. The Jets look like a fresh team this season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm slinging it to great receivers like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. They also have new acquisition Matt Forte in the backfield who looks motivated and ready to produce big this season with his new team. The Jets have a lot more offensive power than the Ravens, and the Bills defense will have to step it up if they want to keep them out of the endzone.

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Seahawks -6 points

Over/Under 37.5 points

The LA Rams looked like the worst, most inept team in all of the NFL’s week 1 action. Their offense was pitiful behind starting quarterback Casee Keenum, and second year running back Todd Gurley couldn’t get things going on the ground either against the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams showed no potential at all against a 49er defense that isn’t expected to be great this year. It was as bad of a start to the LA Rams era as one could imagine. The Seahawks opened up at home against the Miami Dolphins last week and had to fight off a pesky Dolphins team that fell short by 2 points to the Seahawks. Personally I’d look at that as the Dolphins coming prepared and motivated for this coming season, instead of suggesting that Seattle has turn the slope and is starting to decline. It’ll be interesting if the Rams can even keep this game from getting away from them early.

Week 1 NFL Odds

Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos (Thursday Night)

Panthers -3 points

Over/Under 41.5 points

In a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, the Panthers will travel to Denver to take on the reigning Champion Broncos. The line opened at Broncos -1 but the public has strongly influenced the line as it currently sits at Panthers -3. Denver seems like a mess at the quarterback spot after surprisingly cutting March Sanchez and naming inexperienced Trevor Siemian to start. More concerning is that they just made a trade a few days ago to acquire quarterback Austin Davis, so they’ll be carrying three QBs including rookie Paxton Lynch. On the other side of the ball, Denver’s defense should be dominant once again this season, and will need to be in order to make any type of deep playoff run. The Panthers enter the game with revenge on their mind and a team loaded with weapons on both sides of the ball. It’s hard to see the Panthers not winning the game outright given the Broncos’ offense in transition.

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints

Saints -1 point

Over/Under 51 points

Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders will open up the season on the road in New Orleans as they take on Drew Brees and the Saints. The Raiders have looked primed to take that next step after hitting big on drafting young players like Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack. The Saints are coming off a down year that saw them finish with a 7-9 record and 3rd place in the NFC South division. They did little this off-season to add any new prime weapons around Drew Brees, and have a defense with plenty of holes in it. They’ll have to put up points if they want to stay with the Raiders’ offense and avoid a week 1 loss at home. With another losing season this year, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are going to start to think they missed their window to win a championship.

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens

Ravens -3 points

Over/Under 44.5 points

The Ravens missed the playoffs last season for the first time since John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco joined the team. They were held back with injuries to a number of star players, such as Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Justin Foresett. After finishing with a 5-11 record last year, many people are sleeping on the Ravens this year, a role that has served them well in the past. With all of their key injured players back and healthy, Baltimore is poised to make some noise this season in the AFC North. They’ll also get back 2nd year player Breshad Perriman who just saw his first NFL action in the final preseason game. They’ll host a Buffalo Bills team that finished 8-8, just out of the playoffs last year. They’re led by two former Ravens, coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Along with Sammy Watkins and a strong defense, the Bills have the chance to breakthrough into the playoffs this year if they continue to progress. The line for week 1 falls right at Ravens -3, which is right about where it should be for opening week with a lot of questions about a Ravens team coming back from an injury-filled season.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Giants -1 points

Over/Under 46.5 points

The line started at Cowboys -3 but the public was heavily spooked by the loss of Dallas starting quarterback Tony Romo for the season, moving the line to Giants -1 currently. Rookie Dak Prescott from Mississippi State will make his NFL debut at home in one of the best rivalries in football. It’s a great introduction for a kid who has came out and been spectacular during the preseason, and giving Cowboys’ fans confidence that they may still be a threat even without Romo this season. With the addition of Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant back healthy, this Cowboys are always a formidable opponent. The Giants will return their own cast of stars with Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Victor Cruz returning after a long time of rehab. This should be one of the more interesting and unpredictable matchups of Sunday’s NFL. With so much riding on Dallas’ two big rookies at quarterback and running back, it’ll be a gambling man’s guess of who gets off to an early lead after week 1 in the NFC East.

 


2015 NFL Season

SUPER BOWL 50 ODDS – Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos

Super Bowl 50 betting odds opened up at -3 Points for the Carolina Panthers but a lot of money has since come in wagering on the Panthers and has thus moved the line up to 5 to 5.5 points depending on where you wager at. There have been a lot of great opportunities for gamblers to make money with our prop bets as well.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet in the AFC Conference Championship once again, which essentially seems like tradition at this point. Tom Brady is only 2-6 at Mile High Stadium, and it looks to be cold and unforgiving weather in the early forecast for next Sunday. That stout Broncos defense will look to make sure that streak is pushed to 2-7, while Brady and company seem to have their offense healthy after many weeks of starters missing time. It should be another epic showdown between the two future Hall of Famers.
On the other side, Cam Newton and company jumped out to a 31-0 lead at halftime versus the Seahawks, only to squander much of that lead as they didn’t score any points in the second half. The Seahawks still came up short after a missed onside kick in the final minutes, allowing the Panthers to take a knee  for the final few plays. They’ll face a Cardinals team that had to endure two successful hailmarys by Aaron Rodgers on the final drive of regulation, but eventually overcame in the opening drive of overtime with a touchdown of their own to push them into the conference title game. Plenty of action this week for Jon and his team to make you some money. Only two weeks of football left before next season, make sure you get in today and cash in!

NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Odds

Hot off a dominating performance last week, Jon Price and his team are back to continue their winning ways in the 2015 Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Plenty of marquee matchups out of this weekend’s crop of games. One game Jon and his team already have circled is the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals. Coming off a solid second half comeback win at Washington last week, the Packers will look to keep the momentum going this week as they take on the 2nd seeded Cardinals and Carson Palmer.

Jon and his team have also highlighted the Broncos – Steelers game as having great value, and is urging all his clients to capitalize to the fullest on this opportunity. Plenty to work with and choose from this week with some side action as well as action on some of the totals.
When the early lines were introduced for this coming weekend’s game, we knew it was going to be a big one, and Jon Price does not disappoint. Get in now with the hottest picker in the country, the only picker that gives free plays out on nationally syndicated radio programs. With only a few weeks to cash in on the 2015-16 NFL season, the time to act is now. Get on board by visiting our homepage and let Jon and his team get you on the winning side this weekend!

NFL Playoffs Round 1 Odds

The 2016 NFL Playoffs are finally here and we have 2 big games circled for the opening round. Everything gets started Saturday when the Houston Texans play host to the Kansas City Chiefs, but by far the biggest matchup of Saturday is the primetime AFC North Matchup of the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the 4th consecutive week, AJ McCarron will start for the Bengals. He’s played well in Andy Dalton’s absence as he’s yet to throw an interception in the 3 games he’s started. However he did throw 2 interceptions in his first game in action when he replaced Dalton midway through, against the same Steelers defense he’ll face this Saturday night.

Things get started early on Sunday as the Vikings host the red hot Seattle Seahawks. The Vikings are just as hot in their own right, but the Seahawks are coming off a dominant performance on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, who many were considering the class of the NFC, at least, if not many people’s favorite Super Bowl picks. Adrian Peterson and the Vikings will be ready as they’re coming off an impressive road win of their own at Lambeau last week with the division title on the line against the Packers.
Jon Price and his team have every angle covered from this first opening Playoff week’s set of games. Two plays that we’re urging our clients to load up on, and plenty of other side action to make this week an extremely profitable opening week to the Playoffs!

Week 17 NFL Odds

The final week of the 2015 NFL Regular Season is upon us and we’re closing out Jon Price’s biggest season yet with a big cherry on top for Week 17. We have three big games circled that Jon and our team absolutely love and want all of our clients preparing for. Not only do we have some side action per usual, but we also have one particular total that is just a huge opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of.

Plenty of high stakes plays and playoff implications this week as we start with the Jets traveling to Buffalo to take on the Bills. If the Jets win, they’ll make the playoffs. Rex Ryan will have his team ready to go against his former employer as he tries to spoil the Jets’ playoff hopes, which would in turn push the Steelers into the 6th seed with a win against Cleveland.

Perhaps the biggest marquee matchup of the week is on Sunday Night Football when the Vikings and Packers meet in Green Bay to crown the NFC North Champion. The Vikings are entering the game playing lights out while Green Bay has faltered down the stretch but will look to rebound against their familiar adversary.

Jon crushed it last week hitting two huge plays on Sunday, and he’s every bit as confident that this week will be more of the same. The hottest picker throughout this season on syndicated national radio, Jon and his team have won his clients MILLIONS this season in NFL alone! You simply can’t afford to miss out on anymore of Jon’s winning information.

Week 16 NFL Odds

Fresh off Jon’s second best winning week of the season, we have big plans for this week 16 in the NFL. Plenty of great matchups to choose from with playoff implications. Saturday night will feature the first game with serious playoff repercussions as the Eagles will play host to the Redskins to decide who will take the lead of the NFC East going into the final week of the season. Our team has been all over this play since the second the line was introduced, and we’re going all in!

Another game without the playoff implications, but that we love the line on is the Ravens vs Steelers matchup. Usually considered the best rivalry in all of the NFL, this year’s rivalry matchups between the two will have an asterik next to them as the Ravens have been decimated by injuries and will be without the majority of their stars. We still love the line on this game and it should be an easy opportunity to cash in.

Two more marquee matchups with big time playoff consequences are the Jets vs Patriots and the Bengals vs Broncos. The Jets have been playing great ball lately and need a win to stay alive in the playoff race, while the Patriots are dealing with injury concerns in what should be a highly contested, close AFC East game. To close out the week, Monday night features two of the top teams in the league, though the Bengals will be without Andy Dalton again, as the Broncos defense will look to confuse young backup QB AJ McCarron.

Get these picks and plenty more of our top Week 16 NFL information by signing up today on our home page and let us get you on the winning side this week!

Week 15 NFL Odds

With three weeks left in the 2015 NFL Regular Season, chancing are running out to cash in on Jon Price’s historically great season. By far the hottest picker on the radio, Jon Price is hitting at close to 70% this season. This is a particularly great week of NFL with games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and of course, Monday Night. Lots of chances to cash in, and some great lines to take advantage of.

Our team starts things off with the Saturday night game with the Jets visiting the Dallas Cowboys. The Jets will likely need to win out if they want to make the playoffs, while the Cowboys have already been eliminated from contention. Still plenty of playoff implications on the line, and speaking of lines for this game… We love the line that Vegas released. It’s currently at Jets -3. Jon Price and his team will be all over that play for big money this week, make sure you’re apart of it.

Another strong play we like is the Texans at Colts play. Both teams are on the outside of the Playoff hunt, but could desperately use a win in this AFC South matchup. Matt Hasselback looks to be on schedule to start this week after dealing with some injury issues, but Texans will be without DB Rahim Moore. Expect a highly contested game, but if you want to be on the winning side of the game, too, sign up today on our homepage.

Big things going on all week, and Jon Price and company aren’t going to let Vegas off easy. Lots of money to be made in Week 15 of the NFL Season. Join us by calling in or signing up on our homepage today and get the full scoop on all of this week’s action and private plays. Only 3 weeks of Regular Season left, you can’t afford to wait and miss out on Jon’s hot hand.

Week 14 NFL Odds

As the 2015 NFL Season rounds the home stretch and prepares for the final weeks, Jon Price and his team are busy making sure that we cash in on these final few opportunities. Jon went 3-0 last week (feel free to subscribe to us on Twitter and Instagram for weekly betting tickets), and he’s back to match that mark this week.

Only a few great matchups this week on the board, but plenty of playoff implications all around. One of those great matchups kicks off the week’s festivities as the Vikings and Cardinals will open up on Thursday Night. Expect the Vikings to bounce back after a weak performance last week, and for this game to be one of the more highly competitive games of the week.

In addition, the red hot Steelers offense will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a game that is crucial to Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes. The Bengals will have plenty on the line as well as they try to grab one of the top seeds in the AFC playoff picture, and secure home field advantage.

Though there’s not many headlining matchups this week, there’s still plenty of money to be made and great lines to take advantage of. So get in today on our free trial for this weekend and let us get you on the winning side come Sunday!

Week 13 NFL Odds

I hope we all ate well last week for Thanksgiving; I know we did as Jon went 3-0 on Turkey Day, including his biggest play, the Lions. This week we have plenty of ammunition to choose from on the board and some questionable lines that Jon already has circled and will keep an eye on as the week develops.

Thursday night starts things off with an NFC North matchup between the Packers, who suddenly seem to be struggling a bit, and the Lions, who beat the Pack earlier this year and seem to be rejuvenated and back in the playoff hunt.

Another game that Jon likes by all early indications is the battle of New York between the Jets and Giants. Eli and the Giants are coming off their first loss to the Redskins in seemingly forever, and will need a strong bounce back game to keep pace in the NFC East, while the Jets are riding the momentum after a good win last week against the Dolphins.

This week seems even stronger than last week’s based on our early analysis. Jon is rocking and ready to go, make sure you catch the hottest hand in football. Jon hasn’t had a losing record in NFL in 5 weeks, and it’s not looking like that’s going to end this week.

Week 12 NFL Odds

Thanksgiving Football odds for Week 12 are now live here at Sports Information Traders. Please see the latest updated betting lines. We have 3 games on Thursday November, 26, 2015 and the rest on Sunday & Monday. We look forward to impressing you with another big winning week.

One play that may surprise a lot of people that we have circled on our NFL board is the Dolphins hosting the Cowboys. Tony Romo looks to make his return from injury this week, and will try to take down the Dolphins who have been reborn ever since the firing of head coach Joe Philbin. With so much hinging on the health and ability of Romo to play effectively, it sure helps that Jon Price has such close ties to the Cowboys and inside information to their practices.

In another interesting storyline, John Fox will play host to his old team, the Denver Broncos, who fired him last year even after being a very successful coach for the Broncos in his recent tenure. There will be plenty at stake as both teams enter in playoff contention, however the Broncos are much better off at 7-2, they’ll be without starting quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Finally, to cap off what will hopefully be another profitable weekend in the NFL, Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills will travel to Foxboro to take on the still undefeated Patriots. After a last second win last week against the Giants and the loss of star receiver Julian Edelman, the Patriots will look to regroup and shutdown Tyrod Taylor and that lethal running attack of Buffalo.

Week 11 NFL Odds

After Jon Price’s third winning week in a row, he’s feeling the groove and going for broke this week as we already have 4 games circled during our early weekly analysis. Some great games on tap, but none better than the Chiefs – Chargers game. The Chiefs look like one of the hottest teams in football right now, while the Chargers are struggling behind a shotty defense, and have stumbled midway through the season.

The NFC North will host a rivalry matchup between the Vikings and Packers as Minnesota seems to be putting things together and clicking on all cylinders of late. Teddy Bridgewater is getting more consistent by the week and Adrian Peterson still leads the league in rushing as they enter their week 11 matchup with the Packers.

Jon Price is the hottest picker in the country, and if you don’t believe us, just listen to his weekly radio programs where he gives out free picks each and every week. It’s time to stop losing and join a proven winner. Sign up today and get in on this week’s winning NFL action.

Week 10 NFL Odds

Fresh off another HUGE Week 9 in the NFL, Jon Price has his sights on this week’s crop of games with 3 plays in particular with a big star next to them. Jon was 2-0 on BOTH of his radio picks last weekend, and with plenty of ammunition on the boards this coming week, we’re going to take advantage.

Quite a few divisional games in the mix and Jon and his team have the inside scoop on all of this week’s NFL action. The AFC East kicks things off Thursday night with Rex Ryan and the Bills visiting his old team, the NY Jets. The Bills will enter the game as 2.5 point underdogs. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor seem to be back to full strength again, and Thursday Night may feature one of the better games of the Week 10 schedule.

Some other divisional matchups to keep an eye on are Cleveland at Pittsburgh, with Ben Roethlisburger’s availability in-doubt and Josh McCown potentially returning from injury, this could be a tight matchup.

In addition, the AFC West will feature the Chiefs visiting the Broncos, their earlier meeting this year came down to the very end as the Broncos won on a Jamaal Charles fumble. Closing out Sunday of Week 10 in the NFL is an NFC West battle between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks in primetime.

Week 9 NFL Odds

Week 9 of the NFL season is here. We have that insiders edge and if you listened on the radio last week Jon Price won all of his games on air once again. Thursday November 5, 2015 is when the Thursday night football game kicks off. The line is off with an advantage to those who like to bet Totals. The rest of the weekends games are now live with the latest point spreads updated.

Jon Price had a 3-0 Day last week and we want you to make a lot of money with his winning NFL Picks. Sign up today with Sports Information Traders and get a free consultation.

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If you like betting on football then take advantage of the excellent resources provided to the users of Sports Information Traders. We offer the best sports betting tips and betting picks for those who would like assistance each week of the NFL season. Jon Price has also made headlines for his > than 60% win streak so far in the Westgate Supercontest where each week he picks 5 games against the spread.