Thursday, September 27, 2012

NFL Week 4 Against the Spread

Good thing I put out that disclaimer last week saying that "Past performance does not dictate future results."  Not that I was terrible last week, but 7-8-1 (3-2 on slam dunks, though) is not where we want to be.  This week has a bunch of tough lines, as well, but the slam dunks should guide you through a successful betting weekend.  Enjoy the picks.

Home TeamAway TeamSpread SbG's pick
Baltimore RavensCleveland BrownsBaltimore (-12.5)CLE
Buffalo BillsNew England PatriotsBuffalo (+4.5)NE
Detroit LionsMinnesota VikingsDetroit (-6)DET
Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersAtlanta (-7.5)ATL
New York JetsSan Francisco 49ersNew York (+4.5)SF
Kansas City ChiefsSan Diego ChargersKansas City (+1)SD
Houston Texans Tennessee TitansHouston (-12)TEN
St. Louis RamsSeattle SeahawksSt. Louis (+3)STL
Arizona CardinalsMiami DolphinsArizona (-4.5)ARZ
Denver BroncosOakland RaidersDenver (-5.5)DEN
Jacksonville JaguarsCincinnati BengalsJacksonville (+3)CIN
Green Bay PackersNew Orleans SaintsGreen Bay (-8)NO
Tampa Bay BuccaneersWashington RedskinsTampa Bay (-3)WSH
Philadelphia EaglesNew York GiantsPhiladelphia (-1)NYG
Dallas CowboysChicago BearsDallas (-3.5)DAL
Season24 - 22 - 2
Last Week7 - 8 - 1

Slam Dunks: A 3-2 performance last week brings the dunks into the black with a total record of 5-4-1.  There are definitely a few perplexing lines that should lead to some profit, but then there are games like the Monday Night affair where you have to watch out for the hook when Dallas (-3.5) plays host to the Bears.  That hook could easily burn you, so stay away.

  1. New York Giants (+1) @ Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are good, but the Giants are better.  The only reason why I previously picked the Eagles to win the division was because of the schedule, not because of talent.  The Giants, and Eli Manning in particular, have been nothing short of impressive all season, so far.  Did anyone else notice how they shut down Cam Newton?  A battered and bruised Mike Vick should be no problem for the best front-four in the NFL.  Take the Giants and take them outright.  Giants 27, Eagles 24 (score won't indicate how much the Giants dominated)
  2. San Diego (-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs are not as bad as they showed in the first two weeks, but don't get it twisted: The Chargers defense is not nearly as bad as the Saints Defense.  If the Chiefs win this game, it would have to be a low scoring affair, and I just don't see that happening.  Philip Rivers, in a bounce-back game, will finally start to show some chemistry with Robert Meachem on some deep routes.  Chargers 30, Chiefs 20
  3. San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) @ New York Jets: When I first saw this game when the schedule came out, I was all over this game as a potential upset for the Jets...then two things happened: 1.  San Fran inexplicably lost to the Vikings and 2.  Darrelle Revis tore is ACL and is now done for the year.  The latter being more important in this case.  This game was a mismatch on paper before, and is now a mismatch emotionally and physically.  Without Revis, Rex Ryan's pressure based defense is reliant on Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson (<----pick him up in IDP leagues).  Yikes.  49ers 24, Jets 6 (if they're lucky to get that many points)
  4. New England Patriots (-4.5) @ Buffalo Bills: The Patriots will not go 1-3.  Bill is going to Beli-Check himself before he wrecks himself.  Look for him go to back to the basics and give Wes Welker the damn ball.  For all of those who say that Tom Brady is a great leader, this is the time where he has to show it and tell Belichek that it's time to get back to what led the Patriots to victory after victory the past few years: Wes Welker's dominance opening up space for guys like Gronkowski and Deion Branch (heee's baaacckkk).  Throw in some Brandon Lloyd, and the Bills are simply screwed.  Patriots 31, Bills 22
  5. Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) Vs. Miami Dolphins: The Cardinals will win this game, but it won't be pretty.  I see this being a letdown game for the Cardinals who, for the first time since their Super Bowl run in 2008, have growing enthusiasm and expectations mounting.  It'll be closer than some people think, but the Cardinals will get it done.  Cardinals 23, Dolphins 17

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NFL Week 3 Against the Spread

Last week was good.  10-5-1 good.  Your welcome.  So now that my arm hurts from patting myself on the back, lets go get humbled.

Week 3 is one of the more even weeks as far as matchups are concerned starting with the showdown tonight between the Carolina Panthers and New York Football Giants.  The Giants are going to be without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw while Carolina is looking like they will be without Jonathan Stewart (if he's on your fantasy team, you are all too used to checking on his injury status prior to kickoffs so you should be well trained by now to do so).  Anyway, here are the picks followed by the slam dunks.

Home TeamAway TeamSpread SbG's Pick
Carolina PanthersNew York GiantsCarolina (+1.5)CAR
Chicago BearsSt. Louis RamsChicago (-10)STL
Dallas CowboysTampa Bay BuccaneersDallas (-7)DAL
Minnesota VikingsSan Francisco 49ersMinnesota (+7.5)SF
Tennessee TitansDetroit LionsTennessee (+3.5)DET
Washington RedskinsCincinnati BengalsWashington (-4)CIN
Miami DolphinsNew York JetsMiami (+3)NYJ
New Orleans SaintsKansas City ChiefsNew Orleans (-9)NO
Cleveland BrownsBuffalo BillsCleveland (+3)BUF
Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsIndianapolis (-3)IND
Arizona CardinalsPhiladelphia EaglesArizona (+4)ARZ
San Diego ChargersAtlanta FalconsSan Diego (-1.5)ATL
Denver BroncosHouston TexansDenver (+2)HOU
Oakland RaidersPittsburgh SteelersOakland (+4.5)PIT
Baltimore RavensNew England PatriotsBalitmore (-3)NE
Seattle SeahawksGreen Bay PackersSeattle (+3.5)SEA
Season17 - 14 - 1
Last Week10 - 5 - 1

Slam Dunks: Last week was the first slam dunk special and they were 2-2-1 (damn you, Cleveland!  Who kicks a meaningless field goal to hit the spread!).  Anyway, this week I have a fresh batch of slam dunks.

  1. Houston Texans (-2) @ Denver Broncos: Will this game be a blowout?  Probably not, but if I don't have to give more than a field goal when it comes to the Texans, I'm taking the Texans.  Wade Phillips has turned that defense around from a joke to what is often the best in the league.  The new book on Peyton Manning is out, and it plays into the hands of the Texans.  Manning has had trouble driving the ball down the field (was never his strong suit anyway), which means that blitzing/getting pressure in Manning's face is paramount.  Good thing Houston's "sWatt Comapany" knows how to A) get to the QB and B) have solid coverage.  All at the same time.  Look for Houston to take it by 5 points minimum.
  2. Detroit Lions (-3.5) @ Tennessee Titans: Am I missing something?  Did Tennessee suddenly turn it all around?  Is that defense going to suddenly be able to coral Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and the rest of the Lions offense?  No.Way.  Detroit by a touchdown.
  3. Chicago Bears (-10) vs. St. Louis Rams: Jay Cutler is not an elite quarterback, but he's in the next group of quarterbacks.  He is in the "best QB's who have not won a Super Bowl" crowd with Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, and Joe Flacco.  Who is not on that list?  Sam Bradford of the Rams.  Not only do the Bears have an advantage at the QB position, but at nearly every other position on the field, as well.  A true mismatch.  Bears by 12.
  4. Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Cleveland Browns: Cleveland's Brandon Weeden is going to be in for another long day with Mark Anderson, Marcel Dareus, and Mario Williams chasing him for 60 minutes.  That Bills defense looked amazing last weekend against Kansas City until letting up two garbage time TDs. It's more about how bad Cleveland is than how great Buffalo is, but Buffalo should win by a TD.
  5. Carolina Panthers (+1.5) vs. New York Giants: Another decent bet would be to take the under on this game (51.5).  The Giants do have the personnel to keep Cam Newton in the pocket (best front-four in football).  However, the Giants will also not have Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks (the bigger loss) suiting up tonight.  all of this spells a low scoring affair, with Eli Manning leading the Giants to a game-winning FG (22-21).  If this is actually correct, I appreciate all checks made out to cash.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 NFL Week 2 Picks: Redemption Song

One word to describe last week's picks (and my fantasy season): UGH.  Anyway, this week will be a better week because it simply cannot get much worse.  This week's lines were a bit strange because the favorites were giving far too many points this week.  Will explain more in my SLAM DUNK section below.

Week 1 Record: 7-9
Season Record: 7-9
Week 2 Picks:

Home TeamAway TeamSpread SbG's Pick

Green Bay PackersChicago BearsGreen Bay (-6)CHI
New York GiantsTampa Bay BuccaneersNew York (-9)TB
New England PatriotsArizona CardinalsNew England (-14)ARZ
Indianapolis ColtsMinnesota VikingsIndianapolis (+1.5)IND
Carolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsNew Orleans (-3)NO
Buffalo BillsKansas City ChiefsBuffalo (-3)BUF
Philadelphia EaglesBaltimore RavensPhiladelphia (-3)BAL
Miami DolphinsOakland RaidersMiami (+3)OAK
Cincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsCincinnati (-7)CIN
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston TexansJacksonville (+7.5)HOU
Seattle SeahawksDallas CowboysSeattle (+3)SEA
St. Louis RamsWashington RedskinsSt. Louis (+3)STL
Pittsburgh SteelersNew York JetsPittsburgh (-6)PIT
San Diego ChargersTennessee TitansSan Diego (-6)TEN
San Francisco 49ersDetroit LionsSan Fran (-7)DET
Atlanta FalconsDenver BroncosAtlanta (-3)ATL

5 Slam Dunks:

Because very few people actually go to vegas and bet every game, every week, I decided to give you my five (T-Mobile style) and suggest the five picks in which I am the most confident (in order).

  1. Baltimore (+3) @ Philadelphia: Did I miss something last week?  Did I not see Mike Vick and the Eagles struggle mightily against the Browns?  Did I not see the Ravens tear apart what is a good Bengals team (playoff bound in any other division)?  How on earth is Philly giving any points to a team that is quickly becoming the chic super bowl pick?  Take the Ravens to win outright for the greater payout, but you can play if safe by having them cover the 3. 
  2. New Orleans Saints (-3): Where the line failed to react with slam dunk #1, it is equally overreacting to this one.  New Orleans is significantly better than Carolina.  Throw in the fact that they need to win the game, and a blowout may be in order.  Let's not forget that Drew Brees and co. are still really, really good.
  3. Houston (-7.5) @ Jacksonville: Blaine Gabbert had a great week last week, but that ends here.  Houston's D under Wade Philips is a turnover-making machine, and it's getting better.  J.J. Watt and the rest of the "Swatt Company" are going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses this season.
  4. Cincinnati (-7) vs. Cleveland: The Bengals are not a bad team, they just play in a really difficult division, but not because of the Browns.  BrotherOfGotti thinks the Browns will never win a game this season after they failed to convert what was their "only chance" against the Eagles last week.  I don't share the same sentiment about the Browns' total wins, but the Bengals will show everyone that they are a good team with a convincing victory at home.
  5. Detroit (+7) @ San Francisco: Detroit can still score.  They'll have a tougher time against the best defense in the league in San Francisco, but the 49ers are not going to blow the Lions out.  ***This pick is contingent that Calvin Johnson is healthy and plays.
Have fun enjoying week 2 starting tonight with a really entertaining game between the Bears and Packers that should be too close to call.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL Week 1 and Future Picks

It's week 1 tonight, and that means the Chargers still have five more days of hope!  Gotta flash the powder blue before all hope is lost.  Enjoy the picks for this week.
Home TeamAway TeamSpread SbG's pick
New York GiantsDallas CowboysNew York (- 4)NYG
Chicago BearsIndianapolis ColtsChicago (- 9)CHI
Cleveland BrownsPhiladelphia EaglesCleveland (+9)PHI
Detroit LionsSt. Louis RamsDetroit (- 7)DET
Tennessee TitansNew England PatriotsTennessee (+6)NE
Kansas City ChiefsAtlanta FalconsKansas City (+3)KC
Minnesota VikingsJacksonville JaguarsMinnesota (- 4)JAX
New Orleans SaintsWashington RedskinsNew Orleans (- 7.5)NO
New York JetsBuffalo BillsNew York (- 3)BUF
Houston TexansMiami DolphinsHouston (- 12)HOU
Green Bay PackersSan Francisco 49ersGreen Bay (- 5.5)SF
Airzona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksArizona (+3)ARZ
Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarolina PanthersTampa Bay (+3)TB
Denver BroncosPittsburgh SteelersDenver (- 2)PIT
Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsBaltimore (- 6)CIN
Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersOakland (+1)OAK

2012 Season: 0-0-0

...And also my picks for how the season will play out.  If I get even a couple of them right I'll be pumped.

AFC WestAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC East
Denver Broncos (9-7)Baltimore Ravens (11-5)Houston Texans (11-5)New England Patriots (13-3)
Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)Tennessee Titans (8-8)Buffalo Bills (9-7)
Oakland Raiders (8-8)Cincinnati Bengals (7-9)Indianapolis Colts (4-12)New York Jets (7-9)
San Diego Chargers (7-9)Cleveland Browns (2-14)Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)Miami Dolphins (5-11)
NFC WestNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC East
San Francisco 49ers (12-4)Green Bay Packers (12-4)New Orleans Saints (10-6)Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
St. Louis Rams (9-7)Chicago Bears (10-6)Atlanta Falcons (10-6)New York Giants (8-8)
Seattle Seahawks (8-8)Detroit Lions (10-6)Carolina Panthers (7-9)Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Arizona Cardinals (5-11)Minnesota Vikings (3-13)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)Washington Redskins (6-10)
Wildcard WeekendDivisional WeekendConference ChampsSuper Bowl
(3) Baltimore def. (6) Buffalo(1) New England def. (4) Denver(1) New England def. (3) BaltimoreNew England def. New Orleans 37-33
(4) Denver def. (5) Pittsburgh(3) Baltimore def. (2) Houston(3) New Orleans def. (1) Green Bay
(3) New Orleans def. (6) Atlanta(1) Green Bay def. (5) Chicago
(5) Chicago def. (4) Philadelphia(3) New Orleans def. (2) San Francisco

NFL Over/Unders (Season)

Just in case you have not heard, the NFL begins tomorrow night with the Dallas Cowboys facing off against the World Champion New York Giants.  This means that fantasy football is set to begin and, just as important, betting season is set to begin.  To get the latter started off, I have compiled my NFL team prop bets and confidence behind each pick, based on the website formerly known as BoDog's lines.  Enjoy!

Team (Total wins - 2012) Over/Under: reason: Confidence (out of 5)

Arizona Cardinals (7) Under: The Cardinals are really regretting the Kevin Kolb trade/contract.  Because of a lack of quality/stability at the QB position and a schedule that features (outside of division) the NFC North and South and the AFC East, I predict that the Cardinals will go, at best, 5-11.  Confidence: 4

Atlanta Falcons (9) Over:
This pick all hinges on whether the Falcons can improve their record on the road (4-4 last year).  Particularly, the week 16 showdown at the Detroit Lions will determine whether this pick will hit.  Overall, 9-7 is the most probable outcome for the Falcons, but if Matt Ryan can take full advantage of one of the best one-two combos at wide receiver (Julio Jones and Roddy White), then they could push their record to 10-6 or 11-5.  Confidence: 3

Baltimore Ravens (10) Over: The Ravens don't have the easiest schedule in the world having to face the NFC East, but the AFC West balances that out nicely.  Like the Falcons, the Ravens desperately need their QB to mature.  Joe Flacco has arguably the most talented all-around running back in Ray Rice and has an emerging receiving talent in Torrey Smith.  If he puts it all together, the Ravens should shatter the over/under of 10, but my lack of confidence in Flacco leads me to believe that the best record they Ravens could have is 11-5.  Confidence: 3

Buffalo Bills (8) Over:
I have been a long-time critic of the Bills and have ragged on Bills fans repeatedly, but this should be the year that the Bills return to the above .500 mark.  The Jets are going to take a significant step back, and Miami is not close to challenging anyone.  Plus, they get the benefit of playing against the NFC West and AFC South, which only have one good team each.  Do not be surprised if Buffalo goes 10-6 with an improved defense and a solid one-two punch in the backfield (Fred Jackson-C.J. Spiller).  Confidence: 4

Carolina Panthers (7.5) Under: I was dead wrong about Cam Newton last year.  However, Lets not go crazy and think that the Panthers did enough to win eight games this season.  Playing the Falcons and Saints four times should result in three losses (at least) and throw in four games against the NFC East (another three losses).  Top all of that off with an away game at Chicago and that's already seven losses.  That would mean that they would have to sweep through the AFC West, which I would not bet on happening.  Confidence: 4

Chicago Bears (9.5) Over: The NFC North should get three teams in the playoffs, and the Bears are that third team.  Brandon Marshall makes that team infinitely better.

Cincinnati Bengals (8) Under: In any other division, this would be a slam dunk 'over' pick, but it's not another division.  Playing four games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore should result in three losses and throw in the NFC East and this season could easily get away from the temperamental Bengals.  Andy Dalton in year two could easily fall into a sophomore slump despite having one of the best young receivers in AJ Green and a solid defense.  Confidence: 2

Cleveland Browns (5) Under: Is there anything more insulting to Browns fans than being owned by a Steelers fan?  This joke of a franchise keeps us laughing this year with Brandon Weeden being named the starter with NO ONE to throw to.  Trent Richardson's knees have already had two operations, so I'll go with 2-14 for the Browns.  Confidence: 5

Dallas Cowboys (8.5) Under: The Cowboys look like they are going to be the most disappointing team in the NFL this year.  A weak pass defense coupled with an inconsistent offense will not be enough when facing off against the AFC North, NFC South and six brutal division games.  This all spells a 6-10 season.  You read that correctly.  Six...and....ten.  Confidence: 4

Denver Broncos (9) Under: The Broncos, talent-wise, are easily the best team in the AFC West, but they're cursed by the schedule.  Here are their first eight games (keep in mind these are the games where Peyton Manning has to gel with his new players): vs. Pittsburgh, @ Atlanta, vs. Houston, vs. Oakland, @ New England, @ San Diego, bye, @ New Orleans, @ Cincinnati.  #RecipeForDisaster.  Confidence: 3

Detroit Lions (9) Over: A lot of people expect the Lions to take a step back this year.  This will all depend on the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford.  If he can stay healthy again for all 16 games this season, he should easily throw for close to 5,000 yards again and lead his team to at least 10 victories.  Confidence: 3

Green Bay Packers (12) Under: The 'over' bet is +145 (begging to be taken), but I'm not biting.  It's not that the Packers aren't good.  They are.  But anticipating any team going 13-3 is flat out unreasonable.  Plus, four games against the Bears and Lions should account for at least 1 and probably 2 losses.  Confidence: 4

Houston Texans (10) Over: This mark is pretty on the money, but I'm going to give Houston's defense the benefit of the doubt carrying this AFC South juggernaut to an 11-5 season.  Matt Schaub is back...for now.  Same with Andre Johnson.  If both stay healthy, they shatter the 10-win mark.  Confidence: 2

Indianapolis Colts (5.5) Under: The Colts are in great shape for the future after drafting Andrew Luck who, barring injury, looks like the real deal.  However, that does not help this year.  Maximum of four wins this season.  And hey, Peyton Manning was 3-13 in his first season.  Confidence: 4

Jacksonville Jaguars (5.5) Under: There is not a less talented team in the league, particularly at QB.  I'm not a believer in Blaine Gabbert or Justin Blackmon (unless it's a drinking contest).  Confidence: 5

Kansas City Chiefs (8) Under: Not a believer in Matt Cassell, but he has a ton of help coming back from IR in Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, which makes this pick incredibly difficult.  Confidence: 1

Miami Dolphins (6.5) Under: Another team, another bad QB situation.  What makes it even worse is that they have zero wide receivers to throw to.  if TO signed for the Dolphins, he'd immediately be #1 on the depth chart.  Confience: 4

Minnesota Vikings (6) Under:
For all of you fantasy football nerds, Percy Harvin had 100 targets after Christian Ponder became the starting QB.  The second-most in that time?  Wes Welker...with 74.  Unfortunately, the good news ends there.  A bad defense in the same division as Detroit, Green Bay and the improved Chicago offenses spells disaster for the Vikings.  Confidence: 5

New England Patriots (12) Over: The AFC East is a lot like the AFC West in that most of the teams are mediocre.  However, New England is the one exception.  The Patriots have improved their team (which was the favorite in the super bowl) by signing Brandon Lloyd on the offensive side of the ball and drafting all of those defensive players, including Chandler Jones.  Confidence: 3

New Orleans Saints (10) Over: Ten is the perfect over/under, but I will give Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, and and Marques Colston the benefit of the doubt.  Confidence: 2

New York Giants (9) Under: The world champs were an amazing story last year, but that was last year, and this is this year.  This is one of the most brutal schedules in the NFL this year.  Sorry Giants fans, I have them one off the pace from last season at 8-8.  Confidence: 2

New York Jets (8.5) Under: The Jets do not have a decent WR, RB, TE, OL, pass rush, or special teams.  But they have Tebow!  How long until he starts?  Confidence: 5

Oakland Raiders (8) Over: This hurts so much as a Chargers fan, but the Raiders somehow seem to get better every year, and now Carson Palmer has a full offseason with this offense, which should compliment it's physical defense much better this year.  Confidence: 3

Philadelphia Eagles (10) Under: If Mike Vick plays all 16 games, I will most likely be very wrong.  But who honestly thinks he's going to play all 16 games?  Confidence: 3

Pittsburgh Steelers (10) Under: Big Ben loves to complain that he's playing injured, Rashard Mendenhall is injured, and James Harrison keeps illegally injuring others.  Confidence: 4

San Diego Chargers (9) Under: The Bolts will finally spiral the drain enough times to show how inept Norv Turner is as a head coach: Confidence: 4

San Francisco 49ers (10) Over: Six comfortable wins in division leads to an easy coasting to at least an 11-5 season for the team by the bay.  Confidence: 5

Seattle Seahawks (7.5) Under: Rookie Quarterback, injured "star" running back, overrated wide receivers, and even more overrated head coach = disappointment for some of the best sports fans in this country.  5-12th man.  Confidence: 5

St. Louis Rams (6) Over: Jeff Fisher is a really good coach.  Sam Bradford has the skills to be a really good QB.  Chris Long and Robert Quinn are really good pass rushers.  They won't be playoff contenders, but better than 6-10.  Confidence: 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6) Over: How can you not love what they did in the draft (Mark Barron, Doug Martin, and LaVonte David) and free agency (Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright)?  Josh Freeman will be comeback player of the year.  Confidence: 3

Tennessee Titans (7) Over: The age of Jake Locker has begun in Tennessee with a decent supporting staff (Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, Jaret Cook).  Confience: 3

Washington Redskins (6.5) Under: Robert Griffin III is going to be a good QB, but like Cam Newton last year, it will not lead to a bunch of wins this season for a Redskins team that plays in a tough division and conference.  Confidence: 4