Record after Week # 8 is: 26-14-4 *note: first 5 picks were all college picks
Broncos at Raiders (-9.5)
Well the Raiders I’ve got at -9 coming off a bye, against Denver. Now the Raiders have won and covered against Denver in their past 4 meetings – and that’s actually when Denver had Kyle Orten and could move the ball a little, unlike now. So I get a better team, a better quarterback, a better offensive line, and a better defensive line and I get a team off a bye with Carson Palmer, who may have struggled but he’s still better than Tim Tebow. The reality is, defensively, Oakland has struggled on the edges since Nnamdi Asomugha went to the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency. But Tebow cannot exploit that because right now – and I say this often, if you give me 3 out of 4 when it comes to quarterback, offensive line and coach…I’ll take it every time. I’m going to swallow the 9 points. The Raiders may not be beautiful offensively but they’ve got to be better at home off a bye than Tebow, 28-13 Raiders.
Jets at Bills (-2)
This is a tough one, the Bills are now -2 and defensive guru Rex Ryan has had two weeks to plan for this matchup or it’s the season for the Jets. There are so many reasons to like the Jets, who are finally healthy. But you know what? Despite Rex Ryan, New York is still average offensively and they’ve not been nearly the same team on the road. The Bills meanwhile, are better in the Redzone, 68% scoring in the redzone. They are built around Fred Jackson, averaging 5 ½ a carry, he’s also an elite receiver and is their 3rd leading receiver. New York linebackers are not great in space and against the pass and they’ve been average defending the run. The Bills are excellent at protecting their own quarterback, only 9 sacks yielded to Ryan Fitzpatrick, that if you give him time – and the Jets will have to blitz to create any pressure, he will rip you apart, he’s at 68% completion percentage when given time in the pocket. Special teams? Slight edge to the Bills – though it’s slight. Buffalo has also got 2 huge tight ends, one at 6’7 and the other at 6’5 in the redzone. I think this game comes down to situational football, I’m going to take the team at home, better offense, better special teams and better redzone offense. Bills cover 27-20.
Dolphins (+4.5) at Chiefs
Listen, Miami is one of only two teams that is better on the road than at home – the other is the New York Giants, the Dolphins get 4 ½. By the way, they’ve had double digit leads against Denver and the Giants, and the truth is they’re 9-4-1 against the spread in their last 14 road games. The Chiefs are built around a pounding running game – but it’s one of Miami’s strengths! They’ve always run the football, 3.9 yards against the run. Now, Kansas City has only a league low 9 sacks – they put no pressure on the quarterback…what does that mean? Matt Moore is not great, but Matt Moore is not going to face the Giants’ pass rush. He’s going to have time to throw! It should be noted that the Chiefs meanwhile, have one of the least productive passing attacks in the league. Their redzone offense is horrible at home; it’s 21st in the NFL, meaning Kansas City settles for a lot of field goals when they should score. This is a very good road team in Miami that usually covers the spread; they’re going to have a quarterback with time to throw. They’re also an NFL defense that matches up well here with Kansas City, who is sort of average on the outside. Kansas City, who’s got a winning streak going, with 2 of those wins against last place teams. Right now, people are oversold on Kansas City and everybody thinks that Miami is atrocious – they’re actually a very good road dog. I’ll take Miami to upset Kansas City, 21-20.
Tampa at New Orleans (-8.5)
Listen, I love the Saints at home and I like for them to cover all the time and I’m generally willing to let them swallow the points. The Saints get -8 ½ , that’s a lot of points to swallow, but the Saints are angry, they lost to the Buc’s last time out and they got beat by the lousy Rams last week. Drew Brees is having another great year –forget Jimmy Graham, Drew’s finally got healthy wide receivers. Can’t go without saying as well that Jimmy Graham has been off the charts good so far, but Drew has his people back and is looking to do some damage. Meanwhile Josh Freeman – Tampa’s quarterback, has regressed because he’s not playing great football this year. They’ve got a cluster of injury problems in their secondary….they just don’t match up well against Jimmy Graham and they don’t match up well on that turf with New Orleans’ wide receivers. It should also be noted, the Buc’s are the youngest team in the NFL. What does that mean? They’re all over the place; they can be good at home and atrocious on the road. They’ve been very impressive against Atlanta and New Orleans but have looked awful against San Francisco and Chicago and Freeman has looked indecisive. The Buc’s are going up against a veteran quarterback in Drew Brees, the Saints are at home and are angry, I’m going to swallow the points. Saints beat the Buc’s 28-17.
Cincinnati (+3) at Tennessee
So this is my value pick of the weekend. I just think I get a better team and I get a field goal. As of Right now, with Tennessee’s Chris Johnson having gone into the tank and Kenny Britt’s done for the year, they actually don’t offer a lot offensively. They do not run/block very well and the truth is that Cincinnati’s second in the NFL against the run. I don’t see Cincinnati giving up a ton of points in this game. It should be also noted that Cincinnati is pretty good on the outside and they’re pretty good on the back 7, pretty good coverage guys, Tennessee is going to struggle to score points. Cincinnati’s pass protection has been very good this year – the Titan’s pass rush has been good not great. So Dalton will have time to throw, he’s pretty good as a rookie with time to throw. Cincinnati win’s the game outright, 20-14…take the points.