Thanks to a Cowboys victory Monday night, we ended last week 15-13 ATS and with total points. For the season in NFL picks, we are 131-117 (52.8%). By professional handicapping standards, that’s very solid. Our goal by season’s end is to be over 55%, so we still have some work to do.
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In this post, we try to improve on our performance from last week, looking at betting lines from the BetRivers online sportsbook. If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s in-depth predictions and analysis. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Chargers -1.5 @ Raiders O/U: 48||Raiders 27 Chargers 24||Raiders||Over|
|Cardinals @ Buccaneers -4.5 O/U: 52.5||Bucs 31 Cardinals 30||Cardinals||Under|
|Falcons @ Saints -12.5 O/U: 51||Saints 34 Falcons 19||Saints||Over|
|Ravens -10 @ Bengals O/U: 44||Ravens 31 Bengals 3||Ravens||Under|
|Bills @ Browns -3 O/U: 40||Browns 20 Bills 16||Browns||Under|
|Lions @ Bears -2.5 O/U: 42.5||Lions 23 Bears 17||Lions||Under|
|Chiefs -6.5 @ Titans O/U: 48||Chiefs 31 Titans 23||Chiefs||Over|
|Giants -2.5 @ Jets O/U: 44.5||Giants 26 Jets 20||Giants||Over|
|Dolphins @ Colts -10 O/U: 44||Colts 31 Dolphins 20||Colts||Over|
|Panthers @ Packers -5 O/U: 47||Packers 26 Panthers 24||Panthers||Over|
|Rams -3.5 @ Steelers O/U: 44||Steelers 20 Rams 19||Steelers||Under|
|Vikings @ Cowboys -3 O/U: 48||Cowboys 30 Vikings 20||Cowboys||Over|
|Seahawks @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 47||49ers 31 Seahawks 24||49ers||Over|
November 7th (Thursday)
Chargers -1.5 @ Raiders O/U: 48
Last week’s Thursday game was surprisingly good. The Cardinals inevitably lost but got some very good shots in on the 49ers in the process. This week features two AFC West teams clinging to aspirations of making the playoffs. The Chargers are coming off a massive home win against the Packers, while the Raiders are coming off a home victory over the Lions. While the Chargers have more talent, it’s worth noting the Raiders are playing well lately, putting up big numbers offensively.
The Chargers have been offensively suspect the past few weeks and I still have questions about their O-line. I expect this to be a very balanced game from the Raiders and a very pass-heavy one from the Chargers. The Raiders have been surprisingly strong at thwarting opposing rushing attacks all season. I like the Raiders to pull off the home upset. Raiders 27 Chargers 24
November 10th (Sunday)
Cardinals @ Buccaneers -4.5 O/U: 52.5
It shouldn’t come as a total shock the Bucs are favored in this game. After all, the Bucs have been strong offensively all season and the Cardinals haven’t done a whole lot on defense to stop anyone. The same can be said about the Bucs, of course. The concern I have in this game is Jameis Winston. Sure, he’s had some stellar games as of late, but he is prone to turning the ball over. Even as bad as Arizona is on defense, Jameis has been known to make inexplicable passes from time to time. For that reason, I’m leaning to the Cardinals to cover. Bucs 31 Cardinals 30
Falcons @ Saints -12.5 O/U: 51
The Falcons are coming off a bye, which is likely there only real advantage they have in this matchup. The Saints are on a hot streak and have had no issues beating teams and covering lofty spreads with ease. The Falcons defense is terrible by every measure, but the Saints have occasionally had issues of their own stopping air attacks. I get the spread being inside of two touchdowns is likely due to the Saints aforementioned lapses in coverage ability, combined with this being a division matchup between two familiar foes, but this game should be closer to a 16 point spread, given the Saints’ recent performances. I think this game is the lock of the week, as I have little to no faith in the Falcons’ defense. Saints 34 Falcons 19
Ravens -10 @ Bengals O/U: 44
Last week, were all spared a from being subjected to the worst team in the NFL, the Bengals. As refreshing as it was, I think many of us secretly wish the Bengals had one or two or maybe six more bye weeks left in the season so we could avert our eyes from the most boring offensive performance any of us could fathom seeing. Regardless of how we all really feel about the Bengals, the fact is, they’re going to be playing the Ravens this week. In their first matchup, I correctly took the Bengals to cover. After all, the Bengals were once a very competitive team in 2019 who had covered the spread in most of their games.
The benching of Andy Dalton is nothing more than a pathetic excuse for the inept coaching. The Bengals are the worst in the league at opening running lanes for their rushing attack, and the defense has been about as un-clutch as possible. When Dalton drops back forty times a game because his line can’t open rushing lanes, he’s typically facing defenses prepared to defend the pass. If you take away a team’s ability to run and effectively use play-action, you’re basically playing poker with the cards flipped over. Even with defenses zeroed in on Dalton due to a lack of a run game, he’s been serviceable (9 TDs & 8 INTs). If you compare that to Baker Mayfield, who actually has a running game to take the pressure off the passing game, Mayfield’s 6 TDs and 12 INTs look far worse.
Nevertheless, I think the Ravens defenders will smell blood in the water this week as the Bengals will undoubtedly be attacking the Ravens in the short routes. I expect some exotic blitzes from time to time, but I’m confident we shall see more stacking of the box, committing to stopping the run and forcing Finley to beat the Ravens defense through the air. I anticipate the Ravens will continue their hot streak and take this game easily. Ravens 31 Bengals 3
Bills @ Browns -3 O/U: 40
At multiple junctures this season, we were all told to buy-in on the Bills for a while. After all, they’ve beaten the Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, the Titans, and the Redskins. In retrospect, they haven’t impressed us outside of nearly beating the Patriots. Their defense also hasn’t done a whole lot. They’ve been great against the pass this season, but their pass rush hasn’t been great, their rush defense has been bad, and they aren’t getting turnovers at a strong rate. In other words, they’re just okay. The Browns have looked more bad than good, yet they somehow managed an impressive victory over the Ravens. In this matchup, the Bills are at a major disadvantage with their subpar rushing defense. I think the line is very justified and I think the lack of a pass rush and rush defense is really going to hurt the Bills in this game. Browns 20 Bills 16
Lions @ Bears -2.5 O/U: 42.5
Everyone is still high on the Bears. I have no idea why. Their rushing defense has been bad this year, their quarterback may be in contention for the worst quarterback in the league. They have kicking issues, still. The only reason I’m not totally sold on the Lions is due to the Lions’ inability to prove they can effectively run the ball, following the loss of Kerryon Johnson. I think the Lions are the better overall team here and I just don’t see the Bears doing a whole lot with Trubisky still at the helm. The Bears have a great matchup ahead of them on paper, but I haven’t seen anything from Trubisky lately to give me assurance they’ll win this matchup that looks so good on paper for them. Lions 23 Bears 17
Chiefs -6.5 @ Titans O/U: 48
The Titans have been surprisingly more predictable since Ryan Tannehill took over at QB. Tannehill, being a competent quarterback, has eased some of the attention off their run game. His ability to push the ball downfield as a legit threat has opened up both play action and the run game. The Chiefs defense has shown up when they’ve needed to as of late, and with the return of Pat Mahomes, this game is looking more and more like a certainty for the Chiefs. I think the Chiefs will be able to make the big plays the Titans have been able to decently contain in 2019. It shouldn’t be a blowout, as I expect it to be very competitive while Mahomes plays his way back into rhythm, but I think the Chiefs should be able to pull away in the second half. Chiefs 31 Titans 23
Giants -2.5 @ Jets O/U: 44.5
This game seemed a lot more appealing after the Jets victory over Dallas, when both teams were still brimming with optimism (the Jets were just happy to have Darnold back and have a big home win and the Giants were in full Danny Dimes anointment mode). Now, it’s looking like the father of the bride and the father of the groom both staring at themselves in the mirror at a fitting for their kids’ wedding, which they have no interest in both paying for or signing off their approval. If Lev Bell is good to go and plays, I love the matchup he’s going to have against the Giants D-line. On the other side of the Ball, Daniel Jones has a very juicy matchup against a defense whose only bright spot is at safety. It could be a relatively high scoring game, but I’m sure they’ll both find ways to make it ugly. Giants 26 Jets 20
Dolphins @ Colts -10 O/U: 44
The Dolphins apparently weren’t tanking last week. My bad on that. They sure as hell looked like they were for…I don’t know…the entire season prior to last week. I should’ve known the choice at quarterback was a clear indication the Dolphins were at least going to come out swinging. Ryan Fitzpatrick can be an absolute stud at quarterback from time to time. This week, the defense they’re up against is a lot better than the Jets. The opposing offense is well-coached and well balanced. I love Marlon Mack this week to have a big game. Though it’s possible we see the Dolphins go commando once again this week, I’ll trust Frank Reich to once again, scheme his way to victory. I expect this could be one that has a good chance of snowballing for the Colts. Colts 31 Dolphins 20
Panthers @ Packers -5 O/U: 47
The Panthers cruised to a victory last week against the Titans. Their rush defense has some issues, for sure, but I’m not entirely certain the Packers can exploit it. Last week, the Packers had a good matchup against a weak Chargers rush defense and yet, the Packers did virtually nothing on the ground. I think the Packers will get it together this week, but I firmly believe if they don’t get pressure on Kyle Allen or find a way to contain Christian McCaffrey, this could be a game that comes down to the last possession. I like the Panthers and the Over here. Packers 26 Panthers 24
Rams -3.5 @ Steelers O/U: 44
The Steelers have a very strong pass rush. Jared Goff is terrible under duress. It’s really quite simple but this is the defining advantage in the game. The Steelers defense has been keeping them in games all year, but the Rams have seemingly stabilized on defense over the past few weeks as well. The Steelers are going to have issues moving the ball because of the combination of Aaron Donald’s presence and starting a young quarterback, but there are issues in the secondary outside of Jalen Ramsey that can and likely will be exploited. This game does have a slight snowball potential but I think it actually stays close throughout and the Steelers get it done at home. Steelers 20 Rams 19
Vikings @ Cowboys -3 O/U: 48
This is a fun matchup. The Cowboys are back to a balanced offense and the defense, in particular, has looked impressive as of late. Last week, Saquan Barkley was absolutely stuffed on rushing attempts and the secondary had some very strong moments. With Adam Thielen out again this week, there are even fewer opportunities for Kirk Cousins to exploit the secondary. The Cowboys rush defense looked especially strong last week, so I’m assuming they’ll be able to do a relatively decent job limiting the Vikings dynamic rushing game. Defensively, I’m seeing an alarming trend with breakdowns in the Vikings defense. I like the Cowboys this week to pull out the win at home. Cowboys 30 Vikings 20
November 4th (Monday night)
Seahawks @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 47
Courtesy of Warren Sharp, Russell Wilson has a 45% success rate against man coverage and a 61% success rate against zone. The 49ers run the 3rd highest zone coverage rate in the NFL. The 49ers should also be expecting the return of Joe Staley and Kyle Juszczyk this week. It’s a very intriguing game. I’m confident in both offenses to have success in this game, but I think I have just a little more confidence in the 49ers ability to run the ball against the Seahawks than anything else.
The 49ers pass rush is something to be reckoned with, so I’m not confident Wilson will have his way with this offense as many expect. I like the 49ers to get out to a big lead at home and hold off a late Seahawks rally. 49ers 31 Seahawks 24