2018-19 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3

Last week was an utter disaster.  I had my worst week ever while making picks for the first time this year.  So I got to dig myself out of this hole, starting with this week’s picks:

Last week was an utter disaster.  I had my worst week ever while making picks for the first time this year.  So I got to dig myself out of this hole, starting with this week’s picks:

Continue reading “2018-19 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3”

Baker Mayfield Leads Browns to 21-17 Comeback Victory Against the Jets

Baker Mayfield, number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, made his regular season  debut Thursday night as the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 21-17 at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland. It was the Browns’ first win since December 24, 2016, and improved their record on the season to 1-1-1.

Starter Tyrod Taylor exited the game in the second quarter with a reported head injury. Mayfield entered the game with the Browns trailing 14-0 and a little over two minutes left to play in the half. On his first play from scrimmage Mayfield found receiver Jarvis Landry for a 14-yard gain. Landry lead the Browns in receiving on the night with eight receptions and 103 yards. The drive would end with Cleveland’s first points of the night, a field goal to make it 14-3.

The Browns offense, which was anemic in the first half, was given a spark by Mayfield. In the second half, he led three scoring drives to give the Browns the lead. Mayfield even caught a two-point conversion attempt on a Philly Special-like play to even the game at 14. Both of the Browns’ touchdown drives ended with Carlos Hyde rushing touchdowns, his third and fourth of the season respectively.  Mayfield ended the night with 201 yards on 17/23 passing.

Mayfield’s rookie counterpart on the Jets, Sam Darnold, was not as brilliant. After two touchdowns by former Brown Isaiah Crowell in the first half, the Jets offense stalled. In the second half, the Jets turned the ball over three times allowing the Browns to stage a comeback. Darnold finished the night with 169 passing yards, two interceptions and a passer rating of 38.3.  Both of his interceptions came with under two minutes to play, on drives where the Jets had an opportunity to take to lead.  The Jets have fallen to 1-2 on the young season.

Next week the Browns will fly out to Oakland to take on the Raiders, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see #6 under center for the Browns in that match-up.

 

2018-19 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 2

Hey, I’m back. After my stellar record last year of 20-20-3 last year, I know people are frothing at the mouth to hear what I have to say. I missed week one, and missed A.J. Green’s touchdown party on Thursday night, but let’s get into the picks against the spread for week two:

Hey, I’m back. After my stellar record last year of 20-20-3 last year, I know people are frothing at the mouth to hear what I have to say. I missed week one, and missed A.J. Green’s touchdown party on Thursday night, but let’s get into the picks against the spread for week two:

Continue reading “2018-19 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 2”

2017-18 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Super Bowl LII

The biggest game of the year is finally upon us.  After the two longest weeks of my life we finally get to see the underdog Philadelphia Eagles take on the evil empire that is the New England Patriots.  So it is with a excited tone, yer bittersweet tone, that I bring to the final pick of the season:

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots (-4.5)

I have gone back and forth on this game almost every day it feels like.   If you just looked at the quarterbacks or coaches for these teams you would think Patriots all the way.

However looking at the other match ups the Eagles are better than the Patriots in many spots.  At the very least the Eagles have advantages with their offensive line, running game, defensive line, linebacker core, and secondary.

But will it be enough to dethrone one of the greatest dynasties we have ever seen in football?

If the Eagles want to have a chance it all comes down to their ability to get pressure on Brady with just four pass rushers.  Luckily, the Eagles defensive line rotation is one of the best in the league, but players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham need to have big games to give them a chance.  However, the Eagles will have to be aware of the Patriots ability to go up tempo that could disrupt the Eagles rotation.

Of course another huge issue in this game is the variable of Nick Foles.  Nick Foles was dynamite in the NFC Championship game, going 26-33 with three touchdowns, 352 yards and a QBR of 141.4.  While the Eagles would love for Foles to play that well again, it’s not realistic to expect so.  Will we see that Nick Foles in the Super Bowl, or will he revert back to his old ways?   The Eagles just need him to play well enough to set up the run and for him to not turn the ball over.

Besides that it is incredible the Patriots are even here is you ask me, even though it helps when you play Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles.  If you look at their roster compared to their other historic runs, they aren’t as talented.  My gut says the Eagles are the better team, the more resilient team, and the team with the best chemistry.  It is just so damn hard to pick against the Patriots.

In the end, I think this game is going to be close, and because of that I am going to take the points.  The only thing that scares me about this pick is the fact that the Patriots have never had a blowout Superbowl, but as long as it stays competitive I’ll ride with the Eagles.

Pick: Eagles (+4.5)

Prediction: 27-23 Eagles

2018 NFC Championship: Position by Position Breakdown

After the Minnesota Vikings’ miraculous win last night, the Vikings must come to South Philly to battle the birds for the NFC crown.  Many Eagles fans wanted to face the Vikings instead of the New Orleans Saints, but regardless let’s see how the Vikes match up with the Eagles, position by position:

Continue reading “2018 NFC Championship: Position by Position Breakdown”

2017-18 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Conference Championships

Championship week is here!!! The week were we get to see the best of each conference battle it out for a bid the play in Super Bowl LII.  Here are my picks for the week:

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots (-7.5)

No one expected that the Jaguars were going to win last week, especially by a score of 45-42, but here they are.  It seems that the Steelers were just so focused on the Patriots rematch they forgot they had to play a game against a dangerous team.

Now if the Jaguars want to have any chance to upset the Patriots the defense needs to play better.  They are such a talented group, and they will need to play their best game of the year to have a chance in this one.  I’m talking like they need at least one defensive touchdown and multiple turnovers to give Blake Bortles favorable field position.

For the Patriots their job is pretty simple.  Shut down the run game, and force Blake Bortles to beat you.  I don’t know what happened to the Steelers last week, but it is not going to happen to the Patriots.  Matt Patrica’s unit, which had a dreadful start to the season, has grown to be one of the better units in the league.  They aren’t tops in the NFL in many categories, but they play great “bend, don’t break” defense.  The Jaguars may drive down the field, but it is going to be hard for them to punch it in inside the 20.

I would love to see the Jags win, but I’m going to guess that their offense comes back to Earth and the defense can’t hold off Brady forever.

Pick: Patriots (-7.5)

Minnesota Vikings (-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles

Two teams that have been #1 and #2 in the NFC standings for most of the season will finally collide in the NFC Championship game.  This is going to be a great game.

Both of these teams are very similar.  They both exceed expectations this year, each team features a great defense and a back up quarterback.  The biggest deciding factor for me in this game is the home field advantage of the Eagles.  After their win last week the Eagles are now 14-3 at home over the last two year, good enough for best in the NFL.  Also the Eagles defense has been crazy good at home, allowing just 13.0 points per game on the season, and only 7.25 points over the last four home games.

The biggest match up to watch in this game is the Eagles front four against the Vikings offensive line.  The jumbled offensive line of the Vikings has played well at times, but largely they have been average at best.  The Eagles led the NFL in pressures during the season, and getting to Case Keenum has to be a priority to them.

Pick: Eagles (+3)

Last Week: 2-2

Season: 18-19-3

2017-18 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Divisional Round

Well, last week was crazy, every underdog covered, but now let’s focus on a packed weekend of playoff football.  Here are my picks for the week:

Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are getting severely disrespect with this line.  They are the first #1 seed since realignment to be an underdog in their first playoff game, and it isn’t warranted. Despite losing their franchise quarterback for the season, the Eagles were at the top of the NFC for a majority of the season.  That doesn’t happen because of one guy.  The Eagles are going to pull this one out, and host the NFC Championship game at home.

Pick: Eagles (+2.5)

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-14)

A line of 14 just seems to big for a playoff game.  If any team deserves that line it is of course the New England Patriots, but I feel the Titans are going to put up more of a fight than that.  The Titans certainly surprised me with their comeback win last week, and while they are not going to beat the Pats in Foxborough, one can dream.

Pick: Titans (+14)

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

This is the most interesting game of the weekend for sure.  Both of these teams are pretty evenly matched, but in opposite ways.  The strength for the Saints is their potent offense and killer duo of running backs, while for the Vikings they rely on their stout number one ranked defense.  However in most of these match ups I give the edge to the team with the better defense, especially if they are at home.

Pick: Vikings (-4.5)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)

I just can’t see the Steelers losing twice to the same team at Heinz Field in a season.  Blake Bortles just isn’t good enough to keep up with all of the weapons on the Steeler’s offense, and the defense can only do so much.  The Steelers looking ahead to the Patriots does concern me however.

Pick: Steelers (-7)

Last Week: 1-3

Season: 16-17-3