Last Updated: 2019-10-12
We moved to 4-1 with our NFL Pick of the Week last time out and for this week’s NFL Pick of the Week we’ll take a look at the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags opened as 1-point favorites and are now favored by 2.5 after getting 40% of the early wagers in the game.
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a big game against Tampa Bay, particularly quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who enjoyed his finest day as an NFL pro. The Saints threw for 345 yards and added 112 on the ground, but the Bucs had allowed more than 300 yards passing in each of their three previous games before playing New Orleans, so it isn’t as though Bridgewater accomplished any great feat.
The Tampa Bay offense never really got untracked, rushing for 94 yards and throwing for 158, with the New Orleans defense notching six sacks in the game, which is one good way of keeping a team’s yardage down.
The Jaguars saw their two-game winning streak snapped last week in Carolina, as Jacksonville’s rushing defense took the game off. The Panthers ran the ball 27 times for 285 yards, so it didn’t matter that Cam Newton didn’t have the best of games, as he didn’t need to. The Jags’ once proud defense been getting the job done this season, allowing 34 or more points twice in their first five games, which isn’t what you expect to see from Jacksonville.
The defense wasted a decent performance from the offense, which put up a season-high 27 points and gained over 500 total yards. Minshew had a decent game and has given the Jacksonville offense a bit of fresh air, particularly after last season’s debacle behind center.
People have been quick to jump on the New Orleans bandwagon after last week, but in the NFL it’s always been difficult to keep any sort of momentum and teams have a tendency to come back down to earth after a big win.
Surprisingly, this is the first time the Jaguars have been favored all season and at 2-3 straight-up on the season this is a big game for the Jags, who have split their two games at home so far this season.
While the public is backing the Saints after their impressive victory, going to take a shot on the Jaguars as the small home favorite.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
We moved to 3-1 with our NFL Pick of the Week and this week we’ll look at the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are favored by 11 and the total on the game is 56. This would have been the most anticipated game of the week before Andrew Luck’s retirement, but it’s still a decent contest.
The Colts were expected to struggle a bit without Luck and that’s been the case, as they’re coming off a home loss to the Oakland Raiders and sitting at 2-2, which is where most people probably would have expected them to be at this point of the season. All four games have been close, which isn’t necessarily a good thing in the case of the Oakland game.
The Chiefs have been second in the Super Bowl odds quite some time so it’s not really a surprise to see them 4-0 through the first four games of the season. They’ve been favored by at least 3.5 points each game and have had a couple of close victories their last two games.
The Colts ran the ball well their first two games, gaining 370 yards but have sputtered a little bit the last two weeks, although they’ve had success through the air, throwing for 565 yards. If the Colts could ever put it together and have both aspects of their offense working in the same game, they’d be a tough team to handle.
Defensively, the Colts are allowing 362.7 yards per game, which is about 40 fewer than Kansas City, although the Chiefs are allowing 2 less points per game. The Chiefs have allowed nearly 150 yards per contest, so have to think the Colts will try to exploit that if at all possible.
The Kansas City rushing attack hasn’t been quite as effective this season, although it doesn’t matter much when you’re able to throw for 370 yards per game, but the Colts have actually defended the pass decently, allowing 230 yards per game.
Both teams are negative in the turnover department, so whichever team wins that battle should have a leg up on getting the cover in this one, where I have to the Colts plus the 11, as I think Indianapolis can move the ball a little bit on the ground, which should open things up for the passing game. The Colts have the talent to keep it close and that’s all we really need in this one.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
For our NFL Pick of the Week, where we’re 2-1, we’ll take a look at the Sunday night game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. Dallas opened -2.5 and the number has stayed there even with 62% of the wagers coming in on Dallas. Several places have you laying -115 or -120 with the ‘Boys, but so far only Bovada (at least among books that I know of) has moved the game to Dallas -3 (Even) and New Orleans +3 is -120.
The Cowboys thumped the Dolphins last week and have a pair of wins over the Giants and Washington, although none of those victories are reason for too much excitement. You can’t fault the Cowboys for who they’ve played so far, as they weren’t the ones to make up the schedule.
For the most part, Dallas has done what they needed to do, but didn’t necessarily like the way they were forced to turn it on against the Miami Dolphins last week, as teams can get in the habit of doing that and there are going to be some games where the opposition prevents you from doing so.
The Saints will again be without Drew Brees, but this is Bridgewater’s second game as the starter, so he should have some kinks worked out. He wasn’t necessarily great last week in Seattle, as the defense came up with some big plays, but he didn’t do anything to cost New Orleans the game, which is what they were looking for. With a few more first-team reps during the week, he may be asked to shoulder a little more of the load this week.
But this game will be decided by the New Orleans defense, which was solid last season when they allowed 21.8 points per game, but hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts this year, allowing 27 points twice and 28 points in the other game.
Brees was injured on the road against the Rams and New Orleans was on the road last week, so this is the first home game for New Orleans without Brees and the place should be rockin’ for a Sunday night encounter against ‘America’s Team.’
The Saints are 7-5 straight-up their last 12 games as a home underdog and are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a home underdog, with a loss to the Patriots in 2017 their lone blemish.
Think the Saints play an inspired game here and the Cowboys are in a 48-60-3 (44.4%) situation regarding teams who have scored at least 30 points in each of their last three games, so will take a shot on the Saints plus the points and I’ll use 2.5 since not everybody has an account at Bovada.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
We fell to 1-1 with our NFL Pick of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings opened as 7.5-point favorites and the line has moved to Minnesota -9, while the total on the game has moved slightly from 43 to 43.5.
The Raiders are coming off a bit of a strange game against Kansas City, as the Chiefs led 28-10 at halftime and that ended up being the final score, as neither team scored in the second half. The Riaders did win their first game of the season against Denver and now take the road for the first time. The road wasn’t kind to Oakland a year ago, as the Raiders were 1-7 straight-up, while getting outscored 28.5 to 13.9. The Raiders received more than 6 points three times on the road last year, failing to cover a single one and now travel to face a Minnesota team that is sure to be in a foul mood after losing to the Packers last week.
Nobody in Minnesota is likely to be in a worse mood than head coach Mike Zimmer, who has managed to get the most of his team after a setback, as the Vikings are 21-8-2 ATS after a loss since Zimmer took over. As impressive as that spread record is, the Vikings are a little bit better when favored after a loss, as they’ve gone 11-3-1 under Zimmer’s watch with an average margin of 10.8 points and in the two games the Vikings were favored by more than a touchdown after a defeat, Minnesota won by 24 and 27 points, so Minnesota probably isn’t the place you want to be heading after the Vikings lose.
Normally, this might be a bit of a letdown game for a team, as the Vikes are coming off the game with the Packers and have Chicago up next, but Zimmer has shown in the past he won’t let his team lose focus, as the Vikings are 20-12-2 ATS the week before they’re an underdog and 13-3-1 if they are favored in the game.
Never have necessarily been a fan of playing favorites in the NFL and it’s something that we won’t do a whole lot of over the course of the season, but have to believe the Vikings are the right side in this one and will go ahead and take Minnesota -9.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
The lone bright spot last week was our NFL Pick of the Week, as the Tennessee Titans took care of business against the Cleveland Browns and this week we’ll look at the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams opened as 3-point favorites and the line is now down to Los Angeles -2 with the home team getting 54% of the wagers.
The Rams defeated the Panthers last week 30-27, allowing a final touchdown with under two minutes remaining to hand us a loser on the total of that one. The Saints defeated the Texans 30-28 on Monday night, so we have pretty identical performances on opening night, although the Rams got the job done on the road, while the Saints won in front of the home fans.
Everybody knows this is the revenge game for the Saints, who lost in controversial fashion to the Rams in the playoffs last season and this is the game New Orleans had circled on their calendar as soon as the schedules were released.
But these players are professionals and revenge typically doesn’t mean nearly as much in the professional ranks as it does in the colleges, but there are exceptions. And this is definitely one of those spots.
It’s one thing to lose a regular season game due to a bad call, but being denied a trip to the Super Bowl is another matter entirely. You can be sure the Rams are going to do their best to show that they are the better team and can win without any help from the officials, but the Saints have a little more incentive in this one, not to mention the officials also know what happened last year and might be willing to let a few things go by New Orleans that they would typically flag.
But motivation, revenge and all of that aside, the Saints were actually a better road team last year than they were at home, going 7-1 away from The Big Easy. It was the team’s defense, not the offense that carried New Orleans on the road. After allowing 37 points in a 43-37 win over Atlanta, New Orleans didn’t allow more than 23 points in its other seven away games and held five of those seven foes to less than 20 points.
The Rams were also 7-1 at home, but allowed five of those opponents to score more than 30 points and that could be trouble against a highly motivated squad, so will take the points with the Saints.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
For our NFL Pick of the Week we’ll take a look at the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Cleveland Browns. The Browns opened as 5-point favorites and the line has climbed to 5.5 after two-thirds of the wagers have come in on the home team.
The Browns are the choice of a lot of people to win the AFC North, but the Steelers could very well have something to say about that when all is said and done. But the betting public loves offense and shiny new toys, so Baker Mayfield is getting plenty of attention after a strong rookie season, but it’s important to remember that Cleveland was still below .500 last season and I’m not so sure they can be trusted in the role of a favorite, especially to a decent team like Tennessee.
The Browns are the better offensive team, but Tennessee is better defensively and the one thing the Titans like to do is run the ball, which Cleveland isn’t all that good at stopping. Marcus Mariota can also run the ball when chased out of the pocket and a healthy Mariota is a definite plus for the Titans.
The Browns were favored just twice last season and were 1-1 against the spread, although those two opponents were the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, neither team which is as talented as this Titans squad. Cleveland also had a tendency to play close games last year, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for a team laying more than five points. Half of Cleveland’s games were decided by 4 points or less last year, while the Titans saw six games decided by 4 points or less.
This looks to be a case where the public is enamored with the new team and forgetting that the Titans are a decent team, who happens to be much better when Mariota is in the line-up.
The trends are pretty much split on this one, as Week 1 home favorites of 5 or more points haven’t fared too well recently, although Week 1 favorites against a team who had a better record the previous season have done pretty well, so a bit of canceling out in that regard.
This game is also one of the ones that show the advantage of using Bovada as one of your betting outlets, as they have the Browns -6 due to a tendency to inflate the line towards the public choice at times. But since not everybody has an account there I’ll use the more common spread of Tennessee +5.5 for this week’s play.
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