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December 18, 2016

Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans -4.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (5 Units)

The Texans are in control of their own fate in the AFC South. I think they beat the Jags at home with ease on Sunday. Blake Bortles looks horrible under center for the Jags. Texans 27, Jags 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tennessee Titans +6 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

This may sound like a homer pick, but I do think the Titans have a shot in Arrowhead on Sunday. All the talk this week has been Alex Smith vs. a gross Titans secondary; but the Chiefs can be beaten in the air as well. The Titans O-Line is good enough to stop the KC pass rush. Titans lose; heart-breaker late. Chiefs 29, Titans 27.

Baltimore Ravens -5.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

I'm loading up on the Ravens D in DFS this week. The Eagles will be without playmaker Darren Sproles, which means they will need to rely on rookie Carson Wentz. I think the Ravens D will find the end zone twice and Joe Flacco has a big game as well. Ravens 41, Eagles 16.

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Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs -6 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

This is the week to separate the wheat from the chaff, and although I really love what Tennessee has done this year, I think showing up on the road at Arrowhead after an emotional win against Denver will be too much. The Chiefs have found a potent passing attack lately as Jeremy Maclin has returned to action with the recent discovery of Mr. All Purpose, Tyreek Hill. The Titans can certainly be exploited on the back end, as their secondary has given up 275 yards passing per game and 22 touchdowns on the year. I think the Chiefs just have too many weapons with Travis Kelce, Spencer Ware, Hill and Maclin so I really love KC at home in this one.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Oakland Raiders -3 over San Diego Chargers (3 Units)

This game is quite the rivalry, and sadly it could be one of the last times we can say that it's San Diego vs. Oakland, as in the coming years it could be Los Angeles vs. Las Vegas. The Chargers have great personnel, but they have just lost way too many games as a result of the injury bug, and emerging star Melvin Gordon is the most recent to join this list. The Raiders were embarrassed by the Chiefs last week on Thursday night, and I have the hunch that a team being embarrassed (and getting four extra days to prepare) will do well the next week. The Raiders will be able to move the ball against a Chargers secondary that allows 261 yards passing per game, and 18 touchdowns on the year. I think the loss of Gordon will be too much, and the Raiders need this game in the worst way.

New England Patriots -3 over Denver Broncos (4 Units)

I really think that this is the lowest spread that the Patriots have had this year since the return of Tom Brady this season. (Oh and by the way, according to the Giants/Steelers game two weeks ago the ideal gas law exists ... because of, you know, science.) I know that everyone thinks that Brady will be coming out and throwing the ball all over the field, but I really think that the game plan will be similar to the AFC title game against the Colts, which was to pound the ball on the ground. The Broncos can certainly be had on the ground, as they allow 127 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry, while having surrendered 12 touchdowns on the year. The Patriots will also be able to make the Broncos play one-dimensional, and force Trevor Siemian to beat them through the air, as they only allow 90.2 yards rushing per game. This will be revenge for last year's AFC title game, and I look for the Pats to keep on rolling.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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December 17, 2016

Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 15 NFL picks against the spread:

Baltimore Ravens -5.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4 Units)

I've been picking on the Eagles for a while now and it's mostly worked out. They've been pretty bad since the hot start to the season. They'll be without playmaker Darren Sproles this weekend against what is already the league's best rush defense. The Ravens need to keep winning if they're going to edge out the Steelers for the division. I like them to bounce back after a tough loss at New England.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Indianapolis Colts +5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

Both teams are desperate for a win down the stretch and the Vikings are getting Adrian Peterson back this week. He's more of a big name than a real difference maker at this point though. The Colts are without wide receiver Donte Moncrief, but I think Andrew Luck keeps this one close anyway, and the Vikings offense is a pretty weak unit. I like a close game here, so I'll take the points.

San Diego Chargers +3 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

This is more of a number play, but a December division game with the home team getting points seems like a good spot to take. Although their records may indicate otherwise, these two teams aren't that far apart. The Chargers have had some tough losses and the division is just loaded this year, so someone has to come in last. I like the Chargers to get Antonio Gates involved in pursuit of the TE touchdown record, and like the Chargers for the outright upset.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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December 11, 2016

Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers +3 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

It would be an understatement to call the Packers season up to this point a disappointment. With a 6-6 record going into Week 14, the Packers would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs were to begin now.

Of course, they don't (begin now).

Green Bay will host the Seahawks this weekend and then play their division foes over the final three games. If they take care of business, there is a good chance they will make the playoffs.

Over the past few weeks, Aaron Rodgers has played better -- 291.0 YPG, eight TDs and no INTs in past three games -- and Jordy Nelson has a minimum of 91 yards in five of his past six games. In addition, Jordy has scored a touchdown in five of those six games. With Earl Thomas out and a group of talented pass-catchers at Rodgers' disposal, I think they pull off the upset at Lambeau (or at least keep it within a field goal).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers Pick'em over San Diego Chargers (2 Units)

What a year as it has been for the Panthers and what a start to last week's game! After benching the reigning MVP to start last week's game due to a dress code violation, Derek Anderson threw an interception. It didn't get much better from there as the Panthers were blown out 40-6.

The Panthers have allowed 75 points in their past two games to the Raiders (35) and Seahawks (40) and Luke Kuechly (concussion) will miss a third consecutive game. Essentially playing only for pride at this point in the season, Cam Newton and the Panthers could bounce back as Philip Rivers and the Chargers make the cross-country flight for a 1 p.m. game.

New England Patriots -6.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

Without Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season, Tom Brady may not carve up opposing secondaries on a weekly basis. And the Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league. That said, I trust him (without Gronk) much more than I trust Joe Flacco (with all of his weapons).

Historically, Flacco has played well against the Patriots and he's coming off his best game of the season, but the offense has otherwise struggled all year. Baltimore ranks 24th in the NFL in yards per offensive play (5.138) just ahead of the Browns (5.136).

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers Pick'em over San Diego Chargers (5 Units)

I love this rebound spot for Cam Newton and the Panthers. I think Cam finishes the week as the top fantasy QB as well. The Panthers get Luke Kuechly back as well which will be a huge boost to a defense that has been struggling. Panthers 37, Chargers 24.

[Note: Kuechly has been ruled out for Week 14.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Los Angeles Rams +6 over Atlanta Falcons (5 Units)

Even if Julio Jones goes this week, he will be extremely limited or a decoy, as reported. The Rams have played decent at home this year, and I think they find a way to upset the Falcons here. I think Jared Goff has a multi-TD game and the Rams D gets to Matt Ryan. Rams 23, Falcons 17.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

The Cowboys are bound to trip up before the playoffs and this is the perfect spot. I think Odell Beckham has a big game in prime time and the Giants upset the Cowboys. Giants 24, Cowboys 23.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 over Buffalo Bills (3 Units)

This should be a fun game, as the forecast is calling for snow showers in Buffalo with possibility of decent winds, so the ground games will be crucial here. The Steelers have been stout against the run this year, as they only allow 92 yards per game on the ground, and I think the focus will be for them to keep LeSean McCoy in check. On the other side of the ball, the Bills have not been playing great against the run all year, as they allow 116 rushing yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry. The Bills have also been torched as of late by opposing quarterbacks in Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, and I suspect Ben Roethlisberger will be able to add his name to the list. This is a gotta-have-it game for the Steelers, and I expect them to carry through.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cincinnati Bengals -5.5 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

In yet another game that is said to feature a good amount of snow, I really love the Bengals coming into town and being able to run the Browns right off the field in the return game of RG3. Cleveland has the second-worst rushing defense in the league, as they allow 140.6 rushing yards per game and also 4.5 yards per carry. Last time they played the Bengals, Jeremy Hill went for 192 total yards. With Rex Burkhead mixed in, Hill will see a lot of work in this one. The Browns are just as awful against the pass, as they have let opposing quarterbacks go for 259 yards per game and 28 touchdowns on the year. This will be quite the running back feature game, and I also expect Tyler Eifert to shine as well, so I will take the Bengals on the road here.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

This is the rematch in primetime people are loving, as it an old NFC rival Giants-Cowboys game, with the fact that the Giants were the only blemish on the Cowboys record on the year so far tossed in for good measure. Everyone is still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Dallas, and I really think they may have a difficult time on the road this week. The Cowboys secondary is certainly suspect, as they allow 276 yards passing per game, and opposing quarterbacks have a very high 70-percent completion percentage against them as well. The Cowboys also struggle to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the secondary has struggled in forcing turnovers, as they only have picked off four passes all year. Again this is another game that could feature some weather elements, and I think Dak Prescott will struggle in the wind. I like the small dog at home here.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 14 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Here are my Week 14 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans +6.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

This is a huge game in deciding who will win the division, as both teams are tied along with Tennessee at 6-6. The Titans have a tough matchup against the defending champion Broncos, so there's a reasonable chance that the winner of this game will claim sole possession of the division. I'd still favor the Colts to win the game, but I'm not swayed by their massive Monday Night win over the Jets -- a game in which New York was just an embarrassment on both sides of the ball. I like Houston to keep this one within a touchdown so I'll take the 6.5.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cleveland Browns +5.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 Units)

I just don't know, as bad as the Browns are, if they're going to go winless for the season. They have some solid athleticism at the skill positions, and RG3 is finally back. This is likely his last chance to make a case that he's a starting quarterback in the league. Cincinnati is on the decline so I like Cleveland at home to get the upset victory in a close game.

Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

Blake Bortles is terrible and has had just an awful season. The stat about having more pick-sixes than career wins has been out there all week, and I think the Jags will be extra motivated to win this one. It's a home game, Minnesota has a pretty weak offense without a good run game, and Jacksonville actually has a good pass defense. This one is more about the number than win or lose the game, but I'll guess it's a close game and I'll take the Jags with the points.

Green Bay Packers +3 over Seattle Seahawks (4 Units)

A December game at Lambeau that the Packers are underdogs in and need to win to stay in contention? And they still have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback? I'll take the Packers. I'll fully admit my bias toward Rodgers -- I'm not a Packer fan, but at least for a stretch, he's the best QB I've seen. Seattle just lost Earl Thomas, which is a big blow for them. I think the Packers find a way to eek this one out and get the W.

New York Giants +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

The Giants handed the Cowboys their only loss way back in Week 1. Neither team is the same at this point, but the Giants have a chance to prove that game was not a fluke. Some think they are a flawed 8-4 team, and the loss of JPP doesn't help, but I like them to show up at home this Sunday night. The Cowboys are the NFC favorite for sure, but they don't have to go 15-1 to prove that. This is a very losable game for them, and I like the Giants to upset them.

Baltimore Ravens +6.5 over New England Patriots (5 Units)

In one of the last remaining good rivalries in the NFL, this is a great matchup on Monday night. There is no love lost between these two teams, and it's an important game with playoff implications. For the Patriots, it's about hanging on to the 1 seed after a Raider loss on Thursday. For the Ravens, it's about staying in top of the division to secure a playoff spot, which they may need to do with both wild card teams currently coming out of the AFC West. With the loss of Rob Gronkowski, I think the Patriots are a little less explosive offensively, and I like a close finish with a possible upset. Too many points, so I like the Ravens.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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December 04, 2016

Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 13 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Giants +6 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

The Giants have rebounded from a three-game losing streak to win their past six games. Granted, their level of competition has been low (Browns, Bears, Rams, etc.) during that winning streak, but Eli Manning has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of those six games. While the Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers play better at home, I do think that the Giants can keep this game within a touchdown. Pittsburgh's pass defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in yards per game (263, 23rd) and yards per attempt (7.4, 21st).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Buffalo Bills +3 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

I love what the Raiders have done so far this season and think they are for real. As a fan of an NFC team, I'm actually "rooting" for the Raiders to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51. That said, I like Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins to be able to score some points and to keep this game within a field goal. Not that they are necessarily looking ahead, but the Raiders will face all three of their division rivals on the road in the final four weeks and have a short turnaround as they face the Chiefs this upcoming Thursday.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins, Under 40.5 (3 Units)

The Dolphins are on a six-game winning streak powered by Jay Ajayi, but they will face the league's best rush defense as the Ravens allow 74.9 rush yards per game. On the other hand, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense leave a lot to be desired. Only the Brock Osweiler-led Texans and Jared Goff-led (or Case Keenum-led) Rams have scored fewer touchdowns per game than the Ravens. It looks like the Dolphins could very well be without DeVante Parker, who has stepped up recently, so I could see this game being a 20-17 or lower-scoring type of game.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -5.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

This week, the Chiefs have another massive road test flying out to the East coast to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Chiefs are coming off a big emotional divisional game against the defending champions, and I think they will be due for a let-down this week. The Falcons have exactly the right personnel available to attack the Chiefs, as Kansas City's secondary has been like a sieve this year to opposing wide receivers. The Chiefs allow 261 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks, and they also have given up 20 touchdowns through the air as well. I really like the Falcons at home in the dome, and having Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Taylor Gabriel to go against a Chiefs team that will be without Jeremy Maclin again.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins +3.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Dolphins will certainly have a test this week to see if they are truly for real, as they are coming into this game winners of their last six ball games. The Ravens lead the AFC North for now, and one would think that the Ravens at home with the best run defense in the league will slow down Jay Ajayi. Over the last six games, Ajayi has been on fire, as he has posted the following split 730 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns over that span. Also, don't sleep on the Dolphins passing offense, as they have emerged with dual threats in Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, and you can certainly exploit the Ravens secondary that gives up 223 yards passing per game and 20 touchdowns. I think this will be a close game overall and when in doubt, take the points as always.

Chicago Bears +2 over San Francisco 49ers (4 Units)

Outside of Cleveland of course, this game features the two other worst teams in the league, and well, I think, this one is more for draft positioning than anything. Although the Bears have lost two starting quarterbacks this year, Matt Barkely did a credible job last week in his first start, and if it wasn't for the backup receivers having the drops, they would have beaten Tennessee. The Bears have also found a bright spot in running back Jordan Howard, who over the last four games has posted a stat line of 414 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and also hauled in eight catches for 114 yards as well. Howard has the dream matchup against a 49ers defense that allows 171.8 yards rushing per game and 5.1 yards per carry. I know a lot of people love Colin Kaepernick this week, but the Bears are better than the Niners at home.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions +6 over New Orleans Saints (5 Units), Over 53.5 (5 Units)

The Saints are great at home, and score a ton of points in the dome. The Lions have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so I expect Drew Brees and the Saints offense to eat. I think the Lions can keep pace with them as well. As I mentioned in our DFS Roundtable and our joint picks this week, I am going to be targeting a lot of players from this game. Saints 37, Lions 33.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -13 over Los Angeles Rams (5 Units)

The loss of Rob Gronkowski, I think, will end the Super Bowl dreams for the Patriots this year, but they should have no problem beating the Rams. The key in this one will be Pats QB Steve Grogan. I think he hits Stanley Morgan on a couple of deep scores … On a serious note, Jeff Fisher is the worst. The player I like the most in DFS this week is Dion Lewis. I think he finds the end zone twice. Patriots 34, Rams 14.

Arizona Cardinals -2 over Washington Redskins (5 Units)

I've lost so many “units” on the Cardinals this year, so why not another max bet placed on them?! Carson Palmer’s play has significantly dropped off this year, but they still have David Johnson to run the ball. I think DJ has a big game and the Cardinals D has a big game shutting down the 'Skins. Cardinals 23, Redskins 16.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 13 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 13 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs +5.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

The Chiefs are coming off an impressive come-from-behind victory in Denver last week and have set themselves up for a playoff run. They'll need to continue playing well down the stretch, and with Jeremy Maclin ruled out, we should see a good bit of Tyreek Hill. I like a close game that the Chiefs may win outright, so I'll grab the 5.5 here.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Denver Broncos -3.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 Units)

The Broncos late loss to Kansas City last week means they'll have some work to do if the defending champs want to make another run at it. Rookie Paxton Lynch will be the starter, and while the Jags pass defense has been good this year, I have more confidence in Lynch this week than I do in Blake Bortles against the Broncos the way he has been playing this year. I don't think the Jags score enough here, and Denver is too good in a very winnable game to let this be the game that kills their playoff hopes. I'll go against the grain and take the small road favorite to cover.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

The Eagles may have a bright future with Carson Wentz at the helm, but the future is not now. After a great start, Philly has regressed to what they really are. They're a middle-of-the-pack team with a solid defense but very weak offense. They have injuries at the running back and wide receiver position, and may have to rely on Dorial Green-Beckham as their No. 1 receiver this week. I think these are two pretty comparable teams and with home field alone, I like Cincy by three or so. I'll give the 2.

New York Giants +6 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

We're all waiting for the Steelers to rise up to be the team to challenge New England and potentially come out of the AFC, but at 6-5, they need to secure a playoff spot first. I expect an offensive game, but the Giants defense has been getting better and better as the season goes on, and I think six points is too much. The Giants offense should be able hang in with Pittsburgh, and the Steelers should win the game, but I see less than a touchdown as the difference.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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November 27, 2016

Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Oakland Raiders -3.5 over Carolina Panthers (3 Units)

If the playoffs were to begin now (and obviously they won't), the Raiders would have the No. 1 seed over Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC. With a win on Sunday, the Raiders would guarantee their first season with a winning record since the 2002-03 season when they lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

The Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and no team has allowed fewer sacks (11) this season. A clean pocket has helped Derek Carr take another step forward in his third season and the Panthers will be without their best pass rusher, Mario Addison, in addition to All-World linebacker Luke Kuechly this week.

On the other hand, it's been a disappointing season for reigning-MVP Cam Newton, who has thrown for multiple touchdowns only twice this season -- Week 2 vs. the 49ers and Week 6 vs. the Saints. The Saints have been playing better defense lately and they held Cam to 14-of-33 passing for 192 yards in Week 11.

If there's any concern, it's that the Raiders are playing on a short week after traveling to Mexico City and the Panthers have a mini-bye since their Week 11 matchup was on Thursday night. That said, the Panthers are dealing with numerous injuries on their offensive line as well as Michael Oher (IR) and Ryan Kalil are out.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers, Over 48 (3 Units)

The Packers are only the second team this season to allow four consecutive opponents to score 30-plus points against them. The 49ers did so earlier in the season as well. The Eagles offense may not be the most explosive and they will be without Ryan Mathews this week, but who can't score on the Packers?

And while the Packers can't stop anyone, Aaron Rodgers has accounted for three-plus touchdowns (counting a rushing score) in five consecutive games. If this game devolves into a shootout with the Packers defense surrending points in a fast-and-furious pace, Rodgers and the Packers should in turn be able to rack up points as well.

I'm not sure that the Packers lose a fifth straight game, but it wouldn't surprise me if this game turns out to be a 31-27 (or more) type of shootout.

Tennessee Titans -6 over Chicago Bears (2 Units)

Before the injuries and suspensions, the Bears were bad. With Matt Barkley drawing the start with limited weapons on Sunday, it's going to be a long day for the Bears. With as well as DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota are playing lately, the Titans could get out to an early lead and if so, I have little faith in Barkley's ability to engineer a comeback.

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Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +7 over New York Giants (5 Units)

I don't think Cleveland will go winless this year. The Browns are bad, but I actually like them a lot more with Josh McCown at QB than I do with Cody Kessler. The Giants are probably the most overrated 7-3 team I have seen in awhile. I think they fall victim here on the road. I'm going to put some on the moneyline too. Cleveland 26, New York 24.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -8 over New York Jets (4 Units)

It’s tough laying more than a touchdown in this rivalry, but this Jets team is pretty bad. If you're playing DFS Sunday, don’t forget Tom Brady even with Rob Gronkowski out. I expect the Patriots to abandon the run and throw the ball a ton. This line to me screams bet on NY, which is why I think the sharp money play is the Pats. New England 35, New York 23.

Denver Broncos -3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

Kansas City is another overrated 7-3 team. The Broncos can be beat on the ground, but for whatever reason Andy Reid wants Alex Smith to throw all over the place. Spencer Ware has only eclipsed the 20-carry mark twice this year, and if the Chiefs want any chance in this one Ware is going to have to shoulder the load. I just don't see that happening this week. I like Denver at home. Denver 24, Kansas City 17

Tennessee Titans vs. Chicago Bears, Over 42.5 (5 Units)

I have seen QBs like Matt Barkley look like Joe Montana versus the Titans. While I do expect the Titans to win, I don't expect their defense to hold the Bears to less than 20 points on Sunday. I love Jordan Howard for DFS, so get him in your lineups and win money. For Tennessee, Mariota has thrown for multiple TDs in seven consecutive games. I think he makes it eight here. Titans 31, Bears 24.

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November 26, 2016

Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans -6 over Chicago Bears (5 Units)

These are the games that you have to win if you want to take the jump into the league's upper teams, and the Titans are primed to win this game and the chance to be just one game down in the AFC South race. This week it looks like the Bears will start their third quarterback of the year in Matt Barkley, as Jay Cutler will miss this one. I do foresee the Bears leaning heavily on Jordan Howard, but he will be going up against a stout Titans rush defense that only gives up 92.1 yards per game to opposing backs. The Bears are just missing too many playmakers for this game being down Cutler, Alshon Jeffrey, and Zach Miller to keep this one close. I would look for another steady day from DeMarco Murray, and the Titans will win this one on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -8 over New York Jets (3 Units)

The Patriots just haven't looked like themselves the last two weeks, but as the calendar starts to turn to December, we all know that the Pats play their best ball. New England has done phenomenal against the number this year, as they have posted an 8-2 mark. This will be the type of bounce-back game from the Patriots, as I look for Tom Brady and company to take advantage of a weak Jets secondary that allows 261 yards passing per game and 16 touchdowns on the year. The Jets have also had trouble moving the ball all year, and while the Pats may give up the yards, you simply don't score touchdowns on them. Even though it is a high number, I think this is a game that the Patriots will be executing at the level that they are used to.

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 over Denver Broncos (3 Units)

This game is the certainly the marquee matchup of the week, as the clash of two great defenses has been flexed to primetime. I like the Chiefs ability to come into Mile High and come out with the win, because they are a much better running team than throwing the ball. The Broncos can be had on the ground, as they allow an astounding 123.7 yards per game, and 4.4 yards per carry. I also love the Chiefs pressure defense going against a rookie QB in Trevor Siemian, and also the Chiefs lead the league with 13 interceptions on the year. This game will certainly be close with the caliber of both defenses, so I will be taking the points here.

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Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +7.5 over Buffalo Bills (4 Units)

This just feels like too big of a spread. Blake Bortles has been awful this year, and the Bills have a solid defense. Still, the Jags pass defense is actually pretty good, and the Bills have some injuries on the offensive end. Robert Woods is out, and though Sammy Watkins just got taken off IR, it's unlikely he plays much or that he's as effective as he normally would be just yet. LeSean McCoy is good to go, but he did have thumb surgery last week. I like the Bills to win here, but the Jags to cover.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Arizona Cardinals +5 over Atlanta Falcons (5 Units)

This is a game where I think the Cardinals are better than they've shown of late, and the Falcons are not as good as they've been, so I will definitely take the five points here. Matt Ryan had his first pretty pedestrian game of the season against the Eagles two weeks ago, coming off a bye this week. I think Ryan regresses the second half of the season to something closer to what his career output has been. Atlanta may be good enough to win here at home, but I like a close game so give me the Cardinals with the points.

New York Jets +8 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

Call me crazy but I like the big division home underdog here. The Patriots offense is so schematically good and Tom Brady is still playing at an incredibly high level. The defense has been very mediocre, though, and the Jets do have some weapons in Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte. The Jets season may be done, but I think they still get up for the game against the Pats and I like them with the points at home.

Green Bay Packers +4 over Philadelphia Eagles ( Units)

The Packers have been an incredible disappointment this year, but they still have a very potent offense and Aaron Rodgers has still shown flashes of being Aaron Rodgers. The defense is awful, but Carson Wentz and Philly have come back down to earth after a hot start that got everyone excited. I think GB matches up well with Philly and will be able to score points against them, and I don't think the Eagle offense will be able to keep up. I like the Packers to win outright in Philly, so I'll certainly take four.

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November 20, 2016

Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

After a five-game winning streak to open the season, the Vikings have lost four games in a row. While they have one of the league's best defenses, their struggles on offense has put added strain on their defense, which hasn't played as well recently.

This should be a relatively low-scoring affair, as only the Dolphins-Rams have a lower over/under, but I expect the Cardinals to win this game outright. Not only do they also have one of the league's best defenses, but I trust their offense to be able to move the ball more so than I trust Minnesota's. Take the 1.5 here.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams, Under 39.0 (3 Units)

It's the lowest over/under on the schedule and I'll still go lower in this one. The Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the league and the Dolphins will be without a couple of key starters on the offensive line as both Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey have been ruled out.

On the hand, the anemic Rams offense will hope to get a shot in the arm as Jared Goff, this year's No. 1 overall pick, makes his NFL debut. The Rams rank last in the NFL in scoring at 15.4 points per game, so it's hard for the offense to be worse than it's been.

Even so, the Rams have scored 10 points or less in three consecutive games. I can this game being a 13-9 type of game.

Buffalo Bills +3 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 Units)

Andy Dalton and the Bengals are coming off a tough Monday Night Football loss to the Giants and will host the only team that actually plays in New York on a short week. Meanwhile, the Bills are coming off their bye with an extra week to prepare.

With Sammy Watkins still out (but eligible to return as early as Week 12), there are concerns with the team's limited weapons in the passing game. Powered by LeSean McCoy and the dual-threat abilities of Tyrod Taylor, however, Buffalo ranks second in the NFL with 155.0 rushing yards per game and first in the league in yards per carry (5.3).

The Bengals have been a huge disappointment and I think they are better than their record indicates, but I will take the points here.

New England Patriots -12.5 over San Francisco 49ers (2 Units)

It didn't work last week with the Cardinals, but I'd expect Tom Brady & Co. to take out their frustrations in a bounce-back performance following their Sunday Night Football loss at home last week. Even though it's a large spread and the Patriots are without Rob Gronkowski, they are a vastly superior team and don't typically take their foot off the gas. Would it surprise you if the Patriots won this game by 30? Me neither.

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November 19, 2016

Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (5 Units)

We have seen the Vikings defense struggle the past few weeks after a great start, and they face David Johnson and the Cardinals this week. I like Arizona in this spot. On the flip side, Minnesota’s offense has been basically Stefon Diggs during this time, and he gets a matchup with one of the best in Patrick Peterson. I think Diggs and the Vikings will struggle to score in this one. Cardinals 27, Vikings 13.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -12.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)
Patriots at 49ers, Over 51.0 (4 units)


I love the Patriots in a bounce-back spot on Sunday. I think this is a great game to target in DFS as well. I'll be stacking this game up for sure. I believe Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount & Co. will have a huge game and thump the 49ers on the road. Patriots 55, 49ers 20.

Indianapolis Colts -2.5 over Tennessee Titans (2 Units)

The Titans have struggled with the Colts for the past few seasons, and even though they have looked great on offense the past few weeks, their defense is prone to big plays in the passing game. Andrew Luck has this team's number, and I think this game comes down to the wire. Colts 27, Titans 24.

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Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +6 over Detroit Lions (3 Units)

So, this isn't the surprise season that everyone thought Jacksonville would have, and also it certainly appears that after four years of futility that coach Gus Bradley will be out the door as well. I think if only for a week, Blake Bortles can get back on track against a really bad Detroit Lions pass defense.

The Lions allow 259 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, at 74% completion percentage, and have allowed 20 touchdowns through the air as well. Compound this with Jacksonville's improving pass defense that only gives up 204 yards per game, which is good for fourth in the league.

I really think that the Lions will win this game outright at home, but the way that they can't stop the pass and Allen Robinson has some momentum coming into this game, it will be a close one.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Giants -7.5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

This is the type of game that New York will struggle in, and also Chicago will find a way to win, but I really think this season is just a lost cause for the Bears right now. The worst possible thing for the Bears happened this week with Alshon Jeffrey being suspended, and as he is the go-to guy for Jay Cutler this offense will be anemic.

The Bears will not only be toothless on offense, but their passing defense is just too weak for the likes of Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Sheppard at home. The Bears allow 243 yards per game to opposing passers and a robust 66.7 completion percentage as well. I like the Giants at home here, as Chicago just doesn't have any mismatches available against New York.

Miami Dolphins -2 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

This will certainly be an odd game, as finally the No. 1 pick in Jared Goff will make his season debut, and I am certain that this call is coming in from above Jeff Fisher's head. I don't know what else there is to really say about one of the most average coaches in league history having Goff start the year at number 3 on the depth chart.

The other reason that I like Miami in this game is the Ryan Tannehill might actually have a chance to stand in the pocket, and not be killed by a surprisingly weak Rams pass rush. The Rams haven't surrendered many yards to opposing quarterbacks, but they have only compiled 16 sacks and five interceptions on the year.

Combine Todd Gurley's struggles, the Dolphins loading up the box, and a No. 1 pick waiting 11 weeks to start due to ability in practice ... I'm going Miami here.

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Week 11 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 11 NFL picks against the spread:

Baltimore Ravens +7.5 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

If you've been betting against the Cowboys this season, you aren't doing well. They're 8-0-1 against the number on the year and the tie was way back in their Week 1 loss to the Giants. The Ravens have the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, and I think that they can slow Ezekiel Elliott down enough here to cover the 7.5.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins -2 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

The Rams are finally going to Jared Goff for his first start of the year. The rookie has been unable to beat out Case Keenum for the starting job, and the Dolphins have won four in a row. I'm a little weary of the Rams playing at home, but I just don't see the offense being able to score many points. They did win without a touchdown last week in the 9-6 barn burner against the Jets, but Miami should have a little more success scoring. If they can put up 17-20 points, that should be good enough to win by a field goal or more.

Arizona Cardinals +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

Thr Vikings have been sliding since their hot start, and even the vaunted defense they came out with has taken a step back. If Patrick Peterson can neutralize Stefon Diggs in the slot, Minnesota may have a tough time scoring. Arizona has been disappointing this season as well, but I think they can hang in a tight, low-scoring game, and I'll take them getting points here.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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November 13, 2016

Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans +2.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (3 Units)

The Texans are going to need this game plain and simple to stay in front of a tightened AFC South race, and they have the Jags on tap this week, who they have recently dominated. The Texans have posted an impressive 4-1 mark against the spread in their last five, but what's more telling is the fact that you have to go back to December of 2013 to find the last time the Jaguars beat them straight up. The Jaguars have certainly found a decent secondary to work with, but I am looking for Houston to attack Jacksonville on the ground, as Brock Osweiler just cannot be trusted. I love the matchup of Lamar Miller going up against a rushing defense that allows 116 yards per game and 4.0 yards per carry. I like the Texans to continue their recent dominance on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Green Bay Packers -3 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

This is a Packers team that just hasn't looked right all year, but I think they will be fine come playoff time, and they have to pick up these games against AFC South opponents. While everyone has said that Aaron Rodgers just doesn't look right this year, and I tend to agree, but the Pack has been winning games with defense. This week, I predict a low total for DeMarco Murray, as the Packers lead the league in rushing defense only allowing 3.3 yards per carry, and 75.8 yards per game. The Titans have been a great story, and I think Marcus Mariota has been the most improved player in the league this year, but I just don't see them knocking off the heavyweights of the league just yet.

New England Patriots -8 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

Wow, this is certainly not the gap we would expect between these two teams, but I really think this will be one of the classic Patriots prime time blowouts. The deck is already stacked against Seattle, as they are flying across the country, playing on a short week, and oh the Patriots had their bye last week as well. Tom Brady has been playing like a man possessed, and I think he will still attack a Seahawks secondary that allows a 62.4% completion percentage to opposing QBs. Another benefit in the Patriots favor, is the absence of Michael Bennett, who can take over a game just by himself, and also this will be the first time in a month that Kam Chancellor has played as well. I think the Patriots have the right matchup of quickness inside with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and the Seahawks still can't matchup with Rob Gronkowski. It's a big number, but all the factor arrows point to New England.

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November 12, 2016

Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

Arizona should have no problem putting away the 49ers at home this week. I'm not even worried about the back-door cover here. If you aren't playing David Johnson this week in DFS, you should probably look for something else to spend your money on. Johnson is going to go absolutely bonkers in this matchup. Cardinals 46, 49ers 17.

[Related: DJ was featured in our DFS Roundtable post and our DraftKings GPP "Draft" for Week 10.]

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

This play is solely being made because the Steelers are at home. They are clearly a better team at Heinz Field. Le'Veon Bell hasn't hit the box all year, but I think he scores multiple times this week. The only team with a winning record currently that the Cowboys beat this year is Washington. Big test here for Dallas, and I think they stumble on the road. Pittsburgh 27, Dallas 21.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Kansas City Chiefs (4 Units)

The way to beat the Panthers is through the air. Unfortunately, the Chiefs aren't equipped to do this, especially with Jeremy Maclin not in the lineup. I think the Panthers handle business at home, and Cam Newton has another big day. Panthers 30, Chiefs 17.

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Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -3 over Kansas City Chiefs (4 Units)

After a 1-5 start, Carolina is surprisingly still in the playoff hunt in the NFC. They're coming off back-to-back wins over the Cardinals and Rams and have a home game this week to keep the momentum going. I like Cam Newton and the Panthers to cover the three.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks +8 over New England Patriots (5 Units)

This is just way too many points against a team as good as Seattle. The Seahawk offense finally broke out last week, and Russell Wilson looked like the guy we thought we'd see this year. The Patriots will probably win the game at home, and it's unnerving betting against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but this spread is just too big. I'll take Seattle plus eight all day.

New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Over 47.5 (3 Units)

I expect an offensive game on Monday night. Eli Manning is coming off his best game of the year, and ahold the Giants defense played well last week forcing turnovers, they'll likely have a much tougher time trying to cover A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. I like a lot of offense in this one, so I'll take the over on 47.5.

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Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Seattle Seahawks +8 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

Picking against the Patriots at home coming off a bye against a team playing on a short week is not usually a profitable or recommended strategy, but the spread in this one is just too much. I'd expect it to be closer to the 5-6 range.

The Patriots are clearly the best team in the league and Tom Brady has been nothing short of spectacular in his return from suspension. And while Russell Wilson hasn't been his usual self as he's battled injuries (knee, ankle, etc.) that may have sidelined all other QBs, he's starting to look healthier. Speaking of healthier, Jimmy Graham has been tremendous with three 100-yard games in his past six.

Again, I don't expect the Seahawks to win outright, but I do expect them to keep this game close enough to cover.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Arizona Cardinals -14 over San Francisco 49ers (2 Units)

Colin Kaepernick threw for 398 yards last week against the Saints, but the Cardinals aren't Saints in terms of defense. As Carlos Hyde (shoulder) is questionable, it's possible that the Niners remain at less than full strength in a game where they seemingly have no chance.

The first time these teams faced each other, David Johnson gashed the 49ers for 157 yards and two scores on the ground. But San Francisco has allowed seven consecutive 100-yard rushers; basically everyone other than Todd Gurley in Week 1.

While 14 points is a lot in the NFL, I could easily see this one turning into a 45-7 type of blowout as well.

Philadelphia Eagles +1.5 over Atlanta Falcons (2 Units)

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Falcons offense currently leads the NFL in scoring and it will be a tough test for the Eagles defense. And they have played really well outside of the dome -- 4-1, 34.0 points per game with a minimum of 23 (win in Denver).

On the other hand, the Eagles have played their best football at home. They are 3-0 at the Linc with a combined margin of 84-23. Granted two of those three games happened in the first three weeks of the season, but the Falcons will be without their best cornerback Desmond Trufant and I think Carson Wentz can have some success this week.

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November 06, 2016

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans +4.5 over San Diego Chargers (2 Units)

The Titans have won three of four straight up and Marcus Mariota has completed 68.75 percent of his pass attempts for 8.47 Y/A over that stretch with a 10:1 TD-INT ratio. More than anything, however, this is a run-dominant offense. As great as DeMarco Murray has been, we finally saw a 1-2 punch from Murray and rookie Derrick Henry last week.

Murray is battling a toe injury, but he is expected to go following full practices on Thursday and Friday. The Chargers have been excellent against the run -- sixth in the NFL in yards per game allowed (86.0) -- but they have allowed 11 rushing scores.

Ultimately, I think the Chargers win this game, but I think the Titans keep this game close (within a field goal).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Los Angeles Rams (3 Units)
Rams vs. Panthers, Under 44.5 (4 units)


Without question, the Panthers are better than their 2-5 record suggests. On the other hand, it isn't all that surprising that the Rams are one game under .500.

The Rams have an offensive DVOA from Football Outsiders of -21.0%, only the Texans are worse. Mostly due to offensive line issues, Todd Gurley is averaging only 3.01 yards per carry on the season. In addition, Case Keenum is coming off a four-INT game and now has more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight) thrown.

The Panthers defense is not like the 2015 version, most specifically on the back end. And the Panthers have to travel across the country to face a team coming off their bye. That said, I expect this to a relatively low-scoring Panthers victory. I see the final score being in the 21-13 range for the Panthers so I'll take the under and the Panthers to cover.

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Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

New Orleans Saints -5 over San Francisco 49ers (4 Units)

The Saints have been one of the pleasant surprises this year, and I think they have a strong chance to be the new team to win the NFC South this year. The 49ers have been pretty sad this year, and it looks like they are quite a few years away from regaining their past glory. The 49ers have been amazingly bad against the run this year, as they have allowed a whopping 185 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. The 49ers have been really bad against the spread this year as well, as they have posted a lowly 1-6 mark. The Saints just have too much firepower for the Niners, and the Saints will continue their impressive run of form as of late.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Detroit Lions +6.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

I truly don't know what to think about the Vikings, as they have looked like Super Bowl contenders for the first quarter of the season, yet drop two embarrassing losses as of late and they only posted 10 points in each game. Although the Vikings have played better at home, they have some glaring weaknesses that can be exploited such as their offensive line. The Vikings have had problems not only running the ball this year, but also in protecting the quarterback as they have allowed Sam Bradford to be sacked 19 times in six starts. I think the Lions will be able to hang with Minnesota this week, as the Vikings can be attacked on the ground, as they allow 4.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs. I think the Lions are within a TD for this game.

Tennessee Titans +4.5 over San Diego Chargers (3 Units)

The Titans have been yet another one of the surprise teams this year, and with the AFC South being what it is, they actually have a shot to compete for the division crown. The Titans have been the epitome of smashmouth football this year, as they have averaged 152 yards per game this year, and 4.9 yards per carry on the ground. The Chargers have been traditionally bad against the run the past few years, and they have yielded 11 touchdowns to opposing running backs this year. The Titans have also gotten Marcus Mariota going well this year, as he has passed for 224 yards per game and 14 touchdowns on the year. I think the Titans can hang close on the road, and will certainly be in this game down to the wire.

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November 05, 2016

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -2 over Baltimore Ravens (4 Units)

The Steelers are clearly a better team. The trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will be back and ready to roll in this one. The Steelers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL when their offense gets clicking. I think they will beat the Ravens on the road behind a three-TD game from Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh 30, Baltimore 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Indianapolis Colts +7.5 over Green Bay Packers (5 Units)

Too many points in this one. The Packers pass defense is just as bad as Indy’s, and I actually think the Colts have a real shot at winning this game outright. This game is going to be a shootout so if you are playing DFS, stack this one up. I think Andrew Luck will outperform Aaron Rodgers and the Colts win. Colts 39, Packers 34.

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

I'm not a big believer of this Rams team. I think they are a bottom-three team in the NFL, while the Panthers are definitely better than their record shows. I think Cam Newton and the Panthers have a big day and steamroll the Rams. Panthers 37, Rams 19.

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Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +7.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

The Cowboys, coming back to cover in OT against the Eagles last week, was a pretty terrible bet for me and anyone that liked Philly with the points last week. They came back from down 10 with eight minutes to go in the game to no only win, but cover with an OT touchdown on their first possession.

This week looks like a pretty typical trap game, going to Cleveland to face a winless Browns team, in between a big division win and a game against the Steelers next week. Dallas will probably win the game, but the Browns have been playing hard and they get Corey Coleman back this week. I like them to keep this one close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Pittsburgh Steelers -2 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Steelers are one of the best teams, certainly in the AFC, but also in the entire league. Baltimore has been marginally good this year, but with the Steelers getting Ben Roethlisberger back, I just think they have too many weapons for the Ravens to handle. I'll take the small road favorite here.

San Francisco 49ers +4.5 over New Orleans Saints (5 Units)

The Saints had a big win over Seattle last week and similar to Dallas, look to be in a let-down spot. San Francisco has been terrible, but I like them to put up points against the Saints defense, which has been characteristically bad. I think the Niners can keep it close and maybe eek out the upset at home.

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

Against my better judgment, I'm taking another small road favorite. The Panthers are 2-5 and looking to build off an impressive Week 8 performance. I think Carolina has started to right the ship, and while they may not be the 15-1 team they were last year, they're certainly better than 2-5. They need to keep winning if they have any chance at a playoff run and the Rams are certainly a weak enough offensive team that I feel comfortable giving the 3.5.

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October 30, 2016

Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -3 over Green Bay Packers (3 Units)

Both Eddie Lacy and James Starks are out and while they may get more from Knile Davis and/or Don Jackson, we should see a pass-heavy approach from the Packers. Over the past season and a half, Aaron Rodgers hasn't been himself and it appears that he will be without Randall Cobb on Sunday. Meanwhile, I expect Desmond Trufant to shadow Jordy Nelson, who only had one reception last week in a game that three Green Bay receivers had double-digit receptions.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will be without Tevin Coleman and I think that is an issue as their dynamic backfield duo of Devonta Freeman and Coleman creates mismatches for opposing defenses. But Matt Ryan is playing the best football of his career and the Packers top-three cornerbacks will be out. Stopping (or slowing down) Julio Jones seems like an impossible task.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (3 Units)

One year after posting a 15-1 regular-season record and getting to the Super Bowl, it's been a brutal start to the season for the Panthers (1-5). Like the Panthers, the Cardinals have disappointed compared to last season and preseason expectations. I certainly have some concerns about the Panthers on the back end even though Carson Palmer has not played as well this season. But after tying the Seahawks in a 6-6 defensive slugfest last Sunday night, the Cardinals face a well-rested Panthers team coming off their bye. I'll give the points as I expect the Panthers to get their second win of the season this week.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets are bad, worse than anyone expected going into the season, but part of their struggles can be attributed to their brutal schedule to open the season. Of course, the other part is largely due to Ryan Fitzpatrick's propensity to turn the ball over.

That said, the Browns have one of the league's worst defenses and the Jets have the ability to exploit both run and pass matchups. Not only have running backs averaged 4.68 YPC (187/876/7) against them, but only the Panthers (8.64 Y/A) have allowed more yards per attempt than the Browns (8.63 Y/A).

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

The Colts have been somewhat resurgent as of late, and they will head into this game at home facing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are middling as well at 4-3. I always like the Colts at home on the fast track and the Chiefs haven't been that great against the pass this year. Kansas City allows 257 passing per game to opposing quarterbacks, they have only compiled eight sacks so far this year, and if it wasn't for that stinker by Ryan Fitzpatrick, they would only have four picks.

Recent history has also not been kind to the Chiefs as well, as they are 1-4 against the Colts and the number in their last five games. I will take the Colts at home, as they will get back to .500.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets have certainly started slow this season, but that is because the schedule has not been easy with the first seven games, and now they get an easier task going against the winless Browns. This game will come down to being won on the ground, as the Jets have one of the best rushing defenses in the league that allows an average of 74.9 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry.

The flip side is that the Browns have the second-worst rushing defense in the league, as they allow a whopping 139.9 yards per game, and 4.7 yards per carry. I would look for a heavy dose of Matt Forte, and they will limit the amount of throws for Fitzpatrick. I like the Jets on the road.

Minnesota Vikings -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

The Bears are bad, and they have an even worse relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler, who recently said "they have no choice but to start me." I am thinking that even with a broken arm, John Fox wishes that Brian Hoyer could start for him instead of Cutler.

The Vikings will be able to make this game very one-dimensional, as they excel at stopping the run by only allowing 81.7 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. I also will look for the Vikings to attack the Bears through the air, as the Chicago secondary gives up 243 yards passing per game, and allows a 67-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. I think the Vikings get back on track here on Monday night, as the Bears are pretty hapless.

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October 29, 2016

Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans, Over 46.0 (3 Units)

Matthew Stafford has been great this year, and seems to be among the top quarterbacks in the league under Jim Bob Cooter. The offense can certainly put up points. On the other side, Brock Osweiler has been a big disappointment and has not justified his contract. Still, he's mostly struggled against great defenses like Seattle and Denver -- teams most quarterbacks struggle against. He hasn't been nearly as bad against poor or mediocre defenses, and I like him to have a good game against Detroit. I think this game goes in the 50's and I like the over.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (5 Units)

The Panthers may already be out of playoff contention at 1-5, but if they're going to get back into it, it has to start this week. Carolina is at home in a must-win game and we have yet to see the team that went 15-1 and made the Super Bowl last year. I'll take Cam Newton and the Panthers to start righting the ship and I'll give the three here.

Philadelphia Eagles +5.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

The Cowboys look like the real deal as Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have taken the league by storm. The Eagles have certainly been overachievers to this point in the season, but their defense is legit. I like the Cowboys to win the game but Philly to cover.

Minnesota Vikings -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

I don't like to give points to road favorites and especially not when the team is not particularly good offensively. That said, there are exceptions to every rule. The Vikings were the league's last remaining undefeated team until they got pretty well-dominated in Philadelphia last week. Chicago is getting Jay Cutler back this week, but at this point, I think that's a clear downgrade from Brian Hoyer. Cutler is turnover prone and the Vikings defense has been incredible. I don't expect a close game on Monday night in Chicago.

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (2 Units)

Josh McCown will be back this week, which should give a huge boost to the Browns offense, but I like the Jets on the road here. I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is very sneaky in daily fantasy leagues this week, and I love the stack with Brandon Marshall. The Jets are better than their record indicates. Poor QB play is the reason why they have struggled, and what better place is there than a matchup with the Browns. Jets 23, Browns 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New Orleans Saints +2 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

I'm picking against both of the teams from the Sunday night stinker last week. The Saints are much better at home than they are on the road. Drew Brees will go overlooked in DFS because of the Seahawks D, but I think the Saints will have no problem moving the ball on Sunday. My bold prediction is 400/4 for Brees. Saints 34, Seahawks 27.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (4 Units)

The Panthers at home coming off a bye are in a great spot Sunday. Cam Newton has struggled this year, and the Arizona D has been pretty good, but this is just one of those hunch games. I think Carolina is going to get back on track and crush the Cardinals. Panthers 30, Cardinals 16.

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October 23, 2016

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans -3.5 over Indianapolis Colts (3 Units)

I like the Titans for a number of reasons, but mostly for two reasons -- their ability to rush the ball (and Indy's inability to stop it) and their ability to get to the quarterback (and Indy's inability to prevent that). Andrew Luck has been sacked a league-high 23 times and the Titans rank fifth in the league with 18 sacks.

On the other hand, only the Bills and Cowboys have more rushing yards per game than the Titans. Meanwhile, the Colts rank 25th in the NFL against the run (117.7 YPG, 4.8 YPC). Not only are we seeing a rejuvenated DeMarco Murray, but quarterback Marcus Mariota has displayed his dual-threat abilities with 60-plus rushing yards in each of the past two games.

If the Titans can get an early lead, they can control the clock with their running game and then pressure Luck as the Colts try to come from behind. I think the Titans win this one by a touchdown.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Minnesota Vikings -3 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

Eventually, the Vikings will lose a game. While they have had their fair share of injuries on offense, their defense has been been playing lights out. With Mike Zimmer getting an extra week to prepare coming off their bye, it's not going to be easy for Carson Wentz & Co. to end their two-game slide. Wentz has been playing beyond his years and he's shown already that he can be the long-term answer, but the Eagles have issues on the offensive line and I expect the ferocious Vikings pass rush to get to the rookie early and often. While he hasn't turned the ball over much this season, he could look like more like a rookie this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

At one point, the Bucs were giving the 49ers points, but they are now one-point underdogs. Both teams will be without their starting running backs -- Carlos Hyde and Doug Martin. Without Martin in Week 5 (Tampa had a Week 6 bye), the Bucs gave Jacquizz Rodgers 30 carries and he gained 101 yards. I don't expect Rodgers to get as many carries, but I do expect him to be more efficient against a 49ers team that has allowed five consecutive 100-yard rushers this season. I'll take the point, but I expect the Bucs to win this one outright.

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3.5 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

The Colts have been one of the stranger teams this year, as they have really struggled out of the gate, and the Titans have certainly been a very nice surprise, as they have the chance to be over .500 for the first time in a long time after Sunday.

I think this will be the game that gets the Colts back on track, as they certainly have history on their side. The Colts have really run over the Titans as of late, as they have posted an impressive 8-1 record against the number in their last nine games overall. This is a game that should actually feature a nice aerial duel, as Marcus Mariota has been on fire as of late. The one thing I do like though is that Andrew Luck should be able to take advantage of a Titans secondary that allows 236 yards passing per game. I am going with the points play here, and look for Indy to get back on track.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

The 49ers are just a bad team, and even turning to Colin Kaepernick didn't help matters any as they were blasted by Buffalo last week. Tampa will be coming into this game off a bye, and I foresee them just running all over San Francisco, as they have the worst rushing defense in the league. The 49ers cannot stop the run, as they allow a whopping 174 yards per game, and 5.0 yards per carry to opposing running backs. I know that Tampa is down two backs on the depth chart in Doug Marin and Charles Sims, but Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 101 yards against Carolina, and added five receptions to boot. The Bucs will be able to control the clock, and in the end, the 49ers are just a really bad team

New England Patriots -7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

It is unfortunate that the Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger for this game, as he and Tom Brady always put on one of the better shows when they go head-to-head. The Steelers will be very limited in what they can do, and you can be certain that Bill Belichick will be geared to stop Le'veon Bell, and force Landry Jones to beat them through the air.

The Steelers also have a really bad pass defense, as they allow 294 yards passing per game, and get virtually no pressure on the quarterback, as they have only compiled eight sacks. I think Brady will go off huge in this game, as he seems to always throw the ball a ton against Pittsburgh.

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October 22, 2016

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

San Diego Chargers +6 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

I think the Chargers offense has enough fire power to keep this game close. I think Philip Rivers has a big game here connecting with his TEs for three scores. Atlanta is coming off a tough loss at Seattle where they were absolutely jobbed on a non-PI call. I think they win the game, but I'll take the points. Falcons 27, Chargers 24.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Arizona Cardinals -1 over Seattle Seahawks (5 Units)

This line is way too low in my opinion. The Seahawks are known for defense, but I believe the Cardinals D is actually better than Seattle’s. I think we will see a healthy dose of David Johnson, and the Cardinals win this game pretty easily. Cardinals 24, Seahawks 13.

Philadelphia Eagles +3 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

I think the Eagles win the Bradford Bowl on Sunday. The Eagles defensive line is their strength, while the Vikings have injury issues currently. I think the Eagles D gets to Sam Bradford causing two to three turnovers and a possible defensive score. Eagles win an ugly game at home. Eagles 19, Vikings 17.

Cincinnati Bengals -10 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

Terrelle Pryor is a game-time decision, and my money is on him sitting Sunday since he missed practice on Friday. Pryor has been Cleveland’s only consistent option this year. The Bengals got embarrassed by the Patriots last week, and will look to rebound vs. a terrible Browns defense. Fire up all Bengals skilled-position players in DFS this week. Bengals 41, Browns 16.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints, Under 50.5 (4 Units)

The Saints are not the same team on the road, which is a proven fact. Their defense is among the worst in the league, and this game just sets up perfectly for what Andy Reid and the Chiefs want to do. I think the Chiefs will control the line of scrimmage and run the ball down the Saints throat leading to long drawn out scoring drives. Chiefs 26, Saints 16.

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October 19, 2016

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers -8 over Chicago Bears (5 Units)

I'm not sure what's wrong with Aaron Rodgers of late, but I'm sure he's heard the chatter and the Johnny Manziel comparison on ESPN's First Take. The Packers have been confusing as a whole, as they have not played up to the championship contender level that was expected of them this year. The Bears coming to town is a good way to start righting the ship. After a bad loss to Dallas last week, I like a big bounce back in the prime time Thursday night game. I'll give the eight points and like the Packers to win big.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Giants -3 over Los Angeles Rams (3 Units)

I liked this game better at 2.5 but I'll still take the Giants at minus three. This one will be played in London, so there's no real home field in the game. The Giants have been up and down but I like them to build on their comeback win over the Ravens this past week. At 3-3, they need this one against a very beatable Rams team. Case Keenum has been better than expected this year so I'm expecting some regression as the Rams should continue to flummox us with wins in games like Seattle on the road and losses to the marginal NFL teams.

Washington Redskins +1 over Detroit Lions (4 Units)

Washington has been rolling after an 0-2 start and I'm not getting off the train just yet. A win at Detroit would be their fifth in a row, and I think they get it. The Lions have some key injuries on offense and Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron are still not practicing as of Wednesday. Both teams should still be able to put up some points, but I like the Redskins to win on the road.

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October 16, 2016

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over New York Jets (3 Units)

The Cardinals have been a disappointment so far this season, but they got a win to improve to 2-3 with Carson Palmer sidelined with a concussion last week. Coming off a Thursday Night win, the Cardinals got a mini-bye and face a Jets pass defense that allows opposing quarterbacks to throw for 9.2 Y/A, a 118.6 passer rating and a 71.7 completion percentage, all of which are the worst in the NFL. I expect the Cardinals to light up the Jets, with or without Darrelle Revis, for roughly 30-plus points on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

It's tough to play in Seattle and the high-flying Atlanta offense will have its stiffest test to date against the Seahawks and their 12th Man. Matt Ryan & Co. escaped Denver with a win last week, so I think they are better than their doubters may believe. With the Seahawks coming off a bye, however, it's good timing for Russell Wilson, who has battled ankle and knee injuries early this season, and Jimmy Graham has back-to-back 100-yard games prior to the bye.

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

In many cases, you go throw out records in divisional matchups. The Eagles are a Ryan Mathews fumble away from a 4-0 start under rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw his first NFL interception on his last NFL pass attempt. In general, one of my favorite plays is a home underdog and especially so in a divisional matchup so I'll take Washington and the points at home even without Jordan Reed.

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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +1.5 over Chicago Bears (3 Units)

The Jaguars have not totally made the leap that most projected this year, but they are finally showing signs of being competent on defense, especially against the pass. The Jaguars have actually been sort of a no fly zone team, as they have only allowed opposing quarterbacks 199 yards passing per game, and they have also compiled 11 sacks so far this year.

I also like them coming into this game refreshed off of a bye week, and I think the two-headed monster of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon will spell trouble for a Bears front-seven that gives up 118 yards per game, and 4.0 yards per carry. I like this young frisky Jags defense going up against backup Bears QB Brian Hoyer this week, even if they are on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Washington Redskins (4 Units)

The Eagles so far have been one of the surprise teams of the year, and I think they will get back on track this week with a trip to Washington. Washington has struggled on offense this year, and it doesn't get much better on Sunday, as they will be facing one of the league's most complete units.

The Eagles defend both the pass -- only allowing 194 yards per game and they can pressure the quarterback with 14 sacks in four games -- and is also masterful against the run. They only allow 73 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry on the ground. On the other hand, Washington is very bad against the run, as they allow 130 yards rushing per game, and 5.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs. I like the Eagles on the road here, as their defense will be able to carry them through.

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

While amazing as it sounds, the Raiders look up and find themselves in first place in the AFC West heading into this game, but I don't think it will last long. First off, the Raiders have been historically bad against KC in Oakland, as the Chiefs have posted a mind boggling 10-3 record against the spread in their last 13 visits to the Alameda County Coliseum.

The Raiders have also been getting quite lucky, as their defense is statistically one of the worst in the league on both sides of the ball. The Raiders allow 122 rushing yards per game, and 4.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs. But wait, it gets worse, as they allow opposing passers to average 331 yards per game, and they certainly can't pressure the QB with only seven sacks on the year. I think the Chiefs, after a bye, will smash their rivals on the road.

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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Oakland Raiders (5 Units)

Andy Reid is 15-2 after the bye week. The weather is supposed to be ugly Sunday with rain and high winds, which should favor Kansas City’s style of offense. Kansas City 24, Oakland 19.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

Atlanta has been one of the biggest surprises if the NFL this season, and Seattle at times has looked like they should be picking in the top 5, not challenging for a Super Bowl. I believe Seattle eats on Sunday. Fire up all Seahawks in DFS this week. Seattle 38, Atlanta 21.

Houston Texans -3 over Indianapolis Colts (5 Units)

The Colts have been dominated at both lines of scrimmage this year. I expect a big game from Lamar Miller, and I think the Texans D will be able to put loads of pressure on Luck and get some sacks/turnovers. Houston D is one of my favorite fantasy options this week as well. Texans 27, Colts 17.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ben Roethlisberger is a different QB on the road than he is at home. The Steelers defense can be beat, and this is a must-win game for the Dolphins if they want to get back into the wildcard race. I think the return of Arian Foster will be the difference to keep this one close. Steelers 26, Dolphins 20.

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October 15, 2016

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Cincinnati Bengals +9 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

This is really just a case of the line being too large in my opinion. The Patriots are pretty clearly the best team in the league with Tom Brady back, and the angry-Brady narrative will likely lead to the Pats spreads being more inflated than normal. It's tough to bet against them, but the Bengals are a pretty good team, and there's just too many ways that they cover nine points. It's possible they keep it fairly close - it's also possible they're trailing much of the game and sneak into a back-door cover. Either way, I think there's too much value on the Bengals getting nine not to take them.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

This is another line that's too high. Miami has not been good - in fact they've been one of the worst teams in the league. They're coming off a bad loss to the Titans at home, while the Steelers are coming off a big 31-13 win over the Jets. It's a week-to-week league, though, and Ben Roethlisberger has historically been much better at home than on the road. I like Le'Veon Bell to have a huge game, but I think Miami bounces back from last week and keeps this one close.

San Francisco 49ers +9 over Buffalo Bills (5 Units)

Ok - I know this is my third game taking a ton of points - but this line is perhaps the most egregious of them all. The Bills have gotten hot since firing their offensive coordinator, with big wins over the Cardinals and Patriots. Last week's win over the Rams was more expected, but they've clearly been playing pretty well of late. The 49ers, on the other hand, have been going in the wrong direction since a Week 1 thrashing of the Rams and have made the switch to Colin Kaepernick. Buffalo is likely to win the game, but I think the quarterback switch gives the 49ers a bit of a spark, and this one won't be decided until late. Take the nine.

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

The Redskins have righted the ship since an 0-2 start, and have an important division game at home this week. Carson Wentz finally threw his first interception in the final minute of the game last week, and the Eagles suffered their first loss of the year. Although they've been quite impressive, I expect some regression from Philadelphia. The defense looks legit, but Wentz is likely to make a few more mistakes. I don't think the level they've played at in the first four games of the year is truly reflective of how good they are. By season's end, I think Philly will be a more middle-of-the-road team, and Washington will be the team on top of the division. I like the Redskins to win at home outright - even without Jordan Reed, who is likely out with a concussion, so I'll certainly take the three.

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October 09, 2016

Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Under 45.5 (3 Units)

So far, the Dak Prescott "era" (until Tony Romo returns, anyways) has gotten off to a great start -- only a one-point loss away from a perfect 4-0 start. Prescott has yet to turn the ball over and has accounted for five touchdowns -- three passing and two rushing. The Cowboys have scored 24-plus points in three consecutive games (WAS, CHI and SF), but they face their toughest test of the season against the Bengals. And they are likely to be without Dez Bryant for another game.

On the other side of the ball, the Bengals are without tight end Tyler Eifert for another week. They obviously have an All-World talent in A.J. Green, but Andy Dalton has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a game this season. And aside from the Broncos (206 passing yards and no touchdowns), Dalton has not faced any other elite secondaries. This game is shaping up to be a 21-17, 24-20 type of game.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Denver Broncos -4 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

What a week it was Matt Ryan and Julio Jones! Coming off a 500-yard passing and 300-yard receiving game last week, expectations should be greatly lowered for Week 5. The Broncos have allowed only one 200-yard passer (as noted above -- Dalton, 206 yards) and have held Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Jameis Winston to less than 200 yards so far this season.

Even though Paxton Lynch will get the start, the duo of Emmanuel Sanders (17/205/3 in pas two games) and Demaryius Thomas (90-plus yards in three consecutive games) have been productive. The Falcons continue to struggle to get to the quarterback. After ranking last in the NFL last season with 19 sacks, they are tied with the Giants with a league-low four sacks this year.

And while a clean pocket will certainly help a rookie quarterback, we should expect to see more C.J. Anderson this week. CJA had 47 touches in the team's first two games and just 35 in the past two games. I like the Broncos to win by a touchdown this week.

Green Bay Packers -7 over New York Giants (3 Units)

Before their bye, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers showed that their offense can be explosive with four first-half touchdowns. They nearly allowed the Lions to come back, but I expect them to keep their foot on the gas pedal longer this time around. Historically, Rodgers is nearly flawless at Lambeau -- 51-13 W-L, 143:26 TD-INT ratio and 110.2 passer rating.

The Packers will force Eli Manning and Odell Beckham to be one-dimensional. Not only is Rashad Jennings (thumb) likely to miss another game, but the Packers have limited opposing running backs to just 2.0 yards per carry. I do expect better results from OBJ this week, but I'm not sure it'll be enough.

With the Packers getting an extra week to rest, which should come in handy considering some of the defensive injuries they were battling prior to the bye, and the Giants playing on a short week (played Monday), I'm comfortable giving the touchdown.

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October 08, 2016

Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans +7 over Minnesota Vikings (3 Units)

This feels like a weird game, and I know the new US Bank stadium is a really tough place to play, but this game still feels closer than a touchdown. The Texans do come into this game boasting one of the best passing defenses in the league, as they only allow 163 yards per game, one touchdown through the air, and they have also compiled 11 sacks so far as well. I know the Vikings just pasted the Giants on Monday night, but Sam Bradford may be without his best weapon in Stefon Diggs for this game. The Texans have enough aerial firepower to catchup, and I think they will keep this one close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been horrible and the Steelers are coming off of a shellacking of the Chiefs at home. What is to say that they won't win by 30 again?

The the Jets still have a magnificent front-seven that only gives up 3.1 yards per carry and 70.3 yards per game, so they should be able to slow Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers are also not that great against the pass, as they allow 317 yards passing per game, and they have only accumulated five sacks so far on the year. Now I think the Steelers will win this game, but with the passing attack the Jets bring to the table, I think they will get the back-door cover.

San Diego Chargers +3.5 over Oakland Raiders (3 Units)

The Chargers have been woeful about closing out teams this year, as they should actually be 3-1 rather than 1-3 so far. Do you know what the other woeful thing that there is in this game though? The answer is the Oakland Raiders defense, of course. The Raiders allow 326 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they also get limited pressure with only five sacks. They are also one of the worst in the league at stopping the run as well, as they give up 134 yards per game, and a whopping 5.1 yards per carry. This rivalry goes back so far, and this is a game that I see the Chargers taking on the road.

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Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Denver Broncos -5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

The Falcons have scored 35 points in three straight games. Two of those games were vs. awful defenses (Oakland and New Orleans) and last week vs. an overrated Panthers defense. This week, they play the Broncos on the road. I think the Broncos defense will be able to put a lot of pressure on Matt Ryan and the Denver corners will do a better job at stopping Julio Jones this week. I think C.J. Anderson is a very sneaky target in DFS this week. I think he sees the end zone twice Sunday. Broncos 27, Falcons 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

The Cowboys may be 3-1, but they have yet to play a team that is as good as the Bengals are. The Bengals come in at 2-2, but their losses were vs. elite AFC competition (Denver and Pittsburgh). I think this is the first hiccup in Dak Prescott’s young career. Next week at Green Bay will be Prescott’s biggest test to see if he can bounce back after an ugly perfomance. The Bengals defense will be a great low-owned option that has enormous upside. I think this game gets out of hand early. Bengals 30, Cowboys 16.

New York Giants +7 over Green Bay Packers (5 Units)

The Packers haven’t been that lights-out juggernaut offense that we have seen in the past. Yes, they laid like 4 first-half touchdowns on the Lions, but couldn't do anything in the 2nd half. This is the perfect rebound game for Eli Manning and the Giants. I think Odell Beckham finally has a big week and the Giants shock the Packers on the road. Giants 26, Packers 23.

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Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

The Eagles have been unbelievable in the first quarter of the season. What looked like a lost year, after trading away their starting quarterback a few weeks before the season began, Carson Wentz and the Eagle D has come to the rescue. They're 3-0 coming off a bye going on the road to a thus far mediocre Lions team. Detroit has had some injuries, but I like the small home dog here. Philadelphia isn't going undefeated this season, and even though they're coming off a bye, Detroit needs a bounce-back win. I think they get it this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Washington Redskins +4 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Ravens are coming off a heart-breaking loss to the Raiders, 28-27 in Week 4. The Redskins, on the other hand, are trying to build off back-to-back wins against the Giants and Browns. Washington was one of my favorite offenses coming into the year, and they've shown just how many weapons they have. Jordan Reed still looks like the primary target for Kirk Cousins, but they have a dangerous receiving corps all around with guys like DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, etc. If they can establish Matt Jones in the running game, I like them to win this game outright, so I'll certainly take the 4 points against a Ravens team that has overachieved thus far.

Cincinnati Bengals -2 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

I don't often like small road favorites, as they are historically a pretty terrible bet. Still, they don't all lose, and I like the Bengals to go into Dallas and get the win this weekend. Cincinnati has not gotten off to a hot start, but their two losses on the year have been at Pittsburgh and to the defending champion Denver Broncos. They're much better than a .500 team, and should take care of the Cowboys this weekend.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears, Over 48 (4 Units)

I love Andrew Luck to have a big game this weekend at home against Chicago. On the other side of the ball, Brian Hoyer and Jordan Howard should feast on a banged-up and terrible Colts defense. I like the Colts to win here, but there should be a lot of scoring on both sides, so I am expecting this game to easily go over the total.

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October 02, 2016

Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

With a 2-1 record going into Week 4, the Jeff Fisher-coached Rams are due to for a loss. Seriously though, they are not as good as their record suggests. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are not as bad as their 1-2 record suggests.

Todd Gurley scored a pair of touchdowns last week, but his 3.15 YPC average was a season high. Through three games, the talented back has been bottled up for a less-than-mediocre 2.90 YPC on the season. Arizona should be able to limit Gurley's production and force Case Keenum and a weak group of pass-catchers to try to beat them.

Winning four of their past five head-to-head matchups, the Cardinals have held the Rams to an average of 8.25 points in those four wins. Three of those four victories were by a margin of 17-plus points. In addition, the Cardinals have posted an impressive 16-6 ATS record following an ATS loss. All signs point to the Cards getting back on track this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

San Diego Chargers -3.5 over New Orleans Saints (3 Units)

Season-ending injuries to key offensive players, such as Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, weaken the offense's potential in 2016. That said, Philip Rivers & Co. get an exploitable matchup against the Saints this week. Ranked 31st in the NFL in total defense so far this season, the Saints have posted the worst or second-worst team defense numbers in four of the past five seasons.

The Chargers have done a good job of bouncing back from straight-up losses as they have covered six consecutive times under that scenario. In addition, they are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games overall.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Atlanta Falcons (2 Units)

The Panthers lone (regular-season) loss in 2015 was in Atlanta, but I look for them to bounce back in a big way following their 1-2 start. Unlike the Vikings, who were able to apply lots of pressure on Cam Newton, the Falcons have one of the league's least-potent pass rushes.

On the other hand, Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense have looked spectacular, but they have faced shaky defenses. The upcoming three games against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks will be a true measure of how potent their offense is.

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October 01, 2016

Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Here are my Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

I whiffed pretty bad on the Steelers last week on the road vs. Philly. I think the return of Le'Veon Bell will give this team a shot in the arm. Pittsburgh at home is a whole another animal. I think they win big. Steelers, 32-20.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Arizona Cardinals -7.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

After an embarrassing loss to the Bills, I think Carson Palmer & Co. will put a whooping on the Rams this week. I think Palmer will throw for 3-4 TDs this week in the win, so if you are looking for a sneaky DFS play, Palmer is your guy. Cardinals, 38-16.

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans, O 41 (3 Units)

My favorite stack this week in DFS is with the Texans. I will be all in on this offense on Sunday. The Titans do not have a match for DeAndre Hopkins. On the other side, I think the loss of J.J. Watt will hurt the Texans D. I think the Titans should have success on offense. Texans 27, Titans 24.

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Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my three Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Seattle Seahawks -1 over New York Jets (4 Units)

The test gets even tougher for the Jets this weekend, as they are coming off a six-interception game from Ryan Fitzpatrick, and they only get to face one of the best defenses in Seattle. The Seahawks certainly have not lit the world on fire offensively as of yet, but this has not been necessary as Pete Carroll has the Seattle defense playing very well on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks rush defense has limited opposing ballcarriers to 3.5 yards per carry, and 87 yards per game, while the Legion of Boom has only allowed 163 yards passing per game and a 57.1% completion percentage to boot.

The Jets will be very challenged this game, as they will be missing Eric Decker, and Brandon Marshall is certainly not 100 percent. I like Seattle on the road to right the ship offensively, and the Jets will struggle again on the offensive side of the ball.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Houston Texans -5 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

I really don't think that the Texans are as bad as they showed last game against the Patriots, as it was a short week, in Foxboro, and going against the best game planners in the league right now. The Texans did receive some bad news, as they have placed All-World defensive end J.J. Watt on injured reserve, but the still have plenty of great players on their defensive line.

History has not been kind to the Titans in recent years, as they have only scored 12 points combined in their last two games against Houston, and also they are 0-5 against the spread as well. Houston will be able to limit Marcus Mariota, as they allow a league-best 151 yards to opposing quarterbacks, and only a 55.3% completion percentage. This will be a Brock Osweiler gets-back-on-track game, and I look for the Texans to continue their dominance of Tennessee.

Detroit Lions -3.5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

I have to say that I am pretty amazed about how bad the Bears actually are, and they will be missing two key offensive starters in Jay Cutler and Jeremy Langford. The Lions have been dominant when it comes to the number lately, as they have gone 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games.

The Bears have also been really bad on the defensive side of the ball, as they have allowed opposing rushers to go for 142 yards per game, and a robust 4.0 yards per carry. The Bears have also been very generous to opposing passers, as they allow a 67% completion percentage, and they have only sacked the quarterback four times this year. I like the Lions on the road, as I think Chicago just has too many holes in it's roster right now.

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September 30, 2016

Week 4 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

Here are my Week 4 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

I'm not yet sold on Atlanta and the Panthers have underachieved so far this year. Carolina lost at home to Minnesota last week, but it's possible the Vikings are just really good this year. Their defense has certainly been incredible early on. Matt Ryan should cool off a bit and I expect a big bounce-back spot for Kelvin Benjamin, who was held without a catch vs. the Vikings. I'll take Carolina to win by 10 or so and cover the 3.5 on the road.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Tennessee Titans +5 over Houston Texans (4 Units)

Marcus Mariota and the Titans have been less than impressive early on. DeMarco Murray has been great, but aside from that, the Titans haven't looked very good. With J.J. Watt likely out for the season, I expect this to be a close division game. Brock Osweiler has been ok through three games, but I'm not ready to crown the Texans champions of the AFC South just yet. They may win the game but I'll take the five points.

New York Giants +5.5 over Minnesota Vikings (4 Units)

The Vikings are clearly better than I thought they would be coming into the year. Sam Bradford has been pretty solid and their defense looks like it's the best in the league right now. The Giants have been in all close games through the first three weeks, and I like them to be in another one this week. Odell Beckham has been held without a touchdown so far and I like that streak to end in Minnesota. Give me the Giants +5.5.

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September 25, 2016

Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

So far, so good through two weeks -- 4-2 ATS. With that said, here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4 over Los Angeles Rams (3 Units)

This game "features" the past two No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft: Jameis Winston (2015) and Jared Goff (2016). Of course, Goff is holding a clipboard for Case Keenum, who has completed 53.8 percent of his pass attempts at 5.7 Y/A with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Even though they have scored a league-low nine points (all field goals), the Rams are 1-1 (appropriate for a Jeff Fisher-coached team). Despite the immense physical talent of running back Todd Gurley, he has managed only 98 rushing yards (2.72 YPC) on 36 carries through two weeks.

Gurley has talked about how it feels like he's facing 12 defenders and things may not get much better this week. The Bucs have limited opposing running backs to 2.98 YPC, fourth-lowest in the NFL, through Week 2.

I like the Bucs to bottle up Gurley once again and I trust Winston much more than I trust Keenum to make plays in the passing game. The Bucs open up their home schedule in bounce-back fashion.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Pittsburgh Steelers -4 over Philadelphia Eagles (2 Units)

Like the saying goes, you can only play/beat the teams on your schedule and the Eagles have done that. That said, their first two wins have come against the Browns and Bears, two of the bottom-three teams in my Week 3 NFL Power Rankings. In other words, they will get a real test this week against the Steelers.

Even without Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers have had plenty of success running the ball as 33-year-old DeAngelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing through Week 2. The Steelers have one of the better run defenses in the league and they will force Carson Wentz to beat them. The rookie has played incredibly well with no turnovers, but he faces his toughest test in his young career today.

Jacksonville Jaguars +2 over Baltimore Ravens (1 Unit)

All that hype. All those expectations. A team on the rise? It certainly hasn't looked that way so far as the Jags were pummeled into submission last week by Philip Rivers and the Chargers. As they return home and try to right the ship, they will host the 2-0 Ravens. This is more of a hunch call than anything, but I think the Jags play better football in Week 3 and get their first W.

The Ravens overcame a 20-0 first-half deficit against the Browns last week. Granted, they scored 25 unanswered points and won. But 20 first-half points to the Browns?! Maybe Blake Bortles and the Jaguars will score some points before garbage time this week.

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September 24, 2016

Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Giants -3 over Washington Redskins (4 Units)

The Giants are certainly one of the league's most-improved teams, and as well as they have played, you can certainly state the opposite for Washington as they have been one of the league's most disappointing teams. For all the big money spent to acquire cornerback Josh Norman, Washington has certainly not reaped the rewards as they give up 284 yards passing per game, and a 73-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks.

The Giants are certainly going to be able to exploit that weak passing defense with their vertical passing offense led by Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. The Giants also spent a lot of bucks on the defensive side of the ball, and so far their rush defense has been exceptional only giving up 3.3 yards per carry and 71 yards per game. I like the Giants here, and they will run their record to 3-0.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Philadelphia Eagles +4 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

I really don't think that the Eagles are totally for real, after all they have only played the Bears and the Browns, but something about this game just strikes me as funny. As interesting as Carson Wentz has been for the first two weeks, one unit that is not getting nearly enough run is the Eagles defense, which has held opposing QBs to 194 yards passing per game, and they have collected six sacks.

I know Pittsburgh is one of the elite teams of the league, but they have been pretty dreadful in passing defense so far this year. The Steelers have allowed 348 yards passing per game, and they are really struggling to get to the quarterback, as they have only collected one sack. I think Pittsburgh gets the win here, but that passing defense leaves too much to be desired, so I am certainly taking the Eagles with the points at home.

Minnesota Vikings +7 over Carolina Panthers (3 Units)

Here is another game that strikes me weird, and I am sure it has been fairly influenced by the Vikings All World running back Adrian Peterson's knee injury. That being said, the Vikings offense absolutely lit up a very competent Packers defense last week, and now Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs are everyone's Week 2 darlings. The Panthers have been an odd team this year, as they had a very tough game in Denver, and also they let the 49ers hang around for quite some time last week.

The one thing that is overlooked is the Vikings defense, as they have only allowed 216 yards passing per game this year, they have collected seven sacks, and by the way the rushing defense is even better, only giving up 3.3 yards per carry and 73.5 yards per game. The VIkings defense will absolutely be able to keep this one close, and yes, Minnesota was a playoff team last year that was a easy field goal miss away from beating Seattle, give me the 7.

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Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +1 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

I like the Jags to get in the win column this week and beat the overrated Ravens at home. The Ravens will not have an answer for Allen Robinson and the Jags passing attack. Jags win, 30-17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 3 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders, Under 47 (2 Units)

The Raiders defense has been shredded the past two weeks, but the Titans do not have the firepower that New Orleans or Atlanta had. Delanie Walker is questionable for the game with a hamstring injury and it wouldn't surprise me to see him sit out. (He missed practice Friday.) I think the Titans will go ground and pound just like they did versus the Raiders during the preseason. Titans 20, Raiders 19.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

I’d go 10 units here if I could. I like this game as much as I liked the Carolina game last week. The Eagles have beat the Browns and the Bears. Pittsburgh is clearly the better team and I expect them to win big. Steelers 38, Eagles 17.

Chicago Bears +7 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

No Jay Cutler, no defense, no win right? This is the NFL baby, and I think the Bears come to play for backup QB Brian Hoyer and shock the world and beat the Cowboys! Bears 23, Cowboys 20.

[Editor's note: "Shock the world." LOL]

Indianapolis Colts -1.5 over San Diego Chargers (4 Units), Over 51.0 (4 Units)

One more time on Andrew Luck and the Colts. I am a glutton for punishment I guess. This game should be a shootout as both teams have no defense. This is one to stack in DFS. Colts 44, Chargers 31.

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September 18, 2016

Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Miami Dolphins +6.5 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

The Dolphins are coming into this game after a tough loss in Seattle, and I expect them to keep their defensive momentum going, as they always play the Patriots well. Miami has a very good front-four, and they will look to exploit the banged-up offensive line of New England, who may be missing both starting tackles again this week. The Patriots will also be missing All-World TE Rob Gronkowski, and also their defensive captain in the middle of the field in Donta Hightower.

While this will be a game that Belichick and company find a way to get the win, this game will be close throughout all four quarters, as New England is certainly missing quite a few players.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Saints at Giants -- Over 54 (4 Units)

The Saints are really bad on defense, and apparently it was just not the Rob Ryan effect from last year, as they allowed Derek Carr to hit them up for 319 yards passing last week. Whenever these two teams get together, the scoreboard struggles to keep up, and with both high-powered passing offenses, I expect this one to be the same.

Last year the Saints outdueled the Giants 52-49, and already both Eli Manning and Drew Brees are in midseason form, as they passed for seven combined touchdowns in Week 1. I think this will be another huge offensive display, and I am going to take the points and over here.

Los Angeles Rams +6.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

Yes, the Rams looked downright awful on offense last week by getting shut out by the 49ers, and the usually stout defense didn't look much better. The Seahawks will be coming into this game after only putting up 12 points in the win against Miami, and now they have a hobbled quarterback in Russell Wilson (ankle).

The Rams have had the Seahawks number as of late, as they have gone 3-1 straight up in their last four matchups. I think this is a bounce-back week for the Rams, and also combined with the excitement of the first Los Angeles home game in 22 years will help propel the Rams to a close game. I think the trend continues, as Jeff Fisher always has his team ready to play Seattle.

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September 17, 2016

Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

Vegas expects this game to be a blowout; everyone expects this game to be a blowout. Are 13.5 points too much? Nope. In fact, I expect this game to be a 38-9 type of game.

Not only are the 49ers playing on a short week (Monday Night Football) and traveling across the country for a 1 PM start, but the Panthers have a mini-bye coming off a Thursday Night Football loss in a Super Bowl 50 rematch.

With a dink-and-dunk offense that can't (or won't) try to stretch the field, it's going to be a long day for Blaine Gabbert, Carlos Hyde, etc. Unlike last week, the 49ers won't be able to move the ball as well as they did against the Rams and I can envision plenty of three-and-outs. I expect Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart to wear San Francisco's defense down quickly.

If I could go with more than five units here, I would. This is a mortgage-your-house type of opportunity. [Please don't mortgage your house to make a bet, but you get the point.]

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 Units)

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again, I suppose. I went 2-1 ATS last week with the Cardinals as my lone loss. With no Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski, it seemed like a slam-dunk opportunity for the Cardinals. Granted, it's never good when Bill Belichick has five months to game plan for you, but Arizona is one of the most-talented teams in the NFL and Bruce Arians is one of the best coaches.

Fast forward one week, I expect the Cardinals to bounce back.

Since 2013 (when Arizona hired Arians), the Cardinals are 31-21 (59.6 percent) ATS and 8-5 ATS after a loss. The Buccaneers have a stout run defense, but their secondary is exploitable. With a talented trio of receivers and one of the league's best young running backs, I expect Carson Palmer to have a big game.

Jacksonville Jaguars +3 over San Diego Chargers (2 Units)

One of the more popular "sleeper" teams this season, the Jaguars opened the season with a loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This week, they take on another talented quarterback in San Diego. That said, Philip Rivers has had more success with Keenan Allen than he has had without him. (Of course, all quarterbacks are going to be less productive without their No. 1 receiver.)

The Chargers have one of the league's best young cornerbacks in Jason Verrett, but Verrett is 5-foot-9 and Jacksonville's stud 23-year-old receiver Allen Robinson is 6-foot-3. Verrett won't shadow him on every snap, but I think he has a better game than expected given the matchup vs. Verrett.

That said, the Jaguars have two other favorable matchups with Julius Thomas, who had his best game (9/116/1) as a Jag against the Chargers last season. And with safety Eric Weddle now in Baltimore, the matchup is even better. The other favorable matchup is for T.J. Yeldon, who struggled last week with an inefficient 21/39/1 rushing line. That said, the Chargers allowed a 199-yard performance to Spencer Ware last week while being gashed at a clip of 4.98 yards per RB carry last season.

Not only do I think the Jags keep this game close, but I expect them to win the game outright.

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Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Looking to rebound after a slow start in Week 1, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

San Francisco on a short week traveling across the country to face the NFC champs, who are looking to rebound after a tough Week 1 loss at Denver? Give me all the Panthers in this one. I think the Panthers will win this one in a route. This feels like one of those 5-TD games from Cam Newton. Panthers 44, 49ers 12.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Tennessee Titans +6 over Detroit Lions (2 Units)

I think the Titans can hang with the Lions here on the road and it wouldn't shock me to see them win the game. The Lions gave up three TDs last week to Indy tight ends and the Titans have vowed to get Delanie Walker the ball more this week. I think Marcus Mariota connects with Walker at least once for a TD, and the Titans defense plays well enough to keep it close. Lions 20, Titans 17.

Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (4 Units)

I like the Bengals to win this one out right in Pittsburgh on Sunday. A.J. Green is my favorite WR this week in DFS and I think he has two deep touchdowns to propel the Bengals to the W in the Steel City.

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September 14, 2016

Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

After getting off to a 2-1 start in Week 1, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans +6 over Detroit Lions (3 Units)

The Lions were impressive in Week 1, hanging 39 points in Indianapolis to secure the victory. Tennessee was in a close game with Minnesota until two costly turnovers gave the Vikings 14 quick points. I think Detroit will still probably win the game, but I like the Titans with the points.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Cleveland Browns +6.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Browns looked pretty terrible in Week 1, but I'm going to give the Eagle defense some credit for that. The Ravens should be a softer matchup this week, and the transition from RG3 to Josh McCown should give the Cleveland offense more stability. I expect a close division game that could go either way, so I'll definitely grab the 6.5 here.

Washington Redskins -2.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

I'm a little reluctant to give points here, but I think the Redskins are going to have a good year and I really like their offense. After getting thumped pretty well by Pittsburgh at home on Monday night, I like them to bounce back against Dallas. The Cowboys looked ok against the Giants, and I like Ezekiel Elliott to have a good game, but I don't think they'll have enough to win it. I'll give the 2.5.

Indianapolis Colts +6 over Denver Broncos (3 Units)

Denver's defense is fierce and they won't make it easy on Andrew Luck this week. That said, while the Colts defense is just atrocious, I don't know if the Broncos offense really has the fire power to exploit that fact. I also don't think it will be in the game plan to really win it on Trevor Siemian's arm. The Colts are going to play with a greater sense of urgency, coming off a loss in their home opener. I expect a close game so I'll take the 6 points.

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September 11, 2016

Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Jets, Cardinals and Vikings

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets +1.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 Units)

The Jets have a brutal start to their season ֫— Bengals, at Bills, at Chiefs, Seahawks, at Steelers and at Cardinals. Not only do they face five playoff teams in their first six games, but the one non-playoff team is a road game against a division rival on a short week (Thursday Night Football). They are underdogs in all of their first six games.

While this should be a low-scoring affair (41.5 O/U), the Jets offense should have some success. Not only do they have one of the league's best receiver duos (Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker), Decker will likely draw a matchup versus Josh Shaw, a plus matchup for Decker. The addition of Matt Forte via free agency gives them a pair of versatile backs as well. On the other side, the Bengals will be without Tyler Eifert on offense.

The Bengals were 8-0 ATS on the road last season, but the Jets have posted an 8-3 ATS record at home in their last 11 at MetLife Stadium. As small home 'dogs, I like the Jets to get the job done at home.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

Tom Brady? Nope. Rob Gronkowski? Nope. Rob Ninkovich? Nope. Chandler Jones? Nope. I mean, yes. Well, sort of. He's playing; just not for the Patriots.

In my opinion, the Cardinals are one of the two best teams in the NFL (along with the Seahawks). They have true balance on both sides of the ball as well as run vs. pass. At full strength, the Patriots are obviously one of the best teams in the league as well, but the dynamic changes considerably without Brady and Gronk.

The Patriots are favored in their next three games without Brady, but Jimmy Garoppolo's debut has the potential to get ugly. I like the Cardinals to win by double digits in primetime.

Minnesota Vikings -3 over Tennessee Titans (2 Units)

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the direction of the Titans. Not only do they have a young franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, but their "exotic smash-mouth" duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will help take some pressure off of Mariota. In addition, their offensive line upgrades should allow them to improve on their league-worst 54 sacks allowed last year.

The loss of Teddy Bridgewater for the season was a devastating blow to an up-and-coming Minnesota team that had/has the potential go from just making the playoffs to being serious Super Bowl contenders. With last year's rushing champion and one of the league's best defenses, the Vikings will play conservative football with Shaun Hill (or Sam Bradford) under center this week (in future weeks).

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Thankfully football is back, and as always the first few weeks are always exciting, and we get quite a few fun matchups to go right along with kickoff weekend. Houston will be coming into this game with a brand new quarterback in Brock Osweiler, but what really will get the job done is the rushing attack led by Lamar Miller. The Bears were gashed on the ground last year to the tune of 121 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. The other factor that I like, is the Texans defense, and more specifically their secondary's ability to blunt opposing passing attacks. The Texans were third-best in the league last year, at only allowing 210 yards passing per game, and opposing quarterbacks completed 59% of their throws. I like the Texans at home, as the Bears are still a few years away from having a typical Chicago defense.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Atlanta Falcons -2.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 Units)

The NFC South has always been good for a new team to emerge and win the division, and this could be the year that either Tampa or Atlanta comes out of the back to dethrone Carolina. The Falcons are traditionally hot starters, and also they have recent history on their side, as the favorite is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 matchups. The Falcons have retooled their passing attack, and offensive line, and I really like Matt Ryan going up against a secondary that yielded 240 yards passing per game last year and 30 touchdowns through the air. The Falcons are usually great at home, and of course all the extra excitement that opening week brings.

New York Giants -1 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

Yet another great divisional matchup, and also of course we get one of the best possible rivalry games out there as well. The Cowboys will be an interesting team this year, and they are coming into this game starting rookie Dak Prescott, who had quite the impressive preseason. That is one factor in favor of the Giants this week, and also recent trends have been good to them, as they are 3-1 against the spread vs Dallas in the last 2 years. I really like Eli Manning in the Ben McAdoo offense, and I like his triple-headed monster options of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and hopefully welcome back Victor Cruz. I just really like the New York passing attack against a very weak Dallas secondary, even though they are on the road.

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September 05, 2016

Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread: RG3, Browns Upset Wentz, Eagles?

Earlier today, Sean posted his four initial Week 1 NFL picks against the spread; now it's my turn.

Here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +3.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4 units)

The Browns are going to look like a pretty different team this year. There is a lot of hope and optimism surrounding the offense with RG3 at the helm, and especially with the upside potential that Josh Gordon will bring once he returns. The Eagles shifted expectations for their season when they traded Sam Bradford less than two weeks before the season begins. I'll reserve expectations for the Browns this year until we see them for at least a few weeks, but I like them to upset a pretty mediocre Eagles team on the road in Week One. I'll take the 3.5 and like the outright upset as well.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Houston Texans -6.5 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

I'm not quite sold on Brock Osweiler yet, but he was at least serviceable in Denver with flashes of some solid upside. He's got some pretty explosive weapons around him in Houston with DeAndre Hopkins and the addition of Lamar Miller. On the other hand, Chicago is one of the teams I'm lowest on entering the season. They may have a lot of trouble scoring against the Houston defense. I'm not expecting a particularly close game so I'll give the points in what should be an easy one for Houston.

Detroit Lions/Indianapolis Colts Over 51.5 (4 units)

After the Raiders/Saints game, this is the highest total on the board entering Week One, and justifiably so. The Colts defense already has some key injuries starting the year, on top of the fact that they're expected to be a pretty poor defense anyway. The Lions have talked about wanting to quicken their offensive pace even more this year, and I expect a lot of passing on both sides. We should see a shootout in this one, and even with the high total, I like the over to hit. There's a good chance both teams get to or near the 30's, and I see a 35-31 type of game.

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Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley): Cowboys start 1-0 under Dak Prescott

We are just three days away from the start of the 2016 NFL season. Finally.

With that said, here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts -3.5 over Detroit Lions (4 units)

This is one of my favorite games of the week. While I don't expect Andrew Luck to be healthy and play all 16 games this season behind a poor offensive line, I do expect him to put up big numbers in their home opener vs. a very average Lions defense. I think this game will be one of the highest total games of the week as well. Colts 31, Lions 24.

Green Bay Packers -5.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 units)

There are two teams in the AFC that everyone is talking about taking that next step this season. One of those teams is the Jaguars. (The other being Oakland.) I'm not all aboard the Jacksonville hype train. The Jaguars inexperience will show in this one against one of the league's best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers. Packers 30, Jaguars 21.


Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Dallas Cowboys +1 over New York Giants (3 units)

We all saw how bad the Cowboys were last year without Tony Romo. From what we have seen from Dak Prescott this preseason, it already looks like they have upgraded their backup QB role. The Cowboys also have a dangerous new RB Ezekiel Elliott, who should have a big game running behind one of the top O-Lines in the NFL. I like the Cowboys at home here. Cowboys 27, Giants 23.

Chicago Bears/Houston Texans Over 44.5 (2 units)

This is one of my favorite sneaky games to target this week playing DFS. I will have more exposure than usual to the players in this game. The Texans spent a lot of money to sign Brock Osweiler and I think he shouldn't have any problem picking apart a very bad and banged-up Bears defense. Texans 34, Bears 20.

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January 03, 2016

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 17 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 17 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -10 over Miami Dolphins (2 units)

With home-field advantage potentially on the line, the Patriots will have something for which to play in the regular-season finale. If the Patriots were to lose and the Broncos were to win, New England would be the No. 2 seed. Historically, the Patriots have closed the season strong as they have covered 12 of their last 15 Week 17 games.

And if you ask Miko Grimes, the opinionated wife of Brent Grimes, she's not a fan of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. She recently tweeted, "how many people does Ryan Tannehill have to get fired before you realize he's the problem." If anything, it just adds more problems for this under-performing team that can't wait for the offseason to begin.

The good news with the Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is that they are never afraid to pour it on. Despite the large spread, I expect them to take it to the Dolphins -- and then Miko to take to Twitter.

Green Bay Packers -3 over Minnesota Vikings (2 units)

The season hasn't gone as planned for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers this season, but here they are playing for the division title in regular-season game No. 256 of 256. Minnesota held Rodgers to a season-low 47.06 completion percentage in their first matchup, but Rodgers and the Packers have historically been tough to beat at Lambeau Field.

The Vikings will rely on Adrian Peterson to carry to load, but the Packers did a solid job at limiting him to only 45 yards (and a touchdown) on 13 carries in their first matchup this season. Despite the struggles this season, it comes down to trust in a prime-time matchup -- Rodgers at Lambeau or Teddy Bridgewater on the road? Give me Rodgers every day of the week.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 17 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 17 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers -11.5 over Cleveland Browns (5 units)

The Steelers need a win in Cleveland and some help by Buffalo to make the playoffs. I actually think the Jets would be a harder playoff matchup for the Patriots since the Steelers pass D is so bad, so the conspiracy theory crowd needs to relax. I believe everyone who was burned by the Steelers last week will be rewarded in this one. The Browns secondary is banged up, and that should lead to a monster game for Ben Roethlisberger and all his weapons. Steelers smoke the Browns, 38-17.

New Orleans Saints +5.5 over Atlanta Falcons (5 units)
Falcons vs. Saints -- Over 53.0 (3 units)

Julio Jones has a legit shot at breaking two NFL records today. Jones needs 17 receptions to break Marvin Harrison's single-season record of 143, and he needs 243 yards to break Calvin Johnson's record of 1,964 yards. The Falcons are playing one of the leagues worst pass defenses, so I think this is actually attainable.

Another reason I think so is the QB on the other side. Drew Brees looked great last week in a home win vs. the Jaguars. Brees and the Saints offense should be able to put up some points in this one, and in a predicted shootout, I trust Brees more than I trust Matt Ryan, who has been pretty bad this year. I like the Saints to win on the road, and I believe Julio falls a little short of the record (15-195-1). Saints, 41-31.

Philadelphia Eagles +5.5 over New York Giants (5 units)
Giants vs. Eagles -- Over 51.0 (4 units)

This game has so many narrartives, it isn't funny. We have the Odell Beckham F/U game after being suspended by the NFL. We have the Eagles F/U game after getting rid of Chip Kelly. We also potentially have the Giants playing their final game with coach Tom Coughlin. Both defenses are awful, which should lead to a lot of points. If you are playing DFS today, then load up on this game as I project this game to be the highest scoring of the week. Both QBs throw for over 300 yards, but the difference I think is DeMarco Murray, who I think will have a huge game today. Eagles squeak out a win on the road, 38-37.

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January 02, 2016

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 17 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 17 of the 2015 NFL season:

New York Jets -3 over Buffalo Bills (5 units)

Week 17 is always one of the hardest to gauge, but the best thing to do is to look for must-win games and obvious mismatches. This week, the Jets are in a must-win game, as if they win on the road, than they will punch their ticket to the playoffs. For all of the bragging and defensive résumé that Rex Ryan brings, the Bills have actually taken a step back this year. And to me, it looks like they already have their car engines running in the parking lot just ready to get to the offseason.

I love the Jets this week, as they are able to stop the run, as they give up a league-low 81.5 yards per game, 3.7 yards per carry, and only 2 TDs on the year. Also, the Bills have a terrible secondary, as they allow opposing passers to get 258 yards per game. I love Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, and also you will see the Jets front-seven just shut down Karlos Williams, as the Jets ride their hot streak into the playoffs.

St. Louis Rams -4 over San Francisco 49ers (4 units)

Although the Rams had their playoff game last week against the Seahawks, who they always play tough, this week they get another obvious mismatch in visiting San Francisco. Even though it appears that the Rams will be shutting down their stud running back Todd Gurley, they still have plenty of ground game options with Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. I love this duo going up against a 49ers run defense that allows 125.8 yards per game, 4.0 yards per carry, and 19 touchdowns on the year. The 49ers have just appeared to be overwhelmed this year under rookie coach Jim Tomsula, and I expect this game will not be kind to the Santa Clara faithful.

Washington Redskins +3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (5 units)

I had to do a double take here on this game, as how could a playoff team be getting 3.5 points to a team playing it's fourth starting quarterback of the year? Kellen Moore was really fun to watch at Boise State, but he is just not a pro QB, and I can't believe he will actually be favored in this game, even if Washington has nothing to play for. Washington will want to go into the playoffs with rhythm, and they will certainly out grind Dallas on the ground this week, as the Cowboys allow 119.2 yards per game, and a robust 4.2 yards per carry. Look, I don't care if Gruden may be resting the starters, and heck even if RGIII is active and taking meaningful snaps, I would still favor Washington, but every now and then you get a late Christmas present, and here it is.

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January 01, 2016

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 17 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 17 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers -11 over Cleveland Browns (4 units)

Week 17 is always tough to pick because you never know how coaches are going to decide to play it. They may rest players and try to see what they have in some younger guys, or they may treat it as any other Sunday. There are some games where it is easier to predict what coaching will do, and in this case, the Steelers are playing for their season.

After a huge stumble last week against Baltimore, they'll need help from the Bills to get in, but I think Pittsburgh will show up this week the way I expected them to last week. The Browns will be going with Austin Davis at quarterback and I just don't see a way that they can keep up with the high-powered offense of the Steelers. This one should be over quickly in a 38-10 type of game.

New Orleans Saints +5.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

Everyone seems to love the Falcons here, coming off a huge win against the formerly undefeated Panthers. Julio Jones needs 17 receptions and 243 yards to break single season receiving records in both categories. I love Julio, but he's unlikely to get either record, even against the Saints terrible defense. I've watched too much of the Falcons this year to be fooled by the previous week's performance.

Sometimes teams get up for big games. Prior to that win, Atlanta had been terrible and I expect them to come back down to earth. I think the Saints have a decent chance to win here, but either way, I'm certainly not laying 5.5. I'll take Julio in DFS all day, but his individual stats aren't going to win them the game. Take the points.

New England Patriots -10.5 over Miami Dolphins (4 units)

I'm not sure what I think this spread should be, but it just doesn't feel high enough - even at 10.5. The Patriots have been decimated by injury, but they could put you and me out there against Miami and easily win this one. The Dolphins had a little surge after firing Joe Philbin midway through the season, but that has long since passed. I don't think that they can hang for long here. It feels like a big win for the Pats and a free coffee at Dunkin Donuts Monday morning for those of us living in New England.

Green Bay Packers -3 over Minnesota Vikings (5 units)

I don't know why, but I like the Packers to win and cover here. I admit I'm still in love with Aaron Rodgers and no matter how terrible his receiving corps is or how often he's been getting pressured in the pocket, I just believe. The Vikings look like one of the more fraudulent playoff teams this year and I'd pick them as least likely to win a playoff game of the teams in. I think they falter against Green Bay and the Packers gain a little momentum going into Wild Card weekend. Give the three.

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December 27, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 16 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season:

Tennessee Titans +3.5 over Houston Texans (2 units)

Brandon Weeden is starting for the Texans today, and we all know how bad Weeden is. I think the Titans will get up to play this one and win this one out right. Zach Mettenberger likes to sling it deep. If you don't know about Dorial Green-Beckham yet, you will after today. Titans, 23-20.

Denver Broncos -3.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 units)

I absolutely love the Broncos in this spot at home. I think their defense is going to give A.J. McCarron a lot of trouble. I am rolling out this unit as my cash game defense on daily sites. I believe their defense will put up 20 fantasy points in this one. Denver, 27-13.

Pittsburgh Steelers -10.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 units)

Pittsburgh is unstoppable on offense right now, and I believe they are the favorite right now to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The funny thing is they need to make the playoffs first. These games are historically pretty good, but not today. Fire up those Steelers stacks! Steelers, 41-21.

St. Louis Rams +13 over Seattle Seahawks (3 units)

If Seattle's defense was good this year, I'd hammer this one in the other direction considering Russell Wilson looks like an elite QB over the past few games. The defense is just average though and can get beaten. The Rams keep it close enough, and it wouldn't shock me to see them win this one. Seahawks, 26-18.

New England Patriots -3 over New York Jets (4 units)

Tom Brady will be throwing in this one until his arm falls off. The one thing that is great about the Patriots is they don't try to beat the opponent's strength. If a team has a stout run D, they pass, and vice versa. The Patriots will be without Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola today. Brandon LaFell will likely draw a lot of coverage from Darrelle Revis, which should lead to 10-15 targets each for Rob Gronkowski and James White. Both should have great games. Pats hammer the Jets, 38-23.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 16 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -3 over New York Jets (3 units)

The Jets have certainly been hot as of late, and the sad thing is that even if they win out, they still could miss the playoffs. The Patriots have had quite the hard time this year with the injury bug, and Tom Brady will be missing Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman for this game. But with a win, they ensure the AFC goes through Foxboro.

The one part that is flying under the radar about the Patriots, is their front-seven this year, as they limit the opposition to 95.8 rushing yards per game, and they are tied for the league lead with 47 sacks. This is the type of game where the Pats will handle their business, and remember Brady was able to carve this Jets defense for 355 yards and two touchdowns. This will be a game with a classic Belichick scheme to blunt the Jets offense, and I will lay the three points here.

Carolina Panthers -7 over Atlanta Falcons (4 units)

The Panthers are going for history, and I think they will be playing out the season going for the 16-0, and the chance to be undefeated. These two teams played each other on December 14th, and the result was not pretty, as the Falcons got flattened 38-0. The Panthers have a great defensive line and Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis are two of the best linebackers in the league. Their rush defense limits opposing rushers to 90.1 yards per game.

In the previous matchup, the Panthers limited star running back Devonta Freeman to 40 yards total in the game. This will be yet another game that the MVP Cam Newton takes over and I really don't think the Falcons are still even within a TD of the Panthers at home.

St. Louis Rams +13 over Seattle Seahawks (4 units)

Besides Kansas City, the hottest team in the league has definitely been the Seattle Seahawks, but the one team that is their Achilles heel is the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have great history against the Seahawks, as they have gone 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games. Also, I think the Seahawks still have offensive line problems, and the Rams can easily pressure the quarterback with their defensive line, as they have 36 sacks on the year. I also feel that all of the running back injuries will finally catch up with Seattle, and while I feel that they will win this one, it won't be a blowout.

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December 26, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 16 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season:

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 units)

The Redskins have an opportunity to win the division with a victory over the Eagles tonight. They've been playing solid football of late and Kirk Cousins actually holds the highest completion percentage in the league. I like the Redskins to win this one outright so I'll take the three points on the road.

Cleveland Browns +11 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 units)

Cleveland is certainly just playing for next year while the Chiefs are trying to lock up a playoff spot. Kansas City has won eight in a row and should have no trouble handling the Browns. However, I like Johnny Manziel and Cleveland to cover the 11 points. The Chiefs put up over 30 last week, but scored two defensive touchdowns. I don't think the offense will score enough to blow out the Browns so give me the points here.

Pittsburgh Steelers -10.5 over Baltimore Ravens (4 units)

This is a pretty big spread, but the Pittsburgh offense with Ben Roethlisberger has been all but unstoppable. They have all kinds of weapons and should have no trouble scoring 30-plus points again this week. They still need to keep winning to make sure they hang on to their wildcard spot. Baltimore has been decimated by injuries and just don't have the personnel to hang with the Steelers.

New York Giants +6 over Minnesota Vikings (3 units)

If the Redskins do win against the Eagles on Saturday, the Giants may just be playing for pride. With Odell Beckham Jr. out for this one, the Giants will need to find other weapons to keep them in the game against Minnesota. I like this to be a low-scoring affair with neither side getting out to too big of a lead at any point. I'll take the Giants with the points.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 16 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season:

Seattle Seahawks -13 over St. Louis Rams (2 units)

Looking back at the past eight times these two teams have met in Seattle (all Seattle wins), the Seahawks have won seven of those games by double-digit points. In addition, the Rams have not scored more than 13 points in Seattle in any of their past eight games. In fact, they have scored a total of just four touchdowns in their past eight games there. (Granted, the Rams won their OT matchup in Week 1 in St. Louis.)

The Seahawks have lost Marshawn Lynch, and then Thomas Rawls, and have turned the rushing attack over to Christine Michael, 2.0, with some Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson mixed in. That said, Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and the passing offense is firing on all cylinders. In his past five games, Wilson has 20 touchdowns -- 19 passing and one rushing -- and no interceptions.

[Related Poll: How many TDs will Baldwin score in Week 16?]

Since averaging 6.12 yards per carry in his first five NFL games, Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley has averaged just 3.86 YPC over his past seven games. And those numbers would look a lot worse if it weren't for a 16/140/2 game against the Lions. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have allowed only three 50-yard rushers since Week 7: Darren McFadden (20 carries for 64 yards), Andre Ellington (five for 61) and Chris Johnson (25 for 58).

The size of the point spread is a small (or I guess large, depending on your perspective) concern, but I expect the Seahawks to win this one going away as they are playing their best football of the season at the right time.

Redskins vs. Eagles -- Over 49.0 (2 units)

With an ability to clinch the division on the road, Washington has had much less success outside of FedEx Field this season. Only 1-5 on the road this season, they close the regular season out in Philadelphia (tonight) and Dallas (next week).

One of the biggest reasons for their ability to clinch the division tonight has been the play of Kirk Cousins. Whether they should show him the money is another question, but Cousins has compiled a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio over his past eight games. In fact, he has accounted for 20 touchdowns with four rushing scores over that span as well. Not only will DeSean Jackson get a chance to face his former team, but Jordan Reed is having a breakout season (74/778/9).

Meanwhile, the Eagles defense ranks 29th in the NFL (393.3 yards per game allowed). In addition, the Redskins defense hasn't been all that much better (25th, 370.0 YPG). With an over/under of 49, I could easily see this game turn out to be a 27-24 contest.

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December 20, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 15 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (4 units)

The Carolina Panthers may be playing for perfection, but no team is as complete as the Arizona Cardinals. Not only do the Cardinals rank first in yardage differential, but they rank first in the NFL in total offense and fourth in total defense. On the other hand, the Eagles rank 28th in rush defense and 24th in pass defense so I expect Carson Palmer and the Cardinals to be able to move the ball at will.

A few weeks ago, the Eagles allowed back-to-back quarterbacks (Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford) to throw for five touchdowns a piece. It wouldn't surprise me if Palmer had similar success tonight. Arizona has a trio of talented receivers -- Larry Fitzgerald (first 1,000-yard season since 2011), John Brown (on pace for 1,000-plus yards) and Michael Floyd (100-plus yards in three of four games).

Not only is Palmer an impressive 24-4 in his past 28 games as a starter, but Bruce Arians is 19-11 ATS as a favorite. In addition, the Eagles have won only two of 18 games in which they were a home underdog.

Chargers vs. Dolphins -- Under 46.0 (2 units)

The matchup is a favorable one for Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense, but they have struggled lately. With the exception being a four-TD performance against the Jags, Rivers has thrown zero touchdowns in three of four games. In those three games, the Chargers scored exactly three points each week.

On the other hand, the matchup should be favorable for Lamar Miller and the Dolphins, but their play-calling this season has been questionable, at best. Miller has single-digit carries in five of 13 games this season. After throwing multiple touchdowns in three consecutive games, Ryan Tannehill has thrown for only 322 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games combined.

Both offenses have underperformed expectations this season and this game has gone under in each of their past five meetings.

Washington Redskins +3 over Buffalo Bills (2 units)

In a week where the Giants host the unbeaten Panthers and the Eagles face the most balanced team in the league (see above), Washington may have an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the NFC Least. Depending on the location of their games, they have looked like two different teams this season.

Washington is 5-2 at home so I'll gladly take the points at Fedex Field. In fact, Kirk Cousins has an 11:0 TD-to-INT ratio in his home games since Week 2. Earlier in the week, the Bills placed cornerback Stephon Gilmore, one of the league's better young cornerbacks, on season-ending injured reserve, which improves the matchup.

At a minimum, I expect Washington to keep the game to within a field goal although I think they win this one straight up.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 15 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

Houston Texans +1 over Indianapolis Colts (4 units)

The winner of this game is likely to win the division. It feels like the Colts have run out of magic. Matt Hasselbeck had been solid in his first few starts in relief of Andrew Luck, but there's only so much you can expect from a 40-year-old backup quarterback. The Texans have been playing better down the stretch, and although they lost to the Patriots last week, most teams lose to the Patriots. I like Houston to bounce back here on the road and likely win the AFC South.

Cleveland Browns +14.5 over Seattle Seahawks (4 units)

Who in their right mind would take the Browns to cover going into Seattle? Call me crazy, but I think the Browns prove to be a lot tougher than this spread would indicate. While Cleveland has nothing to play for, Johnny Football has everything to play for, as he strives to prove he belongs in the league. I think he will surprise a few people and follow up a solid performance last week with another one here. I like Cleveland to cover.

San Diego Chargers -2 over Miami Dolphins (5 units)

The Dolphins season ended last week at the hands of Odell Beckham and the Giants. The Chargers are not going to the playoffs either, but this could be their last home game in San Diego before moving to LA. I think Philip Rivers will have a strong showing and put some points on the board this week. Give me the Chargers at home this week, 34-20.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 15 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -14 over Tennessee Titans (5 units)
Patriots vs. Titans -- Over 47 (5 units)

I absolutely love New England Sunday. I will never forget the 59-0 beating the Titans took the last time they went to Foxboro, and I sadly think they are in for another beating this week. The Patriots are going to be able to do whatever they want offensively. I love Brandon Bolden in the LeGarrette Blount role if you are playing DFS, and it's the one week where I am actually thinking of paying up for kicker on FanDuel because I expect the Patriots to score a lot of points. Patriots big, 48-17.

San Diego Chargers -2 over Miami Dolphins (3 units)

The last home game for the Chargers franchise in San Diego. I think the Chargers go out with a bang in this one. I think Philip Rivers has a monster game against a Miami defense which has been pretty bad the past month.
San Diego, 30-20.

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 units)

I like Arizona on the road on Sunday night. Their offense should be unstoppable against a defense that just bleeds points. David Johnson has shown he can handle the workload and I believe he has another big game. I also like Carson Palmer to throw for 300-plus yards and a few scores. Cardinals big, 38-23.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 15 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 over Baltimore Ravens (4 units)

The Chiefs have been rolling as of late, and they will look to continue their absolute turnaround from 1-5, to a wildcard spot in the AFC Playoffs. What more can be said for the Ravens, who have been decimated by injury as they will be down two quarterbacks in Matt Schaub and Joe Flacco. The Chiefs defense has come alive as of late, and they will take away the one true weapon the Ravens have in Javorius Allen, as he will face a rushing defense that gives up 3.9 yards per carry and only 92.2 yards per game.

Also the Ravens have one of the worst secondaries in the league, as they allow 248 yards passing per game, and 27 touchdowns, and only four picks overall. I am looking for a big day from Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, and Travis Kelce, and I will easily give up the TD here.

San Diego Chargers -2 over Miami Dolphins (5 units)

In what could be the final San Diego home game of all time, I have a feeling that the Chargers are going to go out with a bang. They will get a Miami team on a short week, flying all the way across the country, and to top it all off, one of the worst defenses in the league.

The Dolphins have been horrible and vunerable to both forms of attack this year, as on the ground Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon will be able to exploit a squad that gives up 4.1 yards per carry, and 131.5 yards per game. Also, the Dolphins are really bad against the pass, and I am really loving Phillip Rivers to carve up a secondary that gives up 262 yards per game, and 65-percent completion rate.

I really love the Chargers at home with the emotional lift from the crowd and absolutely think they are two points better at home than an average Miami club.

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 units)

This game absolutely will have a chance to have huge offensive fireworks, and I really think this is the game of the week as it could be a possible preview of a second-round playoff contest. The Cardinals have the most explosive offense in the league, and I am really loving them against an Eagles defense that has improved, but still is prone to give up huge numbers.

The Cardinals can attack Philly in two ways, as they can use David Johnson on the ground, who gets a great matchup against a front-seven that gives up 4.4 yards per carry and 126.8 yards per game. There is also not a better team in the league with the vertical passing game than the Cardinals, and they are always looking to take shots down the field. Carson Palmer also has a beautiful matchup against the Eagles secondary that gives up 259 yards per game and 29 touchdowns. I will lay the points here again, as Philly has been hot, but they are due for a stinker.

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December 13, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 14 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

Detroit Lions -3 over St. Louis Rams (3 units)

This game is a contest of two teams that had very high aspirations at the start of the year, but they both have had quite the disappointing year. The Lions come into this game on the heels of possibly one of the worse losses ever, as they got beat by a Hail Mary on an untimed down after a questionable call.

The Rams have just been flat over the last five games, as they have lost everyone of them, and they haven't put up more than 18 points as well. I think the Lions defense is starting to come together, and they will be able to contain Rams running back Todd Gurley as they only allow 3.9 yards per carry per game.

Also Matthew Stafford has been coming alive as of late, and he will be able to attack a Rams passing defense that allows a 69-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. I am looking for Stafford to have a big day throwing to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and I will lay the three points here.

Tennessee Titans +7 over New York Jets (3 units)

The Jets are on the cusp of the playoffs, and they can certainly take a huge step forward with a big win against the Titans on Sunday. While the Titans have struggled for much of the year, there is great hope of the future with rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showing signs of being a solid NFL starter. While I believe that the Jets are a much better team, this game will still come down to certain matchups, and what most don't realize is that the Titans have a very strong pass defense. We are even including last week's shootout with Jacksonville, the Titans only allow 231 yards passing per game, and they get excellent QB pressure with 34 sacks. While I still think that the Jets are going to win this one, I believe that the Titans will be able to keep it close, and I will take the 7 points here.

New England Patriots -4.5 over Houston Texans (4 units)

The Patriots have certainly struggled as of last, as they have lost two in a row, and also last week in one of the most surprising fashions by giving up 21 points on defense and special team touchdowns. The Texans were left for dead after starting 1-4, but have managed to climb back in to the AFC South race, as the defense has gotten on track.

New England has not been themselves on offense, as they are missing Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola has been slowed by injury as well. This will be a week where Tom Brady will right the ship, as I love his match up going against a Texans secondary that has given up 242 yards passing and 36 touchdowns on the year.

The Patriots have not lost three games in a row since the 2002 season, and while J.J. Watt, has been other worldly the last few weeks, he will go into this game with a broken hand. I look for the Patriots to have a tight contest for most of the game, but will pull away in the end.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 14 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -4.5 over Houston Texans (3 units)

After opening the season with 10 consecutive wins, the Patriots have lost back-to-back games to the Broncos and Eagles. Whether New England has All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski (questionable) tonight or not, it's unlikely that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots lose a third consecutive game.

Especially with Gronk, the Patriots offense should put up plenty of points even if the offensive line has to contend with J.J. Watt. On the other hand, the Patriots typically do a great job of taking away their opponent's best player. With Arian Foster on IR, other than DeAndre Hopkins, who scares you?

Exactly. I'll take the Pats on the road to bounce back.

Seattle Seahawks -12 over Baltimore Ravens (3 units)

It's rare that a quarterback starts a game for two different teams, let alone face the same opponent, but that is what is happening for Jimmy Clausen. Earlier this season, Clausen faced the Seahawks as a member of the Bears, but Seattle is starting to look more like the Seahawks of late.

In a couple of games since Justin Forsett was injured, rookie Javorius Allen has played well, but the Ravens have suffered way too many injuries this season. With what little fire power they have left on offense, they will also be without another weapon (Crockett Gillmore) this week. In turn, Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin have the passing offense playing well and get to face a vulnerable Ravens secondary today.

I see this game shaping up to be a 31-10 type of game so I don't mind laying the double-digit points.

Note: John Trifone won't be sending writeups for picks, but he provided his picks even though he is away. Here are his picks for this week: Saints +5 (5 units), Jaguars -2 (4 units), Seahawks -12 (3 units) and Giants -2.5 (3 units).

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 14 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 14 of the 2015 NFL season:

Kansas City Chiefs -10.5 over San Diego Chargers (3 units)

The Chargers have been hit with the injury bug pretty hard this season. At this point, I could probably sign and play WR for them this week. To make matters worse, QB Philip Rivers has severe flu-like symptoms. This does not look good for the Chargers. The Chiefs are my favorite defense to target in daily leagues this week. I don't see a way this one is close. Chiefs, 30-13.

Tennessee Titans +7 over New York Jets (3 units)

I'll take the points in this one. The Titans have no running attack, and even if they did, they would have a hard time against this Jets defense. This Jets defense is beatable in the air though, and as crazy as it sounds, that's Tennessee's strength. I think Marcus Mariota will have some success this week.

On the other side of the ball, I expect the Jets to try and use Chris Ivory a little more this week. I think Ivory is sneaky in DFS this week. The Jets win after the Titans collapse in the 4th quarter again. Jets, 24-21.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Under 46 (4 units)

This game has a very high total, and rightfully so after their games last week. Neither team could stop anything. I think the Colts will continue to struggle moving the ball this week, and Jacksonville will run a little more to keep the lead. This is one of the games I believe will have the lowest total of the week. Jags win in an ugly contest, 19-17.

Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears -- Over 43 (2 units)

This total has been dropping due to the bad weather that will be in effect at game time. Even with the weather being horrible, I think this game hits the over pretty easily. I think both teams will be able to run the ball, and I still think the Bears get Alshon Jeffery 10-plus targets. This is one of those sneaky games of the week I feel. Bears win at home, 38-29.

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December 06, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 13 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season:

Kansas City Chiefs -3 over Oakland Raiders (3 units)

Arguably, the Chiefs have been the hottest team in the NFL over the past month or so. Not only have they won five consecutive games, but they have won those five games by an average margin of nearly 20 points per game (19.8/G). Last week's win over the Bills (30-22) was their closest game during that stretch.

During that six-week stretch (five wins and a bye), only the Panthers (17 in six games) have more takeaways than the Chiefs (14 in five games). During that same span, the Chiefs have NOT turned the ball over at all. Every other team has turned the ball over at least three times during that span.

One big concern is the loss of Justin Houston (knee), who will miss this week's game, but I think the good times continue to roll for the Chiefs.

Arizona Cardinals -5 over St. Louis Rams (3 units)

In his past 26 starts, Arizona's Carson Palmer has won 22 games. Not only does the Palmer-led offense rank first in total offense (410.0 YPG), but they rank first in the NFL in scoring offense (32.3 PPG) as well. And even though the Rams have one of the most talented running backs (Todd Gurley), they don't have much else as they rank second to last in both total and scoring offense.

Arizona will be without Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, but you could argue that David Johnson is an upgrade at running back. Granted, (Chris) Johnson ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing (814 yards), but he has averaged just 2.51 yards per carry in his past three games combined. Despite his limited opportunities, Johnson has scored eight touchdowns -- four rushing, three receiving and one return -- on only 54 touches.

Meanwhile, Gurley rushed for 146 yards in his first matchup against the Cards in Week 4, which began his four-game streak over 100 yards. Since that streak, however, Gurley has rushed for only 219 yards on 70 carries (3.13 YPC) over his past four games. I expect the Cardinals to force someone other than Gurley to beat them on Sunday.

Washington Redskins -4 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

As a Cowboys fan, it has been a disappointing season. As Buggin' Out would say, Tony Romo has broken has collar bone two times. As bad as the NFC Least has been, the Cowboys have decided to wait to put Romo on season-ending IR as they currently stand only two games out of first place at 3-8.

On the other hand, Washington is in first place despite having a losing record (5-6). They have certainly been inconsistent and they have their share of holes, but they have been playing reasonably well lately. In addition, they have been tough to beat at home. They are 5-1 straight up at home and 0-5 on the road.

Perhaps one positive is that Matt Cassel has already had an opportunity to play in this offense and the team had an extended break since their loss to the Panthers. (Of course, the negative is that he's Matt Cassel.) Washington has had the Cowboys number as they have covered 15 of their past 20 against Dallas and the Cowboys are 1-9 ATS on Monday Night Football.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 13 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season:

Chicago Bears -7 over San Francisco 49ers (4 units)

The Bears have been much improved this year, as they are almost at .500, and they have been more efficient on offense, and playing better defense than anyone thought possible after last year. The 49ers have just been a train wreck, as they lost quite a few Pro Bowl players to retirement, and of course, the offense has regressed mightily.

Although Blaine Gabbert has looked halfway decent this year, this game is still a huge mismatch in Chicago's favor, as the 49ers have been awful against the pass. The Niners secondary has given up 277 yards per game, and they allow a 69-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. I just love Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, a healthy Alshon Jeffrey, and of course, the Bears at home at 1 PM in December. Add 'em all up, and I will give the seven here.

New York Giants +2.5 over New York Jets (4 units)

You just have to love the way this one works out, as the Giants are home 'dogs in their own stadium, and I still can't understand it. The Giants have been quite the odd team to figure out this year, as they could easily be 8-3 this year, but they are one game under .500 at 5-6.

The good news is that the Giants can still win the NFC East, but they have to start putting the games they should win in the proper column. The Jets had a hot start, but they have come back to earth as of recent, but they also need to start stringing wins together.

I believe this game will be won by the Giants through the air, as the Jets give up 240 yards per game, and 21 touchdowns to opposing QBs. Also, they have announced that All-Pro corner Darelle Revis will be missing this game with a concussion, so it will be open season for Odell Beckham Jr. I am a big fan of taking the better team when they are getting points, and this is certainly the case here.

Washington Redskins -4 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

I am going to start this pick with the preface that I despise the Cowboys. Even growing up in New England,you couldn't walk three feet in school without seeing bandwagon Dallas merchandise (Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, etc.). That being said, I really feel bad for Tony Romo, as he deserves much better, and hopefully he can make it through a season properly healthy.

Washington is a different team at home, and now in December they actually have something meaningful to play for, as they lead the NFC East. Washington has had the Cowboys number over the last 5 years, as they have gone 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games. Also, I believe that Washington will be keeping a steady diet of run-first offense with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, going up against a Dallas front-seven that gives up 106 yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry. I just don't think Matt Cassel can cover the four on Monday night, so I will take Washington to win going away.

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December 05, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 13 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season:

New York Giants vs. New York Jets Over 46.5 (5 units)

I think this will be the highest-scoring game of the week. The Jets will be without Darrelle Revis this week, which means Odell Beckham gets to match up with Antonio Cromartie. ODB should have a monster game this week.

On the other side of the ball, you have Ryan Fitzpatrick who has yet to top 300 yards in the air this year, but he faces a Giants defense who just bleeds passing yardage. I think Fitz and the Jets will be forced into throwing the ball to keep pace with Eli Manning. If you're playing DFS this week, then this is one of those perfect games to stack. Giants, 31-28.

Miami Dolphins -3.5 over Baltimore Ravens (4 units)

This is just one of those gut games. Miami's defense has been absolutely brutal lately, but they face a Ravens team with limited weapons. I think Matt Schaub gets into some trouble this week on the road. I think Miami is also a very sneaky fantasy option. Another sneaky option is WR DeVante Parker. Parker had double-digit targets last week and should be filling in for injured WR Rishard Matthews. I think both Parker and Jarvis Landry have a big game against this Ravens defense, who is near the bottom of the league. Dolphins, 27-13.

New Orleans Saints +7 over Carolina Panthers (3 units)

The perfect season is on the line here, and I truly believe it could end this Sunday in Carolina. While Cam Newton is locked in as my No. 1 QB of the week, I think Drew Brees and the Saints come to play this week. Divisional games are always hard-fought contests and getting seven points is just too much. Carolina, 26-23.

New England Patriots -9 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 units)

The Eagles have quit on Chip Kelly, period. You can take all the weapons away from Tom Brady, and the Patriots would find a way to beat the Eagles. The Eagles have gotten destroyed the past few weeks, and I believe the Patriots will handle business in this one. This feels like a LeGarrette Blount 3-TD game to me. Patriots, 41-18.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 13 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season:

Atlanta Falcons -1 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 units)

Atlanta's Julio Jones was very quiet last week and I think that's unlikely to be the case two weeks in a row. The Falcons are also getting Devonta Freeman back this week, who has been fantastic. Matt Ryan has really regressed of late, and I actually like him to attack Tampa through the air. In what is essentially a pick'em game, I'll take Atlanta.

Minnesota Vikings +1.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 units)

Seattle will be a scary team if they can claim one of the two wild card spots. However, they have not by a long shot been as good defensively as they have been the past two years. Jimmy Graham had just started getting involved in the offense, but he will be out for the rest of the year. Minnesota is for real and I expect them to win this game at home.

Chicago Bears -7 over San Francisco 49ers (4 units)

Chicago has been one of the pleasant surprises this year and is actually in the playoff hunt. Jay Cutler was recently added to the injury report with an illness, but as long as he plays, I like them to easily beat San Francisco. The 49ers are coming off a tough loss against the division-rival Cardinals. Their defense plays much better at home, and with little to play for and having to travel to Chicago for a 1 PM start, I like the Bears in a 27-10 type of game.

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November 29, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 12 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 12 of the 2015 NFL season:

Minnesota Vikings +2 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

Even when they were winning, the Falcons were far from dominant (although their fourth-quarter comebacks were impressive in a different way). But lately, they have really struggled as losers of their past three games and four of their past five. Without Devonta Freeman this week, the Falcons will look even more to stud receiver Julio Jones as Tevin Coleman struggled last week with Freeman sidelined. Meanwhile, the Vikings rank in the top 10 in total defense and third in scoring defense this season so the loss of a weapon like Freeman really hurts.

The Falcons have allowed just 87.4 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry, but they have also allowed 11 rushing touchdowns this season. In addition, the Vikings have one of the league's most run-heavy offenses (47.02 percent of plays are runs) and Adrian Peterson leads the NFL with 1,006 rushing yards this season. I expect to see Peterson all day, which will help keep Matt Ryan and Jones off the field.

All ATS trends point to a Vikings cover. Not only are the Vikings 23-9 ATS in their past 32 games overall, but they have covered each of their past four road games and are 7-2 ATS following a straight-up loss. Meanwhile, the Falcons are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games and 0-6 ATS in their past six overall.

New York Giants -2.5 over Washington Redskins (3 units)

Anything can happen in a divisional game and I'm not a huge fan of taking small road favorites in divisional games, but I do think the Giants are a much better team. Over the past couple of seasons, the Giants have had their number as well with five consecutive covers against Washington. In general, New York has been one of the better road teams in the NFL and they are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven road games.

Washington has yet to allow a 300-yard passer this season, but they have allowed 20 passing touchdowns -- only four teams have allowed more this season. Earlier this year, Eli Manning threw for 279 yards and two scores against Washington and Odell Beckham enters Week 12 with three consecutive 100-yard games. I think Eli, OBJ and crew score at least a field goal more than Washington this week.

Arizona Cardinals -10 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

There is no team in the NFL more complete on both sides of the ball than the Cardinals. Arizona ranks in the top-nine in the NFL in rush offense (9th), pass offense (4th), rush defense (7th) and pass defense (9th). In addition, no team has a better yards per play differential (+1.3) than the Cardinals. On the flip side, the team that ranks dead last in that category is San Francisco (-1.2).

The size of the spread isn't much of a concern. This has the makings of a 31-10 type of game and it should be unwatchable except for the fantasy owners of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, etc. In his past three games, Palmer has thrown for at least 317 yards and three touchdowns in each game. To demonstrate greater consistency, Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in every game this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Seattle Seahawks (2 units)

Although there was no way to tell, Ben Roethlisberger was battling a foot injury before the team's Week 11 bye. In relief, he threw for a season-high 379 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns in Week 10. With Big Ben back under center, Antonio Brown has 27 catches for 423 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. Even if the Seahawks shadow Brown with Richard Sherman, Martavis Bryant (6/178/1 in Week 10) can do a lot of damage as well.

The Seahawks will be without Marshawn Lynch this week and perhaps for the rest of the regular season, but Thomas Rawls is not a downgrade compared to the 2015 version of Beast Mode. The undrafted rookie has three 100-yard games in the four games with a significant workload. That said, the Steelers offense is much more balanced than that of Seattle this season. At a minimum, I like the Steelers to keep this game to within a field goal.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 12 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 12 of the 2015 NFL season:

New Orleans Saints +3.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

The Saints have finally fired the much maligned defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and they will look to get their second half of the season started off right against a surging Houston Texans team. The Saints have been woeful, but I feel this is one of those games with a new voice, focus, and coming off a bye week that will do New Orleans well.

One place that the Texans can be attacked is on the ground, as they give up 113 yards per game, and 4.2 yards per carry, so I really like Mark Ingram in this one. Also, the Saints always have big-play capability, and while they may not win this one, it will certainly be close, so when in doubt take the points.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 units)

The Seahawks are starting to pull things together and they certainly have been playing much better ball in their last few games. The Steelers come in banged up with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, but they now have a chance to win the AFC North, as the Bengals have faltered as of late.

For me, Seattle just doesn't look right this year, and it starts with the offensive line. Russell Wilson has been scrambling for his life back there, as the Seahawks have allow 35 sacks on the year, which is astronomical numbers compared to the past two years. The Steelers have also been able to get after the QB this year, as they have compiled 28 sacks through 10 games, and they are great against Seattle's bread and butter, as they only allow 93 yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry.

I just love the offensive firepower of Pittsburgh to keep this one close, and I will take the 3.5 here also.

Cleveland Browns -3 over Baltimore Ravens (5 units)

For both teams this will be a pride game, and both seasons couldn't truly have gone worse for them as well. Baltimore has had the worst of the injury bug, as they lost Terell Suggs in Week 1, and now just last week they lost both Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett to season-ending injuries.

Earlier this year, Josh McCown and the Browns went into Baltimore and won in overtime, but McCown had an unbelievable day passing for 457 yards. The Ravens still boast one of the worst secondaries in the league, as they have given up 257 yards per game and 19 touchdowns. This is the season for Cleveland and their fans, and McCown won't let the hometown down on their return to Monday Night Football.

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November 28, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 12 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 12 of the 2015 NFL season:

Minnesota Vikings +1.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 units)

Minnesota is coming off a bad performance against the Packers last week, but they are legit. The Falcons, on the other hand, have simply been going downhill, and after a 5-0 start, are likely to miss the playoffs. I expect a bounce-back game from the Vikings and I like them to win outright.

Oakland Raiders -1 over Tennessee Titans (4 units)

Oakland is another team that didn't play well last week, but this is another bounce-back game. Derek Carr has been excellent this year and has a lot of weapons (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Latavius Murray, etc.). Tennessee is still in the mix in the worst division in football, but I don't think they will beat the Raiders, who also need a win to stay in playoff contention. In what is essentially a pick'em game, I like the Raiders here.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Seattle Seahawks (4 units)

The Steelers have not really been at full strength all year and will be without Le'Veon Bell for the remainder of the year. The rest of the offense is finally in tact, though, and Pittsburgh was able to keep the ship afloat while Ben Roethlisberger was out. Seattle has been mediocre all year and I don't see them turning it around against Pittsburgh. Seattle is a tough place to play, but I think Pitt will at minimum cover the 3.5 here.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 12 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 12 of the 2015 NFL season:

New York Giants -3 over Washington Redskins (4 units)

The Giants have dominated this series in recent history as they are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. Washington. I think they make it six straight Sunday. If you are playing daily fantasy, I would highly recommend an Eli Manning and Odell Beckham stack. Eli should look Odell's way early and often in this one. Giants win on the road, 27-17.

Tennessee Titans +1 over Oakland Raiders (2 units)

The Titans offense has been struggling this season. If you take away the Saints game, which is reasonable to do since the Saints defense is so bad, the Titans have scored 13, 10, 7, 6, 10, and 13 points in their last six losses. The Titans D has held opponents to 20 or less in four of these losses so they have been in those games.

The Titans should get wide receiver Kendall Wright back this week, and I expect them to introduce rookie David Cobb a little more into their offense as well. I think the Titans find a way to finally win one of these close games, 20-16.

Cleveland Browns -3 over Baltimore Ravens (4 units)

The Ravens have been hurt by injuries all season. They lost Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett to season-ending injuries last week. Matt Schaub takes the ball for Baltimore and I think he struggles on the road vs. the Browns this Monday Night.

Johnny Manziel blew his shot at becoming the Browns full-time starter, which is great in my mind as Josh McCown absolutely torched this Ravens defense last time they played them. I think he does it again. Big games from Gary "Barnkowski" and Travis Benjamin. Browns, 31-17.

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November 22, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 11 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season:

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 units)

While the Carson Palmer-led Cardinals lead the NFL in total offense, there may be no team in the NFL as complete on both sides of the ball as Arizona. After all, the Cardinals are ranked inside the top quarter of the league in pass offense (fourth), run offense (eighth), run defense (fourth) and pass defense (seventh). In addition, no team has a better yardage differential than the Cardinals (+945).

Meanwhile, the Bengals are like the Cardinals in that they are balanced on both sides of the ball. That said, Andy Dalton has historically laid eggs under the bright lights -- in the playoffs or primetime games. Just last week, Dalton and the Bengals scored only six points as their home fans booed a previously unbeaten Bengals team throughout the game.

With a healthy Palmer, the Cardinals have had a lot of success over the past few seasons. In his past 24 starts, the Cardinals have compiled a 20-4 record straight up. In addition, the Cardinals have won 12 consecutive games at home against non-division opponents and have posted a 9-2-1 ATS record in those games. It should be more of the same this week for the Cards.

Green Bay Packers -1 over Minnesota Vikings (2 units)

The Vikings have covered in eight of nine games this season and it wouldn't surprise me if they continued that hot streak given how poorly the Packers have played during their three-game losing streak. That said, it's hard for me to imagine the Packers losing four consecutive games.

Perhaps the offense has become too predictable and the team has certainly struggled to run the ball, but Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the NFL -- no offense to Tom Brady and how well he's playing this season. Even though he's banged up, I expect to see a bounce-back performance from Rodgers, who has completed an un-Rodgers-like 56.5 percent of his pass attempts during the losing streak.

The Packers have covered 17 of their past 24 games within the division and they have been even better in division games following a loss (16-4-1 ATS). The Packers get back on track in what should be a tightly-contested divisional game.

Seattle Seahawks -13.5 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

This game features the largest point spread of the weekend, but it may not be enough for Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers. Gabbert moved the ball reasonably well before the bye, but it's hard to trust him on the road in Seattle this week after what Carson Palmer did to them in primetime last week. The Seahawks will take those frustrations out on Gabbert this week.

Seattle has had its share of issues and they may lack depth on the defensive side of the ball compared to the past few seasons, but they still rank second in the NFL in team defense (303.3 YPG allowed). In turn, the 49ers rank last in the NFL in total offense (286.2 YPG). It would surprise me if the 49ers reached double digits in this game.

The Seahawks have dominated this head-to-head series recently as they have covered eight in a row. This game has the makings of a 27-6 blowout type of game.

Denver Broncos -1 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

A couple of years ago, the downgrade to Brock Osweiler over Peyton Manning would have significantly diminished Denver's chances in a game; but you could easily argue that it's upgrade at this point. Even with Manning dealing with injuries, he has struggled ALL season long. Not only has he thrown an NFL-high 17 interceptions, but he has thrown nearly twice as many picks as he's thrown touchdowns (nine).

The Broncos have a 7-2 record, but many of their seven wins happened in spite of Peyton. The real reason the Broncos started the year with a seven-game winning streak has been their defense. Not only do the Broncos rank first in the NFL in team defense (277.3 YPG allowed), but they rank top six in both pass defense (first) and run defense (sixth).

While Jay Cutler has done a great job at limiting turnovers this season, the Broncos rank near the top in the NFL in creating turnovers (17, seventh-best in NFL). On the year, they have more intercepted passes (nine) than passing touchdowns allowed (eight).

The Bears bring a two-game winning streak into Week 11, but they have two difficult matchups in a period of five days against the Broncos and Packers. The Bears have covered only five of their past 22 games and I think that record drops to 5-of-23 after this week.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 11 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season:

Chicago Bears +1.5 over Denver Broncos (5 units)

The Bears have been on of the league's hottest teams as of late, and they will now be at home to face a banged-up Denver Broncos team. First off, benching Peyton Manning is the right move, as he is just not physically right at the moment. Now the Broncos will turn to Brock Osweiler, whose only previous claim to fame was that he stands 6'7".

The Broncos will also be seeing some familiar faces on the opposing sideline, as they will go against last year's head coach John Fox, and their old offensive coordinator Adam Gase. The Bears defense has also been rounding into form as of late, as they only give up 217 yards through the air, and they limited San Diego and St. Louis to 13 and 19 points in their last two games on the road. I really like the Bears at home getting a point, as Fox knows quite a few Bronco tricks and is the better coach than Kubiak.

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 units)

The Bengals are coming into this game sputtering on offense, and I think it will be yet another meltdown for the not yet quite ready for primetime Cincinnati Bengals. We all know how great the Cardinals have been on offense this year under Carson Palmer, but the unit that should really get the nod is their defense.

The Cardinals have been impressive against both the pass and run this year, as they are currently in the top 10 in both. The Cardinals are able to shut down opposing running backs to the tune of 92.9 yards per game, and their secondary also only gives up 223 yards per game, and have picked off opposing QBs 14 times.

I just don't trust Andy Dalton and the Bengals flying out West on a short week to hang with the Cardinals on Sunday night, so I am giving up the points here for red birds victory.

New England Patriots -7.5 over Buffalo Bills (4 units)

The personnel losses just keep on mounting for the Patriots, as they will be without Tom Brady's favorite wide receiver in Julian Edelman for six weeks. As they say in Foxboro, "next man up," and of course anytime the Patriots play the Bills, you have to go with New England. The Patriots just own Buffalo, as they have gone 22-10-1 in the last 17 years against the spread.

The Patriots have also been great against the run this year, as they only give up 88.2 yards per carry, and we all know Rex Ryan loves the ground and pound. Don't forget that Brady also went for 466 yards and three touchdowns earlier this year against the Bills. I will take the Pats at home on Monday night.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 11 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers Pick'em over Minnesota Vikings (5 units)

The Packers have been struggling lately, losing three straight games, and now face division-leading Minnesota on the road. This game isn't a must-win for the Packers, but it's pretty damn close to it. Aaron Rodgers and the passing game has been pretty poor in recent weeks, but I think Rodgers gets back on track this week. I'm not expecting a career game out of Rodgers, but I do think they pull this game out on the road. Packers, 27-23.

Dallas Cowboys -2 over Miami Dolphins (5 units)

Despite only having two wins this year, the Cowboys are still in the hunt for the NFC East title. They get a big shot in the arm this week as Tony Romo is due to return. I'll be the first to criticize Romo when he chokes in big games, but having Romo back will be huge for this team. This should open up some running lanes for Darren McFadden, and give Dallas some options deep down the field as well. Romo leads the Cowboys to victory, 31-20.

Seattle Seahawks -13 over San Francisco 49ers (4 units)

The Seahawks defense has been just average this season. It's a good thing an average defense vs. Blaine Gabbert usually looks like the '85 Bears. The 49ers will be without Carlos Hyde again, which means the Seahawks should be able to tee off on Gabbert. The Seattle D/ST will outscore the 49ers, and it won't be from a touchdown. Seattle, 25-0.

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November 21, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 11 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers pick'em over Minnesota Vikings (5 units)

This is the pick I like the most this week, but oddly the one I'm most nervous about at the same time. It's one of those games that I'm nervous to not bet heavy on because it seems like an opportunity that doesn't come around often. I know a lot of people are on the Vikings this week, and it's tough to blame them considering the way the Packers have been playing. They lost at home to a terrible Lions team, losing to Detroit for the first time since 1993.

Aaron Rodgers has not looked like himself lately, but I'm just not willing to bet against him and this team falling out of the playoffs. It's been noted that Green Bay's offense has been very predictable and I expect them to make some adjustments in Minnesota. Those that are all in on the Vikings this week will, come Monday morning, be saying that a Green Bay win was predictable given the quarterback comparison. I think the Packers start to figure things out this week and they get back on track with a road win.

Washington Redskins +7.5 over Carolina Panthers (4 units)

I'm riding the Kirk Cousins train again this week. Clearly this is a much tougher matchup against the undefeated Panthers, but I still like Washington to keep it relatively close. They are an increasingly confident football team that is surprisingly in the mix to make a run at the playoffs and win the division. If Cousins can avoid turning the ball over, which he's been getting better about of late, I like this game to finish within a touchdown. I like the Skins with the points.

Dallas Cowboys -1.5 over Miami Dolphins (4 units)

I expect the Cowboys to play inspired football this week. With Tony Romo coming back, the entire team realizes it's make-or-break time if they're going to stay in the division race. Dallas was the pretty clear-cut favorite coming into the year to win the NFC East, but were unable to win even one game since Romo went down. At 2-7, they would typically be done for the season, but crazily enough, they are just two games out of first in the loss column.

Miami has been very up and down, cruising through the first two games after firing Philbin, but then getting crushed by the Bills and Patriots the following two weeks. They did eek out a one-point win against the Eagles last week, but I'm not going to say I was impressed. A Dallas team with Romo back is going to be a much tougher game, and I like the Cowboys to win on the road. I'll give the point and a half.

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November 14, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 10 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season:

Arizona Cardinals +3 over Seattle Seahawks (3 units)

It's been a disappointing start to the season for Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks. Despite the trade for red-zone stud Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks have failed to utilize him the way most expected they would (although he has double-digit targets in two of the past three games). That said, Graham has 31 receiving yards or less in half of the team's games this season.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals rank third in the NFL in total defense (312.8 yards per game allowed) and rank in the top-seven against both the run and the pass. The Seahawks rank second in total defense and Richard Sherman may spend some time shadowing Larry Fitzgerald, but I expect the Carson Palmer and the Cardinals to be able to move the ball a little better than Wilson and the Seahawks on Sunday.

The Seahawks are tough to beat at home, but they are 1-4 ATS in their past five home games. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have covered five of their past seven road games. In fact, the Cardinals are 22-10 ATS in their past 32 games overall.

This game should be a tightly-contested defensive struggle and while I think the Cardinals are the better all-around team, I like taking the points.

Green Bay Packers -11 over Detroit Lions (3 units)
Packers vs. Lions -- Over 49.5 (3 units)

Coming off back-to-back losses, the Packers will look to get back on track against their division rivals. Since Brett Favre took over as Packers quarterback in 1992, the Lions have lost every game at Lambeau Field and the Packers seem to be a lock to win the game outright.

The question is whether or not they cover the double-digit spread. Virtually all of the Lions ATS stats favor the Packers: 2-8 ATS in past 10 road games, 0-6 ATS in last six division games, 1-5 ATS following straight-up loss, etc. Meanwhile, the Packers 4-1-1 following an ATS loss.

Since 2012, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 61 touchdowns to only seven interceptions in 24 home games. As great as Rodgers and the Packers offense have been at home, the Lions may put up little resistance as they allow a league-worst 30.6 points per game this season.

And since Rodgers took over as starting quarterback in 2008, the Packers have won 30 (of their 60) home games by double-digits. Only the Patriots (32) have more double-digit home wins during that span.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 10 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers -11 over Detroit Lions (5 units)
Packers vs. Lions -- Over 49.5 (3 units)

The Packers have lost two straight games against very solid defenses on the road, but return home to face the lowly Lions, who just got destroyed two weeks ago in London vs Kansas City. I believe Aaron Rodgers could put up career numbers in this one. The Packers could come close to hitting this over by themselves. Matthew Stafford is prone to turn the ball over, and I see another multiple turnover game in his future. Packers win big at home, 46-20.

Denver Broncos -5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 units)

I'd bet 20 units on this one if I could. I love this spot at home for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I expect to see the Peyton of old in this one, and I'm predicting a 300/3 type of performance. The Broncos defense even without Aqib Talib is still elite enough to shut down a very mediocre Chiefs offense. Don't let the Chiefs performance in London fool you. Denver, 30-17.

Panthers vs. Titans -- Under 44.0 (3 units)

The Titans defense is very underrated this season. They shut down a very good Atlanta offense, and last week when it counted shut down Drew Brees in the 2nd half. I think they will do a good job containing Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.

It wouldn't shock me to see the Titans win this one outright. This is the classic let-down spot for the Panthers. Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense don't have enough weapons to move the ball down the field vs. this defense, especially since Dorial Green-Beckham will probably be shut down by Josh Norman. Tennessee wins late, 16-13.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 10 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -7.5 over New York Giants (4 units)

The Patriots will be coming into this game resembling the walking wounded, as at press time they only have five healthy linemen, and now will be without superback Dion Lewis for the rest of the year. This being said, the Patriots have quietly built one of the best front-sevens in the league, and they actually lead the league in only allowing 89.1 yards per game on the ground.

The other part where the Patriots will be able to attack the Giants is through the air, as the Giants give up a league-worst 308 yards per game to opposing QBs. And the Giants just can't get after the passer, as they only have complied nine sacks on the year. This will be a game that Tom Brady throws it all over the yard, and I look for the Patriots to win going away for the revenge factor.

Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 over Baltimore Ravens (2 units)

The Ravens certainly have not had the season they wanted, as they are competing more for the first pick overall rather than a playoff berth. The Jaguars have been getting better by the week this year, and Blake Bortles is really starting to justify that high draft pick.

This is were the Jags will be able to attack the Ravens, through the air, as the Ravens allow 284 yards passing per game and a 67-percent completion rate to opposing QBs. The Jaguars also have a decent front-seven, as they only allow 94.3 yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry to opposing rushers, which will limit Justin Forsett.

The Ravens just have been bad against the number this year, going 1-6-1, and while it's a tall order for Jacksonville to win on the road, I love their chances at covering.

Arizona Cardinals +3 over Seattle Seahawks (3 units)

This will be the chance to really put a few nails in the Seahawks coffin for the 2015 campaign, and I really like Arizona going up north and stealing one on the road. The Cardinals as always are doing a great job of stopping the run this year, as they only allow 90.1 yards per game, and 3.8 yards per carry which doesn't bode well for an already hobbled Marshawn Lynch.

Arizona also has been great at limiting opposing quarterbacks to 223 yards per game, and they have been really opportunistic with 13 interceptions as well this year already. The Seahawks have just looked listless this year, they have massive offensive line troubles, and they just don't seem to be able to hold a 4th-quarter lead anymore.

Given all these checkmarks against them, I will certainly take the points here.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 10 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 10 of the 2015 NFL season:

Green Bay Packers -11 over Detroit Lions (5 units)

Aaron Rodgers has lost two games in a row for the first time since 2011. The Lions have not beaten the Packers at Lambeau since 1993. Interesting stats aside, this game just sets up to be a blowout.

I'm going to have a ton of Rodgers in DFS this weekend and I like him to finally have the huge game we've been waiting for. I'd start to consider Detroit around 14.5, so I'll give the 11 and feel good about it.

Dallas Cowboys +1 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 units)

Matt Cassel is a better quarterback option than Brandon Weeden. Dallas was almost able to pull out a victory against the Eagles last week. Since Tony Romo went down, the Cowboys have not won a game, but with such mediocrity in the division, they still have an outside shot.

Tampa represents a winnable game and I like the Dallas defense to step up and turn Jameis Winston over a few times. Dez Bryant should have more of an impact this week. I like Dallas to win in a game that I don't think will be particularly close. I like a 27-16 type game.

Washington Redskins Pick'em over New Orleans Saints (3 units)

The Saints defense has been absolutely atrocious of late. This sets up as an offensive game, but I feel the Redskins defense can do a better job against Drew Brees and the Saints than the other way around.

DeSean Jackson may have an impact and Jordan Reed has been an animal when healthy. I like Kirk Cousins to lead the Skins to a close victory and give us all another, "you like that!"

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November 08, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Atlanta Falcons -7.5 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

The 49ers are a hot mess, as they have just traded away Vernon Davis, and now they are benching Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert, who couldn't even beat out Chad Henne for a starting job. The Falcons come into this game with one of the best passing attacks in the league, and I am certain they will be taking advantage of a 49ers secondary that gives up 280 yards per game and a 69-percent completion rate to opposing QBs.

I am looking for a huge day from Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman will be able to run wild on a terrible 49ers front-seven. Blaine Gabbert will not give San Fran a lift, and the Falcons will win this one going away.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Dallas Cowboys (4 units)

I know this is a division game in Dallas, and the Eagles have certainly not been that great this year, but I am very surprised at the line. Since Tony Romo went down, the Cowboys have been stuck in neutral on offense, and this week won't get any easier against an aggressive Philly D.

The Eagles do a solid job of limiting opposing ballcariers to 110 yards per game, and I am certain that they will load up eight men in the box, and force Matt Cassel to beat them by throwing the ball. This will be a classic Chip Kelly blowout, that will have every one back saying that he is a genius, and all he needed was time. Dallas has been playing great D, but they are just missing too many playmakers to hang close in the end.

San Diego Chargers -4 over Chicago Bears (4 units)

Philip Rivers has had an amazing season so far, as he is almost on pace to throw for 6,000 yards this year, and it's only because the Chargers defense is awful. Rivers will certainly have to adjust this week, as he has lost his best target in Keenan Allen for the year, but I feel with Malcom Floyd, Steve Johnson, Antonio Gates, and Danny Woodhead, he has more than enough weapons.

Since we are talking about bad defenses, so far the guru John Fox has not been able to fix the Bears squad. The Bears are terrible against the pass, as they have given up 16 touchdowns, and they have only four interceptions and they just cannot muster a pass rush with only 12 sacks. This is a game where Rivers will have all sorts of time to throw, and also the Bears will be without their best player in Matt Forte. I will lay the points here as well.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Hanson)

Last week, I picked just two games against the spread (ATS) and I finished 2-0 ATS. I felt fairly confident about those picks and didn't really like the rest of the slate.

This week, I am picking our self-imposed minimum of two games again, but I'm not crazy about any of the games this week.

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Chargers vs. Bears -- over 49.5 (3 units)

Losers of four consecutive games, offense has not been the problem for the Chargers. The offensive line is an issue, but they have moved the ball in spite of those concerns. While they rank in the middle of the pack in scoring offense (23.9 points per game, 14th), no team averages more yards per game than the Chargers (423.3/G). The season-ending injury to Keenan Allen hurts, but Philip Rivers has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games.

Only four teams have recorded fewer sacks than the Bears defense and only four teams have allowed a higher passer rating to opposing defenses. In other words, it should be another big week for Rivers.

The Bears will be without Matt Forte (MCL), but the Chargers are allowing a league-high 5.0 yards per carry. Not only should Jeremy Langford be able to have success on the ground, but Jay Cutler has yet to turn the ball over more than once in a game this season. In addition, Alshon Jeffery has 18 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games.

This game should feature plenty of offense with little defensive resistance. I could easily see this game reaching the 50's or more.

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Oakland Raiders (2 units)

In his return from injury, Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions as the Steelers lost to the Bengals. An even bigger loss, the Steelers lost Le'Veon Bell for the season due to a badly-torn MCL. Fortunately for them, however, DeAngelo Williams has been highly productive when called upon. I expect a much better offensive outing from the Steelers in Week 9 as Big Ben shakes off the rust.

The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this season and Derek Carr has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions over his past two games. While I think he has another strong outing and I have both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree ranked inside my top-12 fantasy receivers for this week, I still expect the Steelers to win by at least a touchdown on Sunday.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Tennessee Titans +7.5 over New Orleans Saints (4 units)

The Saints have been playing much better of late and won an exciting game against the Giants last week in a game where they put up 52 points. The problem is they gave up 49. I'm still not sure that we are looking at the Saints offense of old, as they have been fairly inconsistent, but I certainly don't trust the defense.

Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota will be returning to action, and I think the threat of him running the ball will keep the New Orleans defense off balance. The Saints likely win but I'll take the points here.

Green Bay Packers -3 over Carolina Panthers (3 units)

The Packers got pretty beat up against a great Denver defense last week. From start to finish, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack really weren't able to get anything going. I think that changes this week.

They have another tough matchup in Carolina, but I think the offense bounces back big here. The Packer defense was also bad last week, but they have been solid most of the year. Against my better judgment, I'll take the small road favorite to cover the three.

New York Giants -2 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 units)

The Giants defense has been atrocious of late, but the offense has started clicking. Somehow, New York is still in first place in the NFC East at 4-4, and this is a very winnable game for them.

They'll face a rookie quarterback that has some beat-up receivers. If they can find a way to contain Mike Evans, Tampa doesn't have a lot on offense that scares you. Either way, I like the Giant offense to outscore them. Two points is small enough that I'm comfortable giving the Bucs the points. Take the Giants in what will likely be a pretty ugly game.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 9 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 9 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers -5 over Oakland Raiders (3 units)

I highlighted Antonio Brown in my DFS Roundtable writeup this week. The Raiders give up over 300 yards per game through the air, which should equal a big day for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers receiving targets. (This will be the make-or-break game for me this week in DFS since I am deploying three Steelers in my main cash lineup.)

The Raiders looked fantastic last week, but they have the dreaded west coast team traveling to the east coast for a 1 PM game narrative. I think Derek Carr throws for over 300 yards as well, but I think Big Ben leads the Steelers to six touchdown drives this week. Steelers big, 42-27.

Philadelphia Eagles -3 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

I honestly can't see a way that a rested Eagles team doesn't go into Dallas on Sunday night and stomp the Cowboys. Sam Bradford, as bad as he has been this year, will not be as bad Matt Cassel. The Cowboys will need to control the clock with the running game to have a shot, but the Eagles run defense has been pretty good this season. I have a feeling this is going to be a Darren Sproles type of game. I think he has two scores on Sunday night. Eagles, 23-13.

Denver Broncos -6 over Indianapolis Colts (5 units)

Denver's defense has been fantastic this season. They get to play a banged-up Colts team who will most likely be without T.Y. Hilton for this one. Andrew Luck has looked absolutely horrible this season. He has turned the ball over at least two times in five of six games this season. You can't make those types of mistakes and expect to win games. We also have the Peyton Manning narrative of breaking Brett Favre's all-time passing record. I think Manning and his noodle arm get it done this week.

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November 01, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 8 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season:

Pittsburgh Steelers +1 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 units)

The return of Ben Roethlisberger is the difference in this one. I think the Big Ben to Antonio Brown show resumes this week, so if you play daily make sure you get Brown in your lineup at a discount. This game will likely be one of the highest-scoring contests of the day. Andy Dalton has been one of the best QBs in the league thus far this season, but I think he regresses a bit today. I do think he will throw for over 300 yards, but I also expect 2-3 turnovers. Steelers 34,Bengals 27.

Tennessee Titans +4 over Houston Texans (3 units)

The Titans have lost three games this season by less than three points. They are better than their record indicates. Zach Mettenberger gets the start again after a brutal performance last week vs. the Falcons. I think the extra week of practice as a starter pays off. Mettenberger should have a decent game vs. this very poor Texans D.

The Texans lost starting RB Arian Foster for the rest of the season during garbage time late in the 4th quarter. This was probably one of the worst coaching moves in recent history. This is the beginning of the end for Bill O'Bbrien. I like the Titans to be in this game on the road, 23-20.

Chicago Bears +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (3 units)

This spread is a little off to me. The Bears should be three-point favorites in my opinion. Their defense isn't great, but offensively, they are finally healthy at the RB/WR position. I think Jay Cutler is also a sneaky GPP play in DFS. Bears at home, 27-17.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 8 (Hanson)

After a disappointing Week 6, last week began the bounce-back process with my picks against the spread. This week, I'm not crazy about the slate of games and therefore I'm only picking two games this week.

With that said, here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season:

Arizona Cardinals -6 over Cleveland Browns (4 units)

One of the most balanced teams in the league, the Cardinals currently rank first in the NFL in yards per play (6.8) and are top-five in yards allowed per play (5.2). In addition, no team has a better differential in yards per play than Arizona (+1.6).

With a talented trio of receivers (Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd), Carson Palmer has thrown for 300-plus and/or multiple touchdowns in every game this season. What has been a big surprise, however, is the team's rushing attack led by Chris Johnson, who has three 100-yard games in the past five weeks.

Regardless of whether Johnson's workload is affected by the expected increase in usage for Andre Ellington, the Cardinals should be able to run the ball at will against the Browns, who rank last in the NFL in run defense (151.0 yards per game allowed). Only the Chargers (5.3 YPC) have allowed more yards per carry than the Browns (5.1).

Palmer has won 18 of his past 22 games straight up and the Cardinals have had lots of success against the spread as well. Coach Arians is 17-8 ATS in his past 25 games as a favorite.

Minnesota Vikings -1.5 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

The Bears have one of the league's worst run defenses as they allow 124.8 yards per game (26th in NFL) and 4.5 YPC, which bodes well for Adrian Peterson and the Vikings' run-heavy offense. The Vikings have run the ball on 47.51 percent of their offensive plays, only four teams have a higher percentage.

While the Bears have covered 10-of-12 games against the Vikings at home, other (more recent) ATS stats support the Vikings. The Bears have covered only 14 of their past 38 games including five of their past 21 home games.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 8 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season:

Minnesota Vikings -1.5 over Chicago Bears (4 units)

The Vikings have been a nice surprise this year, as they have gotten off to a 4-2 start, and look like a very strong wildcard contender. I really like the Vikings on the road this week, as they have one of the better matchups this week with Adrian Peterson going against a weak Chicago front-seven. The Bears have been really bad against the run this year, as they have given up 124 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.

The Vikings have also done quite well against the number, as they have posted an impressive 5-1 mark to start the year. I just like the ground game of Minnesota too much, and also Mike Zimmer's defense going against Jay Cutler, so I will give the 1.5 points here.

San Diego Chargers +3.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 units)

Being quite the Patriots homer, it has been quite fun to watch the Ravens circle the drain here this year. That being said, this is a game that the Chargers need desperately, and of course we all know that San Diego plays it's best ball of the year in November and December.

The Chargers will be able to attack a very vulnerable Baltimore secondary, that gives up 283 yards to opposing quarterbacks. How can you not love Philip Rivers here averaging 350 yards per game going against one of the worst secondaries out there? Even though this is on East Coast time, I still will lay the points here.

Dallas Cowboys +5.5 over Seattle Seahawks (2 units)

I know it's easy to make fun of Dallas when they are down, and believe me, saying that Greg Hardy is a leader is one of the all-time dumbest statements ever, but the Cowboys have a history of playing Seattle close. I know that Dallas had both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant last year when they beat the Seahawks up in Seattle, but I think this is one of the games where Seattle will struggle on the road.

Dallas does have a fairly stout front seven, that gives up 101 yards per game to opposing rushers, and I think they will be able to slow down Marshawn Lynch. I am also not a fan of the Seahawks offensive line, as they have almost gotten Russell Wilson killed this year. I am going to take the points here, as I think this game will be close, and there is an outside chance to see Dez Bryant back.

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October 29, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 8 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season:

Miami Dolphins +8.5 over New England Patriots (3 units)

This spread has been bet up from 7 and 7.5, and I like Miami to cover here. The Patriots always get everyone's best effort, and that applies even more in the division. They are coming off a tough game against the Jets - a game they were losing for quite a bit of.

While New England is still undefeated, they have not been destroying teams the way I suspected they might do all season, after their first couple of games. They have not covered either of the last two weeks, and now they face a Miami team that always plays them tough. The Dolphins have been much better since firing coach Philbin, and I think they have the offensive firepower to keep this one close.

Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (4 units)

The Bengals have been great this year and look like they might be the most complete team in football. However, they're not going undefeated, and this looks like the game that may be their first loss. Ben Roethlisberger will be returning to action (Antonio Brown fantasy owners rejoice), and I think it will serve as the spark the Steelers need to win this game. Pittsburgh did a great job keeping it together, going 2-2 in Ben's absence. This is a win that could help propel them to the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons -7.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 units)

The Falcons didn't look good last week, which surprised me. I picked them to cover six and they were only able to eek out a three-point win. I don't think Atlanta is a great team, but traditionally, they play much better at home and they win the games they're supposed to win against poor teams.

Tampa blew a huge game to Washington, losing 31-30 after having a four touchdown lead. The offense had a very good game, but I'm expecting more mistakes from Jameis Winston this week. If they turn the ball over on the road, I can't see them hanging with Atlanta, who only put up 10 points last week. I'm thinking they will put up close to 30 against Tampa this week.

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October 25, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 7 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season:

Minnesota Vikings -1.5 over Detroit Lions (3 units)

While Adrian Peterson was downgraded to questionable on the injury report due to illness, he is expected to play on Sunday. With the exception of the Panthers, no team has run the ball on a larger percentage of their plays than the Vikings. Going into this week's matchup, the Lions have allowed the 26th-most rushing yards (120.7/G) in the NFL. And in 13 career games against the Lions, Peterson has averaged 107.1 rushing yards per game and 5.27 yards per carry with a total of 12 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Lions rank last in the NFL in rushing offense and no team has a worse turnover differential than Detroit (-8). One of the things the Lions have done well is creating turnovers (10), but only four teams have turned the ball over less than the Vikings (six), which makes sense given their conservative play-calling.

The Lions got their first win of the season last week, but they haven't had much success against the spread following a win. In the game following their previous 28 wins, the Lions have covered only seven times. And in the head-to-head matchups with the Vikings, the Lions have covered only five of their last 18.

Indianapolis Colts -5 over New Orleans Saints (3 units)

Going into Week 7, the Colts have turned the ball over 12 times -- only Detroit and Philadelphia have more -- and rank 23rd in the NFL in scoring offense (21.0/G). Among 34 qualified quarterbacks, Andrew Luck (75.0) ranks 32nd in passer rating just behind Nick Foles (29th), Jameis Winston (30th) and Kirk Cousins (31st).

Yep, the season isn't off to the start many had expected for Luck and the Colts.

Fortunately for their offense, the Saints could be just what the doctor ordered for a breakout. No team has allowed more yards than the Saints (409.7/G) and only four teams have allowed more points (27.3/G). In addition, the Saints rank in the bottom 10 in both pass and rush defense.

Historically, Luck has been much better at home. Only .500 against the spread on the road (15-15), Luck is 19-8-1 ATS at home. In addition, the Colts have covered 19 of their past 23 games against teams with a losing record.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 over Washington Redskins (2 units)

The Buccaneers have surrendered a lot of points -- only the Bears have allowed more per game -- yet they rank fifth in the NFL in total defense (322.8 yards per game). Both teams have struggled with turnovers, but Washington has 11 giveaways on the year -- only the Colts, Eagles and Lions have more.

One of the ways that I expect the Buccaneers to limit turnovers this week is to rely on Doug Martin, who has back-to-back 100-yard rushing games and a total of four touchdowns in those two games. Meanwhile, Washington's run defense hasn't played up to their talent level and have allowed Devonta Freeman (197 yards from scrimmage) and Chris Ivory (196 YFS) to run all over them in back-to-back games.

Coming out of their bye, Tampa should get talented second-year receiver Mike Evans more involved -- at least in the red zone. But if Tampa is able to run the ball effectively, it's possible that the Bucs limit Jameis Winston's pass attempts (like the 19 times he had in their Week 5 win).

I think Tampa gets the straight-up win on the road, but at a minimum, I expect them to keep this game within a field goal and cover.

*** Dan Yanotcho's picks ***

Dan and his wife welcomed their second child to the world this past week so Dan has made picks for this week's games, but he won't have a chance to do writeups.

Here are his picks: Patriots -8 (3 units), Chargers -4 (4 units) and Lions +1.5 (2 units).

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October 24, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 7 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season:

Indianapolis Colts -4.5 over New Orleans Saints (5 units)

I think Andrew Luck has finally recovered from injury. He looked pretty decent against the Patriots on Sunday night. I like Luck and the Colts to absolutely EAT vs. the dreadful Saints secondary. If you're a DFS player than I would definitely get exposure to this game. Luck will likely be low-owned compared to others like Carson Palmer & Philip Rivers. I'll also be targeting both T.Y. Hilton & Donte Moncrief. I love the Colts in this one, 38-24.

San Diego Chargers -4 over Oakland Raiders (4 units)

The Chargers have a ton of injury concerns on the offensive side of the ball. Antonio Gates is dealing with his first knee injury of his career, so it wouldn't shock me to see him sit, or be very limited this week. Keenan Allen is also battling a hip injury, but he did practice on Friday which is a good sign for Sunday. This is a must-win game for the Chargers after two tough losses the past two weeks.

The Raiders are fresh off a bye, and if they want to win this game they will need to rely on Latavius Murray. I think Murray should be able to run vs. the Chargers D, but I like the Chargers at home. Chargers, 26-20.

Baltimore Ravens +9 over Arizona Cardinals (3 units)

The Ravens secondary is absolutely BRUTAL. They have made quarterbacks like Derek Carr and Josh McCown look like Hall of Famers this season. I expect Palmer and the Cardinals offense to have a pretty big game.

I'm worried about the health of Cardinals WR John Brown, who is dealing with a hamstring. Brown really opens up the middle of the field. My gut tells me that Brown doesn't play Monday night. The Ravens aren't just going to roll over and play dead. It wouldn't shock me to see them win this game outright to be honest with you, but I'll take the points. Cardinals, 23-17.

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October 23, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 7 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season:

St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns -- Under 42.0 (3 units)

I liked the Rams here at the beginning of the week when the line came out at 3.5, but now that it's been bet up to 6.5, I don't love it. I do, however, like it to be a low-scoring, defensive game. I think this is a good spot for the Rams defense, coming off a bye against a team that went all out against Denver last week. Cleveland fell short of the win and I think they are in for another disappointment this week. I'm not willing to give the points, but I like the under.

New York Jets+8 over New England Patriots (3 units)

The Patriots have been destroying teams, but failed to really beat down the Colts this past weekend, which many expected. The Jets are a better football team than Indy -- especially defensively. With a very good defense and some big weapons on offense, including Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall, and Eric Decker, I like the Jets to hang with the Patriots and cover the large spread.

Atlanta Falcons -6 over Tennessee Titans (3 units)

This is another spread I liked a lot better early in the week, as the Falcons have been bet heavily the last few days. Still, I'm going to give the points here. Although Marcus Mariota may play, I don't believe they can keep up with the Atlanta offense. A banged-up Julio Jones has had some adequate time to recover coming off playing the Thursday game. Devonta Freeman has been the breakout player of the year which has added another dimension to the offense. I like Atlanta to bounce back from their loss to the Saints and feast on a weak Titans team.

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October 18, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 6 (Hanson)

Despite my record against the spread (one game under .500) this season, our group has had plenty of success picking games versus the spread this season (30-24-1, 55.6 percent) going into this week.

That record is slightly better heading into Sunday's games as John picked the Saints to cover on Thursday Night Football.

With that said, here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season:

Miami Dolphins +2 over Tennessee Titans (3 units)

Compared to expectations heading into the season, perhaps no team has disappointed more than the Dolphins, who fired their head coach before the bye. Without question, the team is much more talented than their record and stats suggest. What is a question is how much will an interim staff be able to turn this team around?

Despite having one of the league's most talented defensive lines lead by high-priced free agent Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins rank last in the NFL in rush defense and last in sacks. In addition, the Dolphins rank second-to-last in scoring offense (16.3/G) and only 28th in total offense (314.8 yards per game). (At least they're balanced ...)

I'm not sure we see a sustained improvement from the Dolphins, but I do think their effort and intensity should be at its peak this season and that the team finds a way to get a win.

Denver Broncos -4.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 units)

The Broncos are a perfect 5-0 in spite of Peyton Manning's poor quarterback play. It feels weird writing that sentence, but it's true. Denver ranks 30th in the NFL in yards per game (302.6); only Minnesota and St. Louis rank lower. While one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Manning ranks 28th among qualified passers in Y/A (6.53) and has thrown more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (six) this season.

As bad as their passing offense has been, their rushing offense has been equally as bad. Only the Lions have averaged fewer yards per rush attempt this season. Prior to the season, C.J. Anderson was thought to be a player that could challenge for the rushing title, but he has averaged less than 2.5 YPC in four of five games. His best game was 11 carries for 43 yards (3.91 YPC).

So, why am I picking the Broncos here? For one, Cleveland's defense has been bad; they are one of only three teams to have allowed 400-plus yards of offense this season. Their rush defense has been especially bad as they allow 5.0 YPC and 149.4 YPG, both of which are second-worst in the NFL. Perhaps we see more from the Broncos offense this week than they've seen previously.

The other reason is Denver's defense. No team has created more takeaways than Denver (14), who also ranks first in total defense (278.0 YPG). No disrespect meant to Gary Barnidge, who has finished as a top-three fantasy TE for three consecutive weeks, but the Browns lack the playmakers on offense to challenge this defense.

I see this game turning out to be somewhere around 21-10, 23-13, etc. with the Broncos putting forth a slightly better offensive showing and continued stingy defensive play.

Arizona Cardinals -4.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 units)

The Cardinals are one of the best teams in the NFL and Carson Palmer has won 17 of his past 20 starts with the team. Of course, those 20 games haven't been consecutive due to injuries. But when healthy, the team (and offense) have looked great.

Playing extremely well this season, Palmer has 13 touchdowns to only three interceptions and Larry Fitzgerald is playing like it's 2011. Fitzgerald entered the week as the top-scoring fantasy wide receiver with 35 catches for 490 yards and six touchdowns through five games.

A blessing in disguise (given two NFL Coach of the Year awards), the firing of Bruce Arians by the Steelers in 2011 has been a positive for him. During Arians' tenure with Arizona, the Cardinals are 13-5-1 as favorites and 5-1-1 as road favorites over the past three seasons. I think Arians gets some revenge against his former team this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens -2 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

It's been a disappointing season for the Ravens, who are lucky to have their one win through five weeks. Even with their 1-4 start this year, the Ravens have been particulary good following losses in recent years. In their past 35 games following a loss, they are 27-8 straight up.

Justin Forsett has back-to-back 100-yard games and assuming he's able to play, he should have success on the ground against the 49ers. The Ravens secondary has played poorly allowing Josh McCown to throw for a career-high 457 yards last week, but Colin Kaepernick has struggled with four touchdowns and five interceptions this season.

Given their poor start, it may turn out to be a lost season for the Ravens, but I do expect them to leave the Bay area with their second win of the season.

New England Patriots -10 over Indianapolis Colts (1 unit)

The 10-point spread on the road to AFC runner-ups seems a bit excessive, but no team is more willing to run up the score (in general circumstances) than the Patriots. Against the Colts, there is no chance that the Pats take their foot off the gas should they take a commanding lead.

Of course, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman should all have productive games, but this could be the game that we see a lot more LeGarrette Blount. In his past two games, both playoff blowouts, Blount has 54 carries for 314 yards and seven touchdowns. SEVEN TDS!

This has the potential to turn into a lopsided affair early, which could lead to more Andrew Luck turnovers. Missing the past two games due to his shoulder injury, Luck was a full participant on Friday, but he has multiple interceptions in five consecutive games going back to last year's postseason.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 6 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season:

San Diego Chargers +10.5 over Green Bay Packers (3 units units)

I know that Green Bay is the much better team here, but I think that the Chargers will absolutely be within 10 points of them in a game they really need to win. The Packers have been rolling this year at a perfect 5-0, and Aaron Rodgers is of course looking like his perennial MVP self, even while missing Jordy Nelson.

The Chargers come into this game at 2-3, and will need this game to keep pace in the AFC West. The Chargers can exploit the Packers on the ground, as Green Bay gives up 130 yards per game, and 5.0 yards per carry on the ground this year. Also, it appears Packers run-stuffer B.J. Raji is doubtful for the game, and this way the Chargers can try to keep the ball out of Rodgers' hands.

San Diego will probably not win this game, but they have the passing attack to play catchup, and will be in this game to the end, so I will take the double-digit points here.

New England Patriots -10 over Indianapolis Colts (3 units)

What can be said about this game, that hasn't been said already, but just imagine, a rematch of last year's AFC final, and the road team is laying 10 points! They can't make this line high enough, as this is the game that has been circled on the Patriots calendar from Day 1, and they are going into Indy for vengeance.

The Colts just do not matchup up well against New England, as they are 0-4 against the spread, and also they have been outscored 189-73 in those four contests. The Patriots will have the ability to pick apart a weak Colts defense, and of course, we all know Brady will still be throwing late into the fourth quarter.

I don't think this line is high enough, as the Colts just aren't a good team this year; they have offensive line protection problems, and will not be able to cover the Pats receivers.

Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 over New York Giants (3 units)

This is a crucial game for the NFC East, and the winner here will have the advantage with the tiebreaker going forward. The Eagles have started slow, but now they have started to find their stride, and they have had great success against the Giants in recent years. The Eagles have gone 10-3-1 in their last 14 games against the Giants.

Also the Chip Kelly passing offense will be able to easily attack a Giants secondary that gives up a league-worst 304 yards passing per game. Also for this game Odell Beckham is listed as questionable, and we are due for the classic Eli Manning stinker game soon. I love the Eagles at home on a Monday night before their rowdy home crowd, and I will certainly give the points here.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 6 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -10 over Indianapolis Colts (2 units)
Patriots at Colts -- Over 55.0 (5 units)

I wrote up Rob Gronkowski earlier this week in our DFS Roundtable post. I love the Patriots this week. Tom Brady and the Patriots have had this game circled on the calendar since the schedule was released this summer. The Patriots have scored six offensive touchdowns in each of their last three meetings with the Colts. You do the math, that's 42 points.

The Colts offense is good enough to score 20-plus points as well especially if this game gets out of hand, which I expect. The Patriots have dominated the Colts on the line of scrimmage racking up 200-plus rushing yards during this three-game span. I think this game is Brady's though. I expect Brady to throw for 5-plus TDs. Patriots, 48-26.

Detroit Lions -3.5 over Chicago Bears (3 units)

Matthew Stafford was benched last week in favor of Dan Orlovsky after a terrible showing vs the Cardinals. Detroit looked tired and sluggish after that heartbreaking B.S. loss to Seattle on MNF. I think with a full week's rest, and the fact that Matthew Stafford historically plays pretty well vs. the Bears, the Lions will get their first win on the season.

If you are playing DFS, I think a Stafford-Megatron stack makes a ton of sense this week in tournaments because Stafford is extremely under-priced. The Bears have squeaked out two wins vs. mediocre defenses the past two weeks. I think Cutler has a few turnovers this week. I'd consider risking more units if the Bears receiving corps turns out to be as depleted as it was last week. Detroit, 27-17.

Denver Broncos -4.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 units)

If you have watched the Broncos this year, you clearly can tell that Peyton Manning's better days are over. He just doesn't have the arm strength he did a few years back. I don't think it will matter in this one because the Broncos defense is so good right now. I like the Broncos DST/K to outscore the Browns in this one. I think C.J. Anderson makes an interesting tournament option in daily as well. Broncos, 23-6.

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October 13, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 6 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season:

New Orleans Saints +3.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 units)

The Saints are not a great football team, and they're coming off their worst defeat of the season to the Philadelphia Eagles. Now they're on a short week hosting their undefeated division rival, the Falcons.

Everything seems to point toward Atlanta, but the Falcons are pretty banged up themselves. Julio Jones did not have his usual impact last week, and barring a random fumble recovery for a touchdown, had a pretty quiet game. Atlanta's defense is also vulnerable, and with less than a full week to get healthier, I like the Saints to knock off one of the remaining undefeated teams. Look for Big Willie Snead to have another big game as the Saints win a close one at home.

Miami Dolphins +2.5 over Tennessee Titans (4 units)

I can't believe I'm picking Miami here, as they have underachieved in literally every game so far this season. They just fired their head coach and are looking to turn things around and salvage the season. I think that starts here.

As bad as they've been, they have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and I think professional pride is going to kick in for them at some point. Other than the Patriots, Bengals, and Broncos, no one else in the AFC has separated themselves as a playoff lock. A win here and Miami is still somehow in that discussion.

Tennessee was exciting early behind Marcus Mariota, but his rookie regression will likely continue, and the team around him is overmatched by the Dolphins, assuming they come to play. I think they finally will. Miami wins on the road.

Denver Broncos -5 over Cleveland Browns (3 units)

The Browns had a huge division win on the road last Sunday over the once mighty Ravens, but I see a letdown game in their future. Denver's offense is still not really clicking after five weeks, but Von Miller and the defense have kept the Broncos undefeated. Peyton Manning will keep tinkering and he's too smart not to figure out a way to score some points. The offense did not score a touchdown at Oakland last week, so I expect 2-3 scores this week. The Browns are likely to get shutdown, even with DeMarcus Ware on the sidelines for this one. I like the Broncos to win this one easily and cover the five on the road.

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October 11, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 5 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

New England Patriots -9.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

The Patriots are one of my favorite plays this week. Dallas has been hit with the injury bug pretty hard this year, but do get some good news that Sean Lee is expected to play. If Lee were to be sidelined, this would be what I call a mortgage payment type bet, but I'll be more conservative with him likely in the lineup. There is no doubt he is the anchor to the Cowboys defense.

Tom Brady and the Patriots will be in F.U. mode all season, so I have little concern about a back-door cover. I expect the Patriots to score on more than 50 percent of their possessions and it wouldn't shock me to see Brady have upwards of six touchdown passes. If you are playing DFS, I think this sets up nicely as a Rob Gronkowski week. If you are not paying up for Gronk, I think you will be a good 15 points behind as I don't think any TE will come close to his numbers today. Julian Edelman is also always in play, and I think this is a Dion Lewis game as well. Patriots 46, Cowboys 23.

Chicago Bears +9 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 units)

I know the Bears have struggled this season, but this line is definitely the head-scratcher of the week. Chicago battled last week and beat a very sneaky Oakland team, and I think they have a very good shot on the road in Arrowhead this week. I would like Chicago a little more if their receiving corps was healthy, but I still think they can keep it close. Matt Forte is a very under-the-radar play in DFS with everyone on Le'Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles. I think he finds the endzone twice today. This game will be close and it will be decided in the 4th quarter: Kansas City 24, Chicago 21.

Saints at Eagles -- Over 49.5 (3 units)

I think Sam Bradford and the Eagles finally figured out their offensive problems this past week in the loss vs. Washington. Bradford stretched the field and connected on two long touchdown passes which is something we didn't see in Weeks 1-3. The Saints defense is arguably one of the worst in the NFL. I think the Eagles will have little trouble moving the ball this week.

There is no secret that the Eagles like to play up in pace, so this game screams high scoring to me. The Saints are still above average offensively themselves and should be able to score at least three touchdowns as well. I'm all over Willie Snead on DraftKings today at minimum price which probably means it will be a Brandin Cooks week! Eagles 34, Saints 27.

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October 10, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 5 (Hanson)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season:

Baltimore Ravens -6.5 over Cleveland Browns (4 units)

After their first-ever 0-3 start (as Ravens), Baltimore got a much-needed victory over their hated division rivals in Week 4. This week, they will host another division rival against whom the series has been lopsided. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 13-1 straight up in his career against the Browns with an 8-5-1 record versus the spread in those games.

With Steve Smith and Crockett Gillmore sidelined, there is some concern with Kamar Aiken as the team's No. 1 receiver. But I expect a big game from Justin Forsett as Cleveland ranks 31st in the NFL in rush defense (141.5 yards per game, 4.8 yards per carry).

Not only have the Ravens historically dominated at home (48-12 straight up in their past 60 games), but John Harbaugh has had a lot of success with extra rest. In games with more than seven days rest, Harbaugh has won 14 of 16 games straight up with a 10-5-1 ATS record.

Jacksonville Jaguars +3 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 units)

In a matchup between the highest-selected quarterbacks of the past two drafts, the biggest reason that I like the Jags has to do with the ground game. Led by rookie T.J. Yeldon, the Jags will want to establish the run early as he entered the week ranked third in carries. And in their win and overtime loss, Yeldon was an even bigger part of the game plan -- 26.0 touches per game. Meanwhile, the Bucs have allowed the third-most rushing yards per game (136.8) this season.

On the other hand, the Jags run defense has been stout. They currently rank fourth in the NFL in rush defense (83.0 Y/G) and have allowed just 3.1 yards per carry, which is tied for best in the NFL. Doug Martin ran the ball well last week (20 carries for 106 yards), but the Bucs offensive line has its share of issues.

The other concern with the Bucs is their volume of turnovers (10, T-2nd in NFL). Meanwhile, the Jags have turned the ball over only four times. Assuming the Jags win the turnover battle and get their running game off the ground, I expect them to leave Tampa with a win. And if they do, it would mark the 12th consecutive home loss for the Buccaneers.

Washington Redskins +7 over Atlanta Falcons (2 units)

The Falcons are off to a great start. Sort of. They are 4-0 and that's really the only stat that matters. But aside from last week's dominating win over the Texans, they haven't dominated their opponents. In fact, they became the first NFL team to trail in three consecutive fourth quarters and begin the season with a 3-0 record.

DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed have both been ruled out already, but Washington leads the NFL in rushing offense (558 yards on 126 carries) and I expect them to rely on their three backs (Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson) to control the clock as much as possible. In addition, only Arizona has a better net yardage differential than Washington this season.

As a Cowboys fan, I'm rooting for the Falcons to get the win on Sunday, but I think Washington will keep the game close enough to cover.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 5 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season:

Jacksonville Jaguars +3 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 units)

The Jaguars have been playing spirited football this year, and it is starting to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel after their long rebuilding project. The Bucs, however, seem to be still mired in the middle of the rebuilding process. I like the Jaguars on the road this week, as they will be able to stop Tampa's rushing attack, as they only allow 83 yards rushing per game, and 3.1 yards per carry.

Also, Tampa has been playing pretty bad football, as they have been blown out in two of their first four games and are also 0-2 against the AFC South this year. I am going to just take the points here, as Jacksonville has the defense to keep the game close, and the ability to finally win a road game.

New England Patriots -9.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 units)

Normally I do not like giving massive points to the home team, but of course after seeing Greg Hardy's comments about Tom Brady, I think we know the rout will be on. The Cowboys have definitely not had great luck to start the season, as they have lost Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and now Lance Dunbar to serious injuries, but they will get back two great defensive players from suspension in Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain.

The Dallas defense will certainly need these guys, as they have only managed a measly six sacks in four games. This game will still be the Tom Brady aerial show, and he will absolutely shred a pass defense that gives up 256 yards per game. The Patriots off a bye, and having to play Tom Brady on an extra shot of haterade? Good luck Big D, but keep your popcorn with you , and head to a movie in the second half as it's going to be a blowout.

Buffalo Bills -1 over Tennessee Titans (3 units)

The Bills come limping into Tennessee needing a win badly, and I think a win over the Titans will be just what Rex Ryan needs to keep on saying how great he and his team are. The Bills defense has underperformed, as they were much better at getting up field and rushing the quarterback last year, but they have struggled to create pressure.

One thing the Bills have done really well this year is stop the run, as they only allow 78.5 yards per game rushing, and 3.9 yards per carry. I think that this will be enough to carry the day, as they will make Marcus Mariota one dimensional, and he is not good enough yet to take full advantage of a bad Buffalo secondary. I am going to lay the points here, as what fun would a losing Rex Ryan team be?

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October 08, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 5 (Trifone)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season:

Philadelphia Eagles -5.5 over New Orleans Saints (5 units)

My favorite play of the week is the Eagles to cover against the Saints. Although Philadelphia lost to Washington last week, they finally started clicking a bit offensively. Sam Bradford started airing it out, and I think they're primed to put up a lot of points this week against a bad New Orleans defense. I will have a lot of Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews in my daily fantasy GPP lineups. I think Philly wins big this week. Give the points.

New England Patriots -9.5 over Dallas Cowboys (3 units)

I was leaning Patriots in this game anyway, and then Greg Hardy opened his mouth to give Tom Brady even more motivation to run the score up in this one. New England has already been in step-on-your-throat mode, as they've just been destroying teams without taking their foot off the gas. It's reminiscent of 2007 when they had one of, if not the best, offenses in NFL history.

The Cowboys defense is actually not too bad, but even if Sean Lee is able to play, they're still no match for Brady and the Pats. The Dallas offense just doesn't stand a chance of putting up the amount of points they're going to need to hang around in this one. It's a big spread, but I'm comfortable giving the points.

Washington Redskins +7.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

Don't look now, but the Redskins have a decent football team. Coming off a big division win over the Eagles, Washington will look to carry that momentum into Atlanta. The Falcons are playing great, but in my opinion, they are over-achieving a bit. I'm not expecting another three-touchdown game from Devonta Freeman, and while Julio Jones will be tough to slow down, I like the Redskins to keep this one close.

Finishing that last drive to win the game was big for Kirk Cousins and the entire team's confidence. They probably should have beaten Miami in Week One and would be sporting a 3-1 record if they did. I like them to stay within a touchdown here and slow Atlanta down.

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October 04, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 4 (Hanson)

While Andrew Luck and Colts let me down, last week was otherwise a bounce-back week as three of my four picks covered. I'll look to continue to momentum this week.

With that said, here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

Houston Texans +6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 units)

With another come-from-behind fourth-quarter win last week, the Falcons have become the first team in NFL history to trail their first three games in the fourth quarter and start the season with a 3-0 record. Ultimately, they got the win (again), but they haven't been doing it in dominating fashion. Well, Julio Jones has been dominant -- 34 catches for 440 yards and four TDs -- this season and Devonta Freeman had a monster game -- 30 carries for 141 yards and three TDs plus 52 receiving yards -- on Sunday, but again the Falcons haven't been blowing teams out.

On the other side of the ball, the Texans offense could get a huge boost if we see the season debut from Arian Foster. Foster is listed as a game-time decision, but his return would help keep the high-flying Falcons offense off the field. While Alfred Blue had a big game last week, Foster is a difference-maker and no team ran the ball more often than the Texans in 2014.

I'm not sure that the Texans will pull off the outright upset, but I do think they keep this game close; close enough to cover the six points.

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3 units)

So far this season, the Panthers have allowed only 16.0 points per game, second-best in the NFL behind the Jets (13.7/G). In addition, they are allowing a league-low 5.4 yards per pass attempt and have more intercepted passes (four) than passing touchdowns allowed (two). Their run defense has been nearly as good -- 75.7 yards per game, fourth-lowest in the NFL.

Part of that success can be attributed to the opposition and weak offenses (and bad quarterbacks) -- Jaguars (Blake Bortles), Texans (Ryan Mallett) and Saints (Luke McCown). Given that the Bucs rank in the bottom-seven in both total and scoring offense, however, it could be a long day for rookie Jameis Winston. Especially at this point of his career, Winston may struggle with a few costly mistakes (turnovers) that are difficult to overcome.

Historically, picking on the Bucs has proven to be a successful strategy. In their past 30 games as a home underdog, the Bucs have covered only seven times.

San Diego Chargers -7 over Cleveland Browns (2 units)

The Chargers are 1-2 to start the season, but they rank in the top-five in yardage differential (+77.0/G) despite their losing record. I expect to see a lot of Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead this week against a terrible Browns run defense. Not only did they rank last in the NFL in run defense in 2014, no team has allowed more rushing yards (158.3/G, 4.9 YPC) than the Browns so far this season.

For the Browns, they don't have anyone that scares you on offense. Aside from the speedy Travis Benjamin from Belle Glade, their two leading receivers are Gary Barnidge (who had a great game against the Raiders, but what tight end doesn't it?) and Brian Hartline.

I worry about the injuries to the Chargers offensive line, but I can see this game being a 24-13 type of game with the Chargers getting the win and cover.

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2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 4 (Beazley)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

New York Giants +5 over Buffalo Bills (3 units)

The Giants are very sneaky in this one on the road. I think Odell Beckham will have a very good game, and if you are playing DFS, he is a great pivot off of Julio Jones, who should be one of the top WRs owned this week.

The Bills will be without both LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. I think the loss of these two playmakers will hurt QB Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has been great so far this year, but I'm not sold on the Bills WR corps led by Percy Harvin and Robert Woods. Watkins hasn't impressed this year in the stat category, but he has drawn the opposition's best CB. Karlos Williams will be the highest-owned DFS target this weekend and I think he makes it four straight games with a TD.

I actually think this game will be decided in the final few seconds. Bills 23 Giants 20

Cincinnati Bengals -4 over Kansas City Chiefs (4 units)

This line seems very off to me. The Bengals have been playing great football while the Chiefs have had a tough time the first three weeks of the season. Andy Dalton has been playing great football, and the return of TE Tyler Eifert to the passing game from last year's injury has given them a huge boost. I think Dalton beats this secondary even with Sean Smith coming back this week. Dalton is a pretty safe DFS cash QB option. I wouldn't put too much stock into Alex Smith's second-half numbers vs. the Packers on Monday Night. It was pretty much all garbage time and I'm off all Kansas City weapons in DFS this week outside of Jamaal Charles. Bengals win big at home, 31-17.

St. Louis Rams +7 over Arizona Cardinals (5 units)

The Cardinals have been on a tear this season. Carson Palmer is arguably the NFC MVP so far this season, but I have a very bad feeling for Palmer and the Cardinals this week. I think the St. Louis pass rush gets to Palmer and he is the next QB to sustain an injury this week. Without Palmer, this team is much different as we saw last year. If Palmer plays the whole game, and odds are that he will, then I still believe the Rams will cover. Division-rivalry games are always close when it's two good teams playing. I'm not as high on the Rams as I was last season, but I think they are good enough to win this one outright. I hope you aren't playing the Cardinals in your survivor pool! Rams 26, Cardinals 24.

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October 03, 2015

2015 NFL Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Week 4 (Yanotchko)

Here are my picks against the spread (ATS) for Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season:

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 units)

The Panthers have started out solid this year, and they have been doing it with great defense and steady quarterback play from Cam Newton.

I love the Panthers this week for what they do well, which is stop the run as they only allow 3.3 yards per carry and 75.7 yards per game. On the other hand, Tampa is very weak against the run as they yield 138 yards per game and 4.0 yards per carry as well.

The Panthers also have history on their side as they have gone 3-1 against the number in their last four games against the Buccaneers. Even though Tampa is at home this week, I still love the Panthers defense blunting the Bucs rushing attack, and they will certainly be able to confuse Jameis Winston, so I will be laying the points here.

New York Giants +5 over Buffalo Bills (2 units)
Bills vs. Giants -- Over 45.5 (2 uni