Thursday, 29 November 2012

Week 13 Tossing Horseshoes: Here Comes the Sun

Last Week: 2-5 (Including Thanksgiving Day games)
Season: 39-25 (61%)

How fitting is it that my worst week of the year comes directly after my 'No sure thing is sports' post? Let’s rid ourselves of all that negative energy and go into this week with a positive mindset and change our fortunes. I present to you a song that makes me smile even on the darkest days; Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. Enjoy!

Texans -6 @ Titans

The Houston Texans were playing tired football leading up to their Thanksgiving Day game versus the Lions. Their fatigue was most noticeable on defense as the Texans allowed an average of 34 points over their past two games. Look for the extra rest coming into their Sunday game to rejuvenate a tired Texans squad. According to the "Texans are 6-2 ATS in the past 8 games vs the Titans." Moreover, the "Titans are 1-8 ATS in their past 9 games within division." The last time these two teams met at the end of September this year, the Texans won a laugher 38-14.

Statistically speaking, the Texans are superior in almost every single aspect of the game. On defense, the Texans allow 4.0 rushing YPA (yards per attempt) and 6.6 passing YPA, both top 10 in the NFL respectively. On the other hand, the Titans are allowing 4.3 rushing YPA and 7.8 passing YPA.

You may be surprised to hear that the Titans run at a more efficient clip of 4.7 YPA as opposed to the Texans' 4.2 YPA. Nonetheless, the Texans will take an early lead on Sunday, essentially eliminating the Titans' running game and Chris Johnson.

A team that struggles coming off the bye like the Titans did last week are poorly coached and disengaged. Consequently, OC Chris Palmer became the sacrificial lamb in Tennessee, getting fired following their loss against Jacksonville. The Texans will cease the moment and take advantage of an out of sorts Titans team.

Vikings, Packers 'OVER' 46.5

Aaron Rodgers will be in a celebratory mood against the Vikings defense

Aaron Rodgers will be looking to put last week's lopsided loss behind him by passing early and often. According to Oddsshark, the OVER is 7-2 in the past 9 Packers games as favorites of 8+ points. Simply put, Rodgers delivers when he's expected to do so. Greg Jennings is supposed to return on Sunday, adding yet another weapon to Rodgers' arsenal. Additionally, the Vikings have struggled on defense in their last 4 games, allowing an average of 29.5 PPG. (points per game) In that span, they have especially struggled against the pass conceding an average QB rating of 106.

The Packers' defense has lamented  the losses  of both Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. They have given up 25 PPG in their last 3 games and are now susceptible to long plays. Despite Christian Ponder's recent struggles, Adrian Peterson cannot be eliminated from the equation as he has reached the end zone in both of his previous two meetings with Green Bay. Look for AP to be a thorn on the Packers' side once again.

Bears -3.5 vs. Seahawks

Home field advantage means a great deal to both the Bears and the Seahawks when you examine their home records; 5-1 for the former and 5-0 for the latter. From Walter Football, the Seahawks are 2-11 ATS on the road vs. teams that average 24+ points ppg, since 2007. The Bears are scoring 25.2 PPG thus far this season. While Russel Wilson's play on the road has improved of late, his home and away splits are less that ideal averaging 122 QB rating at home and a measly 75.5 on the road.

True home field advantage for both teams emerges on defense. Chicago has allowed 13.1 PPG at home as opposed to 19.2 PPG on the road. Similarly, Seattle has conceded 13.8 PPG at home versus 19.3 PPG on the road. According to Team Rankings Power Rating, Seattle drops from 1st to 28th in the NFL going from home to away. Conversely, Chicago drops only from 6th to 8th in the NFL in their home and away splits. Therefore, Seattle's success is heavily reliant on their home conditions whereas Chicago is more consistent all over. Against a team that struggles on the road, I have no qualms taking the dependable Bears at home as 3.5 point favorites.

Panthers -3 @ Chiefs

Don't be fooled by the Panthers 3-8 record, they are a better team in reality. They have had one of the toughest schedules in the NFL according to Team Rankings; their opponents combined season record this season is 63-47. Cam Newton may not be as good as he was last year, but he's still a potent QB in the NFL when motivated. The argument can be made that Newton has no reason to be motivated against a 1-10 Chiefs team. I would suggest that Newton will play to silence his critics in this winnable game. The Chiefs are allowing a horrid 8.3 passing YPA, (30th in the NFL) and Cam will throw the ball with ease.

A major part of this pick is about fading the Chiefs and Brady Quinn. The Chiefs have one of the worst passing games in the league and Quinn does not resemble a starting QB. Even in 3rd and short situations, the accuracy of Quinn or lack thereof, curtails drives. Chiefs only chance to win this game will be to heavily rely on the prowess of Jamal Charles. The Panthers have struggled to stop the run giving up 4.5 rushing YPA, (25th in the NFL) but will be prepared for Jamal Charles unline Bryce Brown, forcing Quinn to beat them through the air. I will bet on Cam Newton over Brady Quinn any day.

Cam Newton doing the Superman on Sunday, Over/Under: 2?

Patriots -7.5 @ Dolphins

This season, New England has played better on the road than at home. The Patriots are 4-1 ATS on the road as opposed to being just 2-3 ATS at home. Offensively, the Patriots have better numbers across the board than Miami. Tom Brady has been playing at a MVP level recently averaging a QB rating of 124 and a TD/INT ratio of 12/0 in his last 4 games. Look for Brady to be focused against a divisional foe on the road. According to Jeff Grant at SBRForum, the road team has covered the spread in eight of the last 10 meetings between these teams. Even without Rob Gronkowski, the Pats have an abundance of firepower on offense and will not be slowed by the Dolphins D.

As expected from a rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill has been inconsistent this season. Over the past four games, Tannehill has plopped a stinky 3/6 TD/INT ratio with an ugly 68.3 QB Rating. The Patriots allow a large number of yards through the air, 7.9 YPA to be exact. But the addition of Aquib Talib has added another dimension to the Pats defense and the results are already on display as the Patriots have four interceptions over their past two games. Even with a smoking hot wife, Ryan Tannehill's confidence will be low facing the revamped Patriots D. Reggie Bush, Miami's biggest threat on offense, will be disregarded in the running game once the Patriots are off to an early lead. Even with a large spread, the circumstances point to the Patriots covering.

Even with smokin' hot wife Lauren Tannehill, Ryan Tannehill's confidence will be low come Sunday

I look forward to your feedback and comments. Make sure to check out the comments section to see the interesting picks my friends and readers have posted here. I often put my thoughts on the SNF and MNF games on the comments section as well.

Big shout to Norin (@norin_ondeck) for editing my blog. Follow him on twitter and check out his in game banter.

Thanks very much for reading and please be sure to follow my blog and share it with your pals. Good luck with your bets amigos!

Happy Winnings,


Friday, 23 November 2012

Week 12 Tossing Horseshoes: No Sure Thing in Sports

This Week: 1-2
Last Week: 6-0 (Including the TNF game)
Season: 37-20 (65%)

The largest bet I made this year was, surprisingly, on a basketball game. The game was on November 7th when the Toronto Raptors visited the Dallas Mavericks. After comparing lots of advanced stats (in favor of Dallas), and considering other factors (Toronto's 4th game in 5th night, injury to Kyle Lowry), I took the Mavericks at -5.5 ATS. I was extremely confident about that pick. It made me feel even better when the line quickly moved up to -7 in favor of the Mavericks.

Dallas was in control from the start taking a 12 point lead at the end of the first quarter. They were up by 12 with about 8 minutes left in the game. They were close to putting the Raptors away on several occasions yet the Raptors refused to surrender and covered by half a point! I was absolutely devastated. I am sure you have some bad beat stories. Share them in the comments section.

This is what makes sports wagering so exciting yet so gut wrenching at times. This is just a reminder that if you tail my picks, please do so responsibly. We'll all be better for it.

Here's a South Park clip of Canadians interacting. I just want you to know that you are all my friends, buddies and guys :D

I am off to a slow start this week, going 1-2 on my Thanksgiving Day picks. I have realized that I am more adept picking ATS as opposed to totals. Rest assured, I will be making adjustments as I evolve as a prognosticator. Let's strike it rich friends!

Steelers -1.5 @ Browns

Even without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers were competitive last week against division leading Ravens. Charlie Batch, the 3rd string QB for the Steelers will be the started this week. Since 2010, Charlie Batch has won 3 of his 4 starts. Batch may not carry his team to victory on his own, but he will not lose it for them either. The duo of Jonathan Dwyer and Rashhard Menedhall will be asked to provide the bulk of the offense. The Browns have struggled stopping the run allowing 5 rushing touchdowns in their last 4 games.

On the other side, Brandon Weeden will be leading the Browns at home after a deflating loss to the Cowboys. As expected from a rookie QB, Weeden has had his ups and downs. It is however about to get a lot worse for Weeden. From Walter Football "Dick LeBeau (Steelers DC) is 17-1 SU vs. rookie quarterbacks" He will get looks against the Pittsburgh defense that he has not yet seen as a rookie. Pittsburgh D has allowed an average of 15 points per game in its last 5 games, including games vs. the Redskins, Giants and Ravens. The Steelers are allowing a league best 5.9 passing YPA (yards per attempt) and 3.8 rushing YPA, 5th in the NFL respectively. Even though Trent Richardson is too talented to be completely shut down, he will not have a stellar game this Sunday. This game will be dominated by the defense with Pittsburgh's D coming out on top.

Dick Lebeau is 17-1 SU against rookie QBs.


Titans -4 @ Jaguars

While I was researching the Jaguars last week before adding them as a late pick, I noticed that they were 4-0 ATS on the road and 0-5 ATS at home. I then decided that if the Jaguars played well against the Texans, I would fade them the following week at home. The Jaguars play well on the road thus diminishing the spread; then they get blown away at home and the spread inflates right back. This pattern will continue against the Titans.

Chris Johnson finally resembles the Chris Johnson of 2009. In his last 4 games, he has averaged 142.0 rushing YPG and 7.2 YPR. (yards per rush). Jacksonville has allowed a mediocre 4.2 rushing YPA and 14 rushing touchdowns (30th in NFL). Simply put, the Jaguars will not be able to slow CJ2K on Sunday.

Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Chad Henne and Jalen Parmele are starting on offense. A week ago, Chad Penne performed flawlessly and nearly upset the Texans on his own. It will be near impossible to repeat that performance even against a Titans secondary allowing 7.7 passing YPA (27th in NFL). The Titans are coming off the bye and they will be prepared to face Henne. Tennessee is clearly the superior team here and getting them at -4 is good value.

Rams +1.5 @ Cardinals

Prior to last week's game against the Jets, Sam Bradford was beginning to get on a roll averaging a QB rating of 91.7 in his previous 4 games. Sam Bradford must limit his turnover in order to give his team a chance to win. Bradford must be vigilant because the Cardinals are 4th in the NFL with 14 interceptions. Steven Jackson, who recently ran for over 100 yards against the 49ers, will be trusted to carry the load Sunday.

Getting the start at QB for the Cardinals is Ryan Lindley. He is starting because his O Line is atrocious and can't protect the QB, not because of merit. I hope he has a solid insurance plan because he's about to get thrashed. Last time these two teams met, Kevin Kolb was sacked 9 times. The Rams are 9th in NFL with 27 sacks and they rush the QB forcefully. Chris Beanie Wells is returning for the Cardinals but his potential has always been greater than his results. The Cardinals cannot score sufficiently with the personnel they have on offense. I will gladly take the Rams as underdogs.

This is what happened to Kevin Kolb last time the Rams played the Cardinals



Saints +1 vs. 49ers

I like the Saints this week for the same reasons that I liked them last week. After losing some very close games early on in the season, this team has shifted gears. Drew Brees is on fire, Jimmy Graham and Mark Ingram are healthy, and the wide receivers are consistent. According to, the Saints are the most efficient team in the Red Zone, scoring a touchdown on 71% of their chances. Simply put, the Saints come out with 7 points on most occasions when they are in the Red Zone. Although the 49ers have some great defensive numbers, they are 16th in the NFL in Red Zone defense allowing a TD in 52.6% of occasions.

Colin Kaepernick was phenomenal a week ago. The Bears were surprised by how calm Kaepernick was under pressure. The Saints will be better prepared to face Kaepernick after watching his last start on tape. Frank Gore is silencing his critics who have questioned his durability this season. Gore is averaging 5.3 YPC (yards per carry) so the Saints need to emphasize stopping the run. The Saints allow a ton of yardage both against the run and pass. They allow 5.1 YPA against the run and 8.5 YPA against the pass, 31st and 32nd in the NFL in respective categories. However, the Saints D is competent in the Red Zone allowing a TD on 53% of occasions (17th in the NFL). The Saints D will continue to get enough stops to give themselves and their offense a chance to win. Give me the home underdogs Saints!

Drew Brees will look to lead his team past a strong 49ers defense

I look forward to your feedback and comments. Make sure to check out the comments section to see the interesting picks my friends and readers have posted here.

Thanks very much for reading and please be sure to follow my blog and share it with your friends. Good luck with your bets friends


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thanksgiving Day Special: Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Week: 6-0 (Including the TNF game)
Season: 37-20 (65%)

Happy Thanksgiving my American friends! Living in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving a little earlier, the second Monday of October. But that does not mean that I can't be in a festive mood and celebrate with my American friends.

I am thankful for my family and friends and their health. I am thankful for the employment I was just offered last week. Born in Bangladesh, I am thankful for the education and the lifestyle I can have living in Canada. I am also thankful for the many readers of this blog like you, there are so many things to be thankful for. What about you friends, what are you thankful for this year?

Holiday, Turkey and Football. It doesn't get much better!

Personally, Week 11 was a wild and successful one. My picks went 6-0 with a couple of very exciting finishes. Those games were mentally draining, but it was worth it in the end. Here are a few picks for the Thanksgiving Day games that will hopefully give us more reasons to be thankful. Let's strike it rich friends!

Lions +4.5 vs. Texans

The Texans have had two tough games in the past two weeks. They must now travel to Detroit on short rest and play an early afternoon game. After their taxing overtime win against the Jaguars, the Texans will be out of gas in this match up. Additionally, the Texans are 9-1 and this game is not as significant to them as it is for the 4-6 Lions. Although the Texans have combined to rush for 1367 yards, they have been inefficient running the ball averaging merely 3.9 rushing yards per attempt (YPA). Since the bye week, the Lions defense has been able to keep them in the game and they will do so against the Texans.

Detroit's performance on offense will depend on which Matthew Stafford shows up on Thursday as he has been wildly inconsistent this season. The only aspect of Stafford's game that has remained consistent is his inability to get his team out to a strong start. The Lions are involving Mikel Leshoure more prominently on offense. In his last 4 games, Leshoure is averaging 4.2 yards per rush (YPR) and has scored 4 touchdowns during that span. The Texans have been unable to to make up for the loss of defensive star Brian Cushing. Look for Mikel Leshoure to exploit a Texans defense that as been showing its holes.

I am aware that the Lions are 0-8 ATS on Thanksgiving Day games since 2004. However, this is a different Lions team from the Detroit teams of the mid 2000's.
Over 80% of bets are going in Houston's favor. Vegas needs a way to recover its losses and this is a prime opportunity. Don't let Vegas fool you in this match up.

The Lions are a desperate team looking to cease their opportunities at home

Texans, Lions 'UNDER' 51

According to Spreadapedia, the 'Under' is 6-3 in Thanksgiving Day games involving the Lions since 2003. Moreover, the 'Under' is 7-3 on TNF games this season. Teams come into their Thursday games with wear and tear, so they are not as explosive. Add to that, both teams have played a physically and emotionally draining games this past Sunday.

Both defenses are adequate. On the road, Houston is allowing a league best 179.8 passing yards and 77.0 rushing yards (2nd in NFL). On the other hand, Detroit is allowing 180.0 passing yards (3rd in NFL) and 108.0 rushing yards at home. Both offenses have dangerous weapons that can strike at any given moment. But like I mentioned above, inconsistency has plagued both offenses. Detroit has struggled to keep their passing game afloat and Houston haven't assumed their lauded rushing attack this year. The dynamic trends of this game indicate that it will be a fairly low scoring game. With a total as high as 51, I will gladly take the 'Under'.

Redskins, Cowboys 'UNDER' 48

Since 2004, the 'Under' is 5-3 in Thanksgiving Day games involving the Cowboys. From my research on Pro Football Hall of Fame, the average total points scored on this holiday involving the Cowboys since 2004 is a meager 41. The 'Under' is 4-1 in the Redskins last five games. The 'Under' is 3-2 in the Cowboys last five games.

RG III will once again be the focus of the Redskins offense. Contrary to their NFL rival Eagles, the Cowboys defense have earned their keep this season. The Cowboys are 10th in the NFL allowing 4.0 rushing YPA and they have only allowed 11 passing touchdowns this season which places them respectively in the Top 5.

The Redskins have their own concerns on defense, especially stopping the pass. Losing Safety Brandon Meriweather hurts the defense tremendously. Washington is allowing 7.5 passing YPA (23rd in NFL) and have allowed 20 passing touchdowns (27th in NFL). Fortunately for them, they are facing the mistake prone Tony Romo. On his day, Tony Romo can be one of the best QBs in the league but more often, one of the most turnover prone. Factoring the short week and the favorable betting trends, give me the 'Under'.

The Cowboys defense will look to impose their will on the Redskins

I look forward to your feedback and comments. Make sure to check out the comments section to see the interesting picks my friends and readers have posted here.

Big shout to Norin (@norin_ondeck) for editing my blog. Follow him on twitter and check out his in game banter.

Thanks very much for reading and please be sure to follow my blog and share it with your friends. Good luck with your bets friends.

Happy Winnings and Happy Thanksgiving, 


Friday, 16 November 2012

Week 11 Tossing Horseshoes: The Road Warriors (with Recap)

This Week:1-0
Last Week: 3-2
Season: 32-20 (61%)

Growing up in the 1990's, I was a huge wrestling admirer whether it was the WWF or WCW. The peak of WCW and the start of the Attitude Era of WWF was some of the best entertainment on TV. I practiced wrestling moves at school and at home. I accidentally hurt some friends and even my sister and got hurt myself. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for wrestling. Just wanted to share that with you with this week's theme.

My favorite wrestler growing up was the Rock, even though it is a cliched choice. The Rock was as great a wrestler as he was an entertainer. Just check out The Rock insulting the NWO in the video above. Who is your favorite wrestler friends? Share in the comments section.

This week's blog title is The Road Warriors and you will see why. All of my spread selections are road teams. Although I try to avoid betting against home dogs, some of the lines this week seemed too tempting. Let's strike it rich!

The Fearsome duo of Hawk and Animal. My teams will play without fear on the road this week

Packers -3.5 @ Lions

Coming off the bye week, the Packers will be rejuvenated for this divisional match up. The injuries to Clay Mathews and Charles Woodson are a concern. But a certain MVP QB named Aaron Rodgers plays for the Packers. Rodgers was getting back into last year's groove, prior to the bye. In his last 4 games, Rodgers threw 15 touchdowns to 1 interception, averaging a QB rating of 121.5. His career numbers indoors are even more impressive averaging a QB rating of over 130 in the past 3 years. With Jordy Nelson's return and the injuries to Detroit's secondary, Aaron Rodgers will have a field day throwing the ball.

Will Aaron Rodgers be doing his Championship Belt celebration on Sunday?! You bet!

Green Bay is only allowing 4.0 yards per rush (YPR) so Mikel Leshoure will be kept under control. So far this season, in the first 3 quarters, Mathew Stafford has thrown 3 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. In 4th quarters, Stafford has thrown 8 touchdowns to 1 interception. Stafford and the Lions offense are very inconsistent until the 4th quarter. That will not work against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Packers will take an early lead in this one and won't relinquish it while the Lions play catch up.

Recap: Wow! The Packers did not play very well but still managed to cover. Many critics will call this a lucky cover and they are right to an extent. However, if Mason 'Chokeman' Crosby hadn't missed 2 field goals, the Packers were likely to cover more securely.

Buccaneers -2 @ Panthers

Coach Greg Schiano has brought his team closer and the Buccaneers are a united bunch. Since their bye, the Bucs have been playing with confidence and the results are showing. Doug Martin has been playing some superlative football of late. Despite the Panthers recent success stopping the run, they won't be completely shut down the talented Martin. If Josh Freeman can get the kind of protection he has been receiving all year, sacked only 13 times this season, Freeman will enjoy throwing against this Panthers D allowing 7.2 passing yards per attempt (YPA).

The Panthers offense has been struggling all season long. While their running game was a point of pride in previous years, it has only been average if that, this year. Cam Newton has also been dreadful throwing 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while only rushing for 4 touchdowns. Newton looks dejected and it is clear that he has a lot of growing up to do. Say what you will about the Bucs secondary allowing a grand 8.1 passing YPA. The Bucs are third in the NFL with 15 interceptions, 3 of those were pick sixes. Despite the Panthers playing better since their bye, they won't be able to keep up with the energetic Buccaneers.

Recap: Double WOW!! Next time I get very unlucky on #stacksheetsunday, I will reminisce about this game and feel better about my misfortunes then. With about 6 minutes left in this game, when the Panthers were leading by 11, I thought my 4 team parlay was over. All of a sudden, everything that could go right for the Bucs went right, and the Panthers revealed why they've only 2 games this season. The Bucs young players are growing up fast..
P.S. Isn't Captain Munnerlyn the best name is sports right now?

Browns +8 @ Cowboys

The Cowboys are only 14-13 in their new stadium and are 0-3 ATS this year. I have documented my theory here on why they struggle at home. Coming off the bye week, Trent Richardson will be raring to show what he's made of, in front of this grand stage we call The Cowboys Stadium. Dallas is allowing 7.5 passing YPA (23rd in NFL). And although Brandon Weeden has struggled in his last 2 games, he is a competent QB who will have some success on Sunday.

No real evidence of home field advantage in the new Cowboys Stadium

Whether you blame Jason Garrett's play calling, Tony Romo's decision making or Dez Bryant's route running, the Cowboys do a poor job of protecting the football. The Cowboys have 19 giveaways, 2nd worst in the NFC, (13 INT, 6 FUM) to 10 takeaways. The absence of Demarco Murray limits the Cowboys running game, mounting the pressure on Romo. History indicates that Romo handles pressure poorly. Lastly, from Walter Football, "Favorites are just 1-9 against the spread prior to Thursday games this year". The Browns will keep this game close so I'll take them and the points.

Recap: What else is new. The Cowboys looked marginal at home and barely beat an energetic Browns team. The Browns probably would have won this game with better clock management and red zone offense. It was nice to see Tony Romo lead the offense for the comeback with less than one minute to play. I still don't trust the Cowboys at home as favorites by more than 3 points.

Saints -5.5 @ Raiders

Some people will look at the Saints schedule and suggest that this is a let down game for them. I believe that most of Saints let down games have already occurred in the first 4 weeks of the season. They are firing on all cylinders at the moment, having won 4 of their last 5 games. Jimmy Graham seems healthy which is huge for the Saints passing game. Additionally, Joe Vitt said last week that Mark Ingram is finally fully healthy. If the Saints can establish a strong running game, their offense will be even more explosive. Furthermore, the Raiders defense has been abysmal in the past 2 weeks, and things are about get uglier for them.

Speaking of ugly defenses, have I mentioned the Saints'? They are last in the NFL allowing 8.6 passing YPA and 5.5 rushing YPA. However, even though the Saints D allow an enormous amount of yards, they do just enough for their offense to give them a chance to win. Without Darren McFadden in the game, Carson Palmer will be asked to do too much and he will fail under the circumstance.

Recap: The Saints are looking dominant again. Drew Brees was on fire in the first half torching the Raiders secondary. It was also nice to see the Saints establish a running game in this contest. A much needed relaxing cover after the tumultuous 1 pm. games. The Saints have a very tough schedule the remaining of the season, but they seem like they could beat anyone at the moment.

Look for the Brees, Graham connection to continue this week.

Late Addition: Jaguars -16 @ Texans

Check out the comments section for my explanation.

Recap: The Texans defense really misses Brian Cushing. They were fortunate to get this win against a hungry Titans team. Houston looked played like they were overlooking this game and almost paid the price. The Jaguars once again played well on the road where people doubt them and the spreads are huge. They may have a let down game at home against the Titans after this draining loss.

I look forward to seeing your picks and feedback in the comments section. Additionally, I may post a few NBA picks in the comments section in the next few days, be in the lookout. If you enjoy my picks, please share with your pals. I would appreciate it very much.

Happy Winnings,


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

TNF: Dolphins @ Bills O/U


Every now and then, I'll make a pick for the Thursday Night Football (TNF) game when I have a feel for it. My Week 11 Horseshoes Tosses will be released on schedule by Friday afternoon.

Dolphins, Bills 'UNDER' 45.5


So far this season, the 'UNDER' has occurred in 6 of the 9 TNF games. Teams come into the TNF game with 3 days rest and they are both physically and mentally fatigued.
Ryan Tannehill is a Texas boy playing his Football in Miami. It's safe to say that he is not accustomed to the weather he's about to face in Buffalo. The forecast is predicting a very cold night and Tannehill will be out of his comfort zone. Because Tannehill won't have much success throwing the ball, the Bills D will be able to focus their efforts on Reggie Bush and slow his progress.

Fred Jackson will miss the game with a concussion, allowing CJ Spiller to be the Bills lead back. Although the Dolphins have struggled against the run lately, they are only allowing 3.8 yards per rush (YPR) this season. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami's last 5 games. The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Miami's last 12 games when playing Buffalo. Both teams excel in the running game which drains the clock. Scoring will be limited in this game so I'm taking the 'UNDER'.

I've heard of good arguments for taking both the Bills and the Dolphins and I don't see a clear advantage here, so I will refrain from betting ATS in this one. Good luck on Thursday!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Week 10 Tossing Horseshoes: #stacksheetsunday (with Recap)

Last week: 5-0!!
Season: 28-18 (60%)

My friends often see me tweet the hashtag #stacksheetsunday and wonder what in the world I'm tweeting about. I thought this would be a solid week to explain what this hashtag is all about after a 5-0 week. In Layman's terms, #stacksheetsunday is about piling up $100 bills on Sunday football betting. It is also a lifestyle I lead on Sundays with my close friends as we watch football, best described by the picture below.

This is what #stacksheetsunday is all about. Photo cred: Jordan Karkoulas (@JordanKarkoulas)

Feel free to use #stacksheetmonday #stacksheetmidweek #stacksheetplayoffs on Twitter for all your stacking sheets purposes.

Bengals +4.5 vs. Giants

The Bengals have been reeling ever since their 3-1 start, but they gave the Broncos a bit of a scare last week. The Giants do not have the personnel to stop AJ Green, possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL at the moment. The key for the Bengals on offense will be to protect their QB because the Giants have some of the best pass rushers in the game.

The Giants lacked focus against the Steelers after a tumultuous week. They will be looking forward to their much needed bye and their subsequent match up against the Packers. The lack of focus will occur because the Giants sit comfortably in 1st place in their division, playing a non-conference game. Eli Manning has struggled in his last 4 games throwing for an average of 212 yards per game while throwing 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in that span. I have no doubts the Giants will bounce back after their bye week, but this will be a let down game for them.

Recap: This went pretty much according to plan. The Bengals jumped out to a big lead, and the Giants never seemed to have recovered. Eli Manning and company looked like they were looking forward to their bye. The duo of Dalton and Green impressed again as expected.

Lions -2.5 @ Vikings

This is not the same Lions team that lost to the Vikings in week 4. The Vikings had 2 special teams touchdowns in that game (kickoff and punt return), which won't happen this time around. Coming off their bye week, the Lions have been much sharper winning 3 out of their last 4 games. The emergence of the youthful Ryan Broyles and Titus Young has provided Mathew  Stafford with more weapons and has alleviated some pressure off Calvin Johnson. Coming off a 3 touchdown effort, Mikel Leshoure will produce against this Vikings defense allowing 4.6 rushing yards per carry (YPC) in its last 4 games.

The Lions will be looking to leapfrog the Vikings in the standings in a divisional match up

The Vikings team on the other hand is in a tailspin. Christian Ponder is struggling and he's barely looked like an NFL quarterback of late. The explosive Adrian Peterson will keep the Vikings in the game, just like he did last week against the Seahawks, but that won't be enough. Although the Lions allow a league average 4.3 YPC, they have only allowed 2 rushing touchdowns all season long. The availability of Percy Harvin will be a key factor for the Vikings offense and special teams. (recall it was Harvin who returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Lions in week 4). However, these two teams are headed on opposite directions, and come Sunday, the Lions will come away with a victory.

Recap: The Lions have got to find a way to play with intensity throughout the game, instead of only the 4th quarter. They started the game flat and were never able to recover. Adrian Peterson was once again a beast. However, the turning point of the game came when the Calvin Johnson fumbled the ball in the 4th quarter when it was a one possession game. The Vikings scored in the ensuing drive and the game was over.

Buccaneers -3 vs. Chargers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing like a team on a mission. Their young offensive stars are performing at a very high level. Fantasy owners who have demonstrated patience with rookie Doug Martin are being heavily rewarded. Since the bye week, Doug Martin has rushed for 547 yards in 83 carries in 4 games, an impressive 6.6 YPC. The passing game has been clicking as well with Josh Freeman making better decisions, limiting turnovers. The Bucs are 3rd in the NFL with 8.1 passing yards per attempt (YPA). Freeman has been aided by the maturing Mike Williams and the veteran Vincent Jackson at his disposal. V-Jax will be highly motivated to play against his former team that let him go last year during free agency.

The Chargers win against the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football (TNF) was not very impressive. Their play calling was predictable and they were more opportunistic than dominant. Ryan Mathews will not have any success running the ball against this Bucs defense allowing only 3.4 yards per rush. Although the Bucs secondary has it's issues allowing 8.0 passing YPA, Philip Rivers is not the type of elite quarterback that will lead his team to victory by carrying all the load on his shoulders. Rivers has thrown only 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while losing 3 fumbles this season. I'll take the Bucs to cover against a West coast team playing a 1 pm. East coast game.

Recap: The Chargers played pretty well on Sunday, limiting Josh Freeman and out gaining the Bucs in terms of yards. The Chargers struggled in the 2nd half, only scoring 3 points while allowing 17. They did not seem like the once dominant Chargers and were unable to finish. The Buccaneers are looking like a team that's learning to win and they are doing the little things correctly.

Titans +6 @ Dolphins

After having read some of the trends in this match up, it was impossible not to pick the Titans. Check these trends from Walter Football:

"Titans are 4-0 ATS after losing by 30+ since 2006.
 Dolphins are 0-10 ATS as favorites of 3.5 or more since 2008.
  Favorites are 1-6 ATS prior to Thursday night games this year."

Despite winning by large margins against the Raiders and the Jets this season, the Dolphins do not resemble a commanding team. For all of Miami's accomplishment stopping the run (allowing only 3.6 YPC), they have struggled against the pass. The Dolphins are allowing 7.1 YPA and 293 passing YPG. Prior to his shoulder injury, Jake Locker was appearing like a competent QB, and his return should bolster the Titans' chances. The Titans also have their concerns on defense, struggling against opponent's running and passing game. However, the Dolphins will not be as focused on this game, looking forward to their TNF game, while the Titans will be looking to salvage some pride after a humiliating loss to the Bears. The Titans will keep this game close.

Recap: The trends continue! The Titans played with some swagger after getting blown out the previous week. The Dolphins on the other hand looked dejected and couldn't do anything right. Chris Johnson once again had some impressive stats rushing for 126 yards and a touchdown. It's nice to get some comfortable wins on Sundays on my betting card.

Bears -1.5 vs. Texans

These two teams have many things in common, identical 7-1 records, losses to the Packers, potential candidates for defensive player of the year (J.J. Watt & Charles Tillman) and dominating defenses. Both secondaries are formidable but the Bears have an advantage here. The Bears have only allowed 7 passing touchdowns to the Texans 13, and the Bears have intercepted 13 passes to the Texans 9. The Texans may have had an edge in the run defense, but the loss Brian Cushing evens things out. Although the Texans are averaging 138  rushing YPG, they have not been as efficient running the ball this season, averaging only 3.9 YPC. The subpar Texans O-line will not create enough open lanes to have success against the Bears run defense.

The key to success for the Bears on offense will be to protect Jay Cutler, which will limit the QB's high turnover rate. One of the X factor in this game will  be the raucous Chicago crowd who will make it difficult for Matt Schaub to run his offense comfortably. The Bears will prevail in this game in a closely contested match up.

Recap: I cannot use Jay Cutler's injury as an excuse for the Bears failures on Sunday. Even when Cutler was in the game, he was largely ineffective. It would be harsh to put the blame on Cutler because the weather conditions did not favor the passing game. The Texans D did a better job in the conditions forcing more turnovers and they were able to win a ugly affair.

Will Charles Tillman win defensive player of the year award? A strong showing in this game would help.

Take a look in the comments section at Sots with his weekly installment of Podium Picks.
Feel free to post your picks in the comments section friends, let's celebrate our picks together!

Once again, a big shout out to Jordan Karkoulas (@JordanKarkoulas) for using his skills to produce a beautiful #stacksheetsunday poster. Thank you.

Happy Winnings,


Friday, 2 November 2012

Week 9 Tosing Horseshoes: Happy Movember (with Recap)

Last Week: 2-3
Season: 23-18

It's November, which means it's time to grow your mustache, raise awareness and funds for men's health. So which Movember style will be yours this year?

As this blog grows from it's infancy, new things are being learned every week. Last week, I learned that it's unwise to make predictions that are heavily weather dependent. (i.e. Matt Ryan's aerial assault of the Eagles.) Baring a few hours notice, stay away from long term weather forecast when considering possible outcomes. Let's rebound and strike it rich!

Make sure to follow my homey @norin_ondeck's in game banter and check out his weekly From the Gut pick in the comments section below.

 Ravens -4 @ Browns

A lot of people have written off the Ravens after the injuries to Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb. Coming off the bye week, the Ravens will be well rested and motivated to prove their critics wrong.  It's unacceptable for a team with a talent like Ray Rice to be 30th in the NFL with 22.1 rushing attempts per game. Hopefully  Ravens OC Cam Cameron used the bye week to gather some sense. The Browns are 23rd in the NFL allowing 4.4 YPC (yards per carry). If the Ravens are smart enough to run, they should be able to run freely against their opponent this week.

With Terrell Suggs two weeks healthier, look for the Ravens to put Brandon Wheeden under pressure, forcing errant throws or turnovers. Now the question is how the Ravens fare in stopping Trent Richardson. Last time these teams met, Richardson only rushed for 47 yards in 14 carries. With an extra week of preparation, the Ravens will keep T-Rich under 100 yards rushing and cover the spread.

Recap: Baltimore went up early and they thought they could just coast through. Ray Rice was very good and he was used more effectively in this game. Although the Ravens allowed over 100 yards to T-Rich, they kept him away from the end zone and ensured a win.

Bears -3.5 @ Titans

The Bears have taken care of business against inferior teams, except for last week coming off a short week. Chicago has won their games by an average of 16.3 points. The Bears will be able to shut down the Titans biggest strength: their running game. The Bears allow a paltry 3.8 (YPC), 8th in the NFL. And if the ageless wonder Matt Hasselbeck is forced to throw excessively against this D, the Titans day will be very long.

The Bears should be able to move the chains with ease on offense. The Titans D has not been particularly impressive stopping neither the run nor the pass. With a healthy Matt Forte and the duo of Cutler and Marshall, the Bears will score sufficiently to beat the Titans. After a close call last week, the Bears will be sharper this time around, even in a non-conference match up.

Recap: The Bears came out strong against a lesser opponent and their D was dominant once again. The comfort level between Cutler and Marshall and Matt Forte's talents also make this offense a dangerous one. I like them this week against the Texans. More on this to come.

Lions -4 @ Jaguars

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Greg Scruggs (98)approaches in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski) 

Matthew Stafford looked more comfortable with Ryan Broyles and Titus Young than he did with Nate Burleson. Both Broyles and Young are athletic wide receivers that give Stafford some solid options beyond Megatron. Although the Jags have a solid good D allowing only 6.8 yards per pass and 4.2 yards per rush, look for Stafford to continue playing at a high level this week. The Jaguars will once again miss the explosiveness of Maurice Jones Drew on offense. Rashad Jennings who rushed for 59 yards in 17 carries last week simply isn't on the same level as MJD. Additionally, if Ndamukong Suh can get some pressure on Gabbert, this one will be over early. I like the Lions by a touchdown in this game.

Recap: Matt Stafford once again looked like the Stafford of last year. Even though he didn't throw a touchdown in this game, he was accurate and efficient. The Lions will be a dangerous team if they can establish a running game and get healthier on defense.

Buccaneers +1.5 @ Raiders

The early season shenanigans by coach Greg Schiano brought his team closer and they're playing with a 'us vs. the world' mentality this season. The Bucs have been competitive in every single game this season. All their losses have been by 7 points or less, even with a tough schedule so far. Ever since the bye week, the Buccaneers offense has been in sync with key contributions from Josh Freeman, Doug Martin and the receivers. Look for the red hot Freeman to continue his hot streak this week.

To be fair, the Raiders have also been playing better since their early bye week. Unfortunately for them, the Bucs allow a league best 3.5 YPC, so McFadden will be kept quiet. Oakland is also 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 games at home. Even though I expect a good day from Carson Palmer, the Bucs will be able to keep up with the Raiders and win a close one on the road.

Recap: I wouldn't want to be facing the Bucs right now if I was their opponent. Tampa Bay seems to have bought into coach Greg Schiano's system and approach. However, they are no longer the underrated team they once were coming off their bye :( 

Saints -3 vs. Philadelphia

Don't get me wrong, both these teams have their concerns. However, I'm taking the Saints here because they have less issues than the Eagles and because someone named Drew Brees plays for them. The Saints defensive struggles have been well documented so far, but not all hope is lost. With an extra week to prepare with the return of their DC Steve Spagnuolo, the Saints will have a game plan to slow down LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick. More importantly, with the added pressure on Andy Reid and Vick, the Eagles will play conservatively to limit turnovers, allowing the Saints to take an early lead. The Eagles will be under pressure to score throughout the game, which ultimately will result to more turnovers for them. Look for Drew Brees and the Saints to win a high scoring affair.

Recap: Although I was expecting a higher scoring game, the outcome was predictable in this game. The Saints are simply a better team at the  moment. I honestly felt bad for  Michael Vick. The Eagles O-line inadequacies are shocking and until they fix it, you must fade the Eagles.


Happy Winnings,