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 Oddsshark.com 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.
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