I received something last week that was even better than going 9-4. The return of ‘The Walking Buttfumble‘ Mark Sanchez into my life! I can’t wait to make Twitter jokes at his expense on Monday night. You can follow me on Twitter at @Sweetbob.
I had a decent year betting against the spread in the NFL last season (133-95-10). Any year you hit nearly 60% of the NFL games against the spread is a damn good year. Let’s hope my win percentage is near that this season.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 10 of the 2014 NFL season.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
Thursday night games have been all about the passing game. Yards on the ground are hard to come by. I’m guessing this week’s game will be a lot of the same. I expect a lot of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green (now that they eased him into last week’s game). The Browns are improved, but the Bengals are money at home. They are 3-1-1 ATS at Paul Brown Stadium this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets (+6) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
This game opened up at +2.5 and has been bet up to +6. I still like it. The line would have to inch closer to double-digits for me to shy away from it. Big Ben has been great and I expect points to be put up. I know Troy Polamalu and Ryan Shazier will be out, but that shouldn’t be a big issue. Michael Vick is dealing with a foot injury and won’t be able to scramble as well as he should. I’m taking the Steelers to cover.
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens (-10) – My pick is Baltimore Ravens
I was a bit taken back by this line. I wasn’t sure the Ravens would be a double-digit favorite after losing their past two games. Those games were on the road and Baltimore has been a strong home team this season. They are 3-1 ATS at home and those three wins were all by double-digits. I don’t trust selfie boy at quarterback. He needs another near 300-yard passing game to have more confidence in him. I’m picking the Ravens to cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
Mike Glennon went on a local Tampa radio station and announced Josh McCown would start against Atlanta. This seems like a panic move by Lovie Smith (or someone higher up). Glennon isn’t the reason Tampa is losing. Smith has a long contract and his job isn’t in jeopardy. This could be a long-term play to get a high draft pick. Atlanta’s offensive line sucks and I’m sure Gerald McCoy will get a few sacks, but I’m picking Atlanta to cover on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (+2.5) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
This game opened up at a pick’em, then Sammy Watkins left practice with a groin injury. The line climbed to nearly a field goal (and could still climb). The Bills don’t have C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson is questionable with a groin injury. The Bills have been a nice story, but Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce should all have a nice game.
Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions (-3) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
Calvin Johnson is back and I expect a lot of him and Golden Tate in this game. Ryan Tannehill has been playing out of his mind lately, so this game will be close. The Lions have won their last two games by a single point. The return of Johnson should boost the Lions, but I can’t overlook Tannehill. He’s playing over his head. He’s avoiding pressure and gaining positive yards on the ground. I’m taking the points in a close game.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
I’m going heavy on the favorites this week, huh? The lines are just adding up and I’m seeing a lot of value. The Niners could be without both Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith. Willis is questionable and Smith could be eligible to be activated from his suspension…but Smith won’t be activated this weekend. The Saints are coming off two nice wins (Green Bay & at Carolina). The win on the road was the most impressive. I’m riding the hot hand and I’ll take the Saints to edge out a cover at home.
Dallas Cowboys vs Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
This game will be played in London, England. Tony Romo hasn’t practiced since he’s been over there. He is still expected to start, but nothing has been officially announced. The Jaguars are London’s team (by process of elimination). The writing is on the wall. This game will be close and I don’t see Romo playing. Why should they risk him against Jacksonville? I’m taking the points.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+12) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Denver got spanked by New England last week and which team is perfect to return the spanking? The Oakland Raiders. Denver will drench Oakland in points. The last time Denver didn’t beat Oakland by at least 12 points was back in September of 2011. Peyton Manning will have a great fantasy day.
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) – My pick is New York Giants
The Giants were embarrassed at home by Seattle in December. Newspaper clippings from after that game should be up in the locker room. Seattle might have an edge on New York in points per game and yards, but the Giants have played smart this season. Their red zone percentage is higher and they commit less penalties. I have a feeling this will come into play. I’m anxious to see Odell Beckham Jr. against Richard Sherman.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
I would love this line is it were under a touchdown. That extra half-point has me a bit worried. Arizona hasn’t embarrassed a team all year. They are 7-1 (6-2 ATS), but their biggest win was 11 points (three times). They have been covering, but this is the largest spread they’ve faced all season. This line would probably be double-digits if St. Louis didn’t beat San Francisco last week. I’m picking the Cardinals to cover and it could be close to the line.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5) – My pick is Chicago Bears
The last time we saw Chicago, they were a shit show. They were embarrassed by New England (but they’ve been doing that a lot lately). Denver lost to them by a lot too, so should be just disregard them as well? The answer is a resounding ‘nope’ It’s easy to pick Green Bay to cover, since they beat Chicago 38-17 in Soldier Field in late-September. I don’t think they will have as easy of a time scoring points. The bye week was more crucial for Chicago, since they had issues to fix on offense and egos to heal. The Bears may not win, but it will be close. I’m taking the points.
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-6) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
I’ve been burned by Carolina more often than not this season…but Mark Sanchez has burned me so many more times in his career than any other young quarterback. Nick Foles might be a product of Chip Kelly’s system, but we will figure out for sure if Sanchez has a good game against Carolina. I’m not holding my breath. Carolina has issues, but I’m taking the points.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob was 133-95-10 against the spread in NFL games last season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob