After dominating the previous week, I broke even at 7-7-1 last week. I had three close misses, but still feel like I made smart picks in those three close non-winners. I now sit at 90-81-4 with my NFL picks against the spread this season.
I do have to pat my back a bit by picking Oakland last week. I even mentioned that Latavius Murray would have a big game.
There are some awesome games lined up this week. There is only one double-digit point spread this week. I can’t wait to dive into a turkey, watch football, dive into turkey leftovers on Sunday and continue watching football.
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 13 of the 2014 NFL season.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-7) – My pick is Chicago Bears
I thought about this game a lot. Detroit hasn’t played very well the last two weeks. They faced two teams with very good cornerbacks. Chicago’s secondary is one of the worst in the NFL. I expect Calvin Johnson to have a big day, but it might not be enough for a blowout. Detroit’s secondary has issues as well. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery could find themselves with touchdowns as well. This game will be closer than Vegas thinks. I’m taking the points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas is 8-3 on the season, but they haven’t been a great home team. They’ve lost their last two home games. Philly’s pace of play will tire Dallas’ defense. They are not deep defensively, so the second-half should be Philly’s to win. All the stats add up to a Philly cover and possibly moneyline play, but I’m always hesitant betting on Mark Sanchez. I’m going with the numbers and picking the Eagles to soar on Thanksgiving.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-1) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
I’m going to avoid this game in real-life, since I don’t like either team. San Francisco’s offense has bottomed out and Seattle lacks a playmaker at receiver. These teams have built themselves to take each other out. They are identical in many ways. The Niners have been playing bad opponents too close. Their only statement win was at Dallas in Week 1. The other wins were within a touchdown. I don’t trust Kaepernick right now. I don’t see him having a very good day. I’m taking Seattle in this one.
Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams (-7) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
Oakland may only have one win outright this season, but they’ve been fighting off large point spreads all season. They are 5-1 ATS when the spread is a touchdown or higher. This is only the second time the Rams have been favored in a game. They lost that game 34-6 to the Vikings in Week 1. The Raiders defense is better than we think. They have veterans on the team that have pride in their work. I like what I saw from Oakland’s running game last week. Latavius Murray and Marcel Reece are definitely better than Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. I’m taking the points.
New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
The NFC South winner may only need to win six games to advance to the playoffs. The division is garbage. Pittsburgh is coming off their bye week. They Steelers are expected to have Ike Taylor, Ryan Shazier and Troy Polamalu back. I’m not sure that is enough. New Orleans know this is the time they need to pull ahead of the rest of the bad NFC South. I’m taking the Saints in a close one.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Why is this line only +4? I know Tampa beat Washington and held their own in Chicago, but I feel like this should be +6 or +6.5 This feels like a sucker bet. I need to go with my gut and think Vegas knows more than I do.
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
I’m glad I don’t live in either of these markets. I would not want to watch a minute of this game. Cam Newton is playing hurt and I get no joy out of watching Minnesota play right now. Teddy Bridgewater has played better than I thought he would this early. Minnesota has pieced together an above average running game without Adrian Peterson. It’s not pretty, but they get first downs. I’m taking the Vikings to cover in an ugly game.
Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts (-10) – My pick is Washington Redskins
Jay Gruden hit Robert Griffin III with the BENCH HAMMER! Colt McCoy will start in place of RG3. I feel like sports bloggers should dust off all the ‘Colt McCoy’s hot girlfriend/wife‘ photos and use them again in honor of McCoy getting the start. I actually think they will give the Colts a good game on Sunday. The Colts are wounded and played horribly against Jacksonville last week. They still beat them by 20 points because the Jags couldn’t take advantage of all of Indy’s turnovers. I’m shocking myself and picking McCoy to keep this game close.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-6) – My pick is Houston Texans
Houston defeated Tennessee 30-16 on the road last month. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Zach Mettenberger both started that game and it looks like they will both be starting this one as well. Ryan Mallett tore his right pectoral muscle and will miss the rest of the season. The Titans have a swiss cheese run defense. They could catch a break with Arian Foster listed as questionable. Alfred Blue is a talented back and could still gain big numbers. I see this game playing out like their meeting last month. I’m picking Houston to cover.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
If Buffalo had C.J. Spiller and a healthy Fred Jackson, I’d lean heavily towards Buffalo. Fred Jackson hasn’t looked right all season. Anthony Dixon has tried to fill Spiller’s role, but he’s not effective. Kyle Orton has made the most out of his opportunity in Buffalo, but Cleveland’s secondary is a talented group. He could have a long day. I’m taking the points and a possible underdog moneyline play.
New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) – My pick is New York Giants
Odell Beckham Jr. has been a tornado since starting in Week 5. I am anxious to see how well he’ll play with Victor Cruz lined up on the other side…but that won’t happen until next year. Jacksonville had every opportunity to beat Indianapolis last week. The Colts kept turning the ball over and Jacksonville could do anything with it. They lost by 20 points and they could have easily WON by 20 points. A professional football team shouldn’t give a game away like that and keep their jobs. I’m taking the Giants to cover.
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) – My pick is Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore is a playoff-caliber team and I don’t trust San Diego on the East Coast. They did defeat Buffalo earlier this season, but they were destroyed by Miami just three weeks ago. San Diego doesn’t travel well. Justin Forsett should be the new franchise running back. He has earned that distinction.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (+3) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Was Arizona’s loss to Seattle a sign of times to come? Drew Stanton isn’t on the same level as Carson Palmer, but their defense should be able to make up the difference. Atlanta is a lost team in need of a coaching change. Atlanta seems to only be able to defeat other NFC South teams. I’m taking Arizona to cover.
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers (-3) – My pick is New England Patriots
I can’t pick against New England right now. I’ve watched nearly every Patriots game this season and they just keep getting better. Green Bay is right up there on their level and it will be a fun game to watch, but I have to take the points. Until a team completely shuts down Rob Gronkowski, I’m riding the Patriots.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Kansas City was caught looking ahead and lost to Oakland last week. Denver bounced back from their loss to St. Louis and beat Miami in a shootout. C.J. Anderson has turned out to be a very nice fill-in for Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Denver definitely misses Julius Thomas, but Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas stepped up last week. Denver has enough weapons to cover at Arrowhead.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (+6) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
Yuck. ESPN really has a stinker of a Monday Night Football game, huh? The Jets announced Geno Smith reclaimed the starting job. Michael Vick played like garbage and Smith came in and played adequately. They still got their butts kicked by Buffalo. Miami lost a close game to Denver. Their offense should feel pretty confident. They went toe-to-toe with one of the best offenses in the NFL. Ryan Tannehill should have a nice game against the Jets. I’m picking Miami to cover on Monday Night Football.
*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