Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Jets NFL Prediction

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Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (-6.5) NFL Prediction: Jacksonville might be one of the toughest teams in the NFL to gauge – they can play so terribly against just about anyone, yet they’ve had a couple good games that remind you how good some of their players are. Starting out the season, they fought the Colts until the end, losing by 2. They also upset Houston on the road and smoked Tennessee. Yet they got killed at home by Arizona, straight pooped on by Seattle, they were taken to overtime by the physical powerhouse that is St. Louis, then they gave Tennessee their first win of the season right before allowing KC to come back late and take them the distance, as the Jags barely won by 3 at home to the Chiefs. Gross. One of the reasons they are so hard to predict is you never know what kind of stunt Jack Del Rio is going to pull. I’m sure there are 10 coaches fired in the last couple years that wake up every day wondering how in the hell this guy still has a job.

These teams may be 4-4, and I guess you have to give some credit where it’s due, because your record truly is the ultimate judge of your ability, but in my not so humble opinion, these two .500 teams couldn’t be more different. The only reason the Jaguars even have a chance in this game is that Kris Jenkins is out for the count. But then again, that who bye week, 2 weeks off to prepare for the Jaguars thing kind of counters that.

I like the Jets to win this one by a couple touchdowns. I don’t expect them to let Maurice Jones-Drew do much. Without MoJo, the Jaguars have nothing, especially when you consider the fact that Revis is going to shut Sims-Walker down.

New Orleans Saints vs St. Louis Rams Pick & Preview

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New Orleans Saints (-13.5) @ St. Louis Rams Pick & Preview: Maybe Vegas knows something we don’t. I say “we” because “we” are picking the Saints. Shoot, 84% of the bets are coming in on St. Louis – that’s never a good sign. And while I am picking New Orleans here, I figure I might as well dig into why Vegas has this line where it is, -13.5, almost begging bettors to take the Saints on the road. This is what I came up with…

This game, pitting these two teams against each other, hasn’t been decided by more than 13 points in any of the last 8 meetings. In the last 10 match-ups, the Saints have never beaten the Rams by more than 6 points. The Saints, despite their undefeated record, have really struggled in each of their last three games. They’ve fallen behind early and had to fight back with everything they’ve got to beat the Dolphins, Falcons, and just recently the Panthers (though all they really had to do against Carolina was wait for them to implode). And to be honest, they didn’t play real well against the Bills or Jets either. People forget that Buffalo was down just 3 points 5 minutes into the 4th quarter. And if it wasn’t for the Jets handing the Saints turnover after turnover, and getting two defensive touchdowns, that game would have been completely different. So there you have it, the Saints have played three dominating games (against the Lions, Eagles, and Giants) during their undefeated 8-0 start to the year, and yet they are being discussed as the best team in football. Well they certainly know how to get the win in tough situations.

So I hope that explains what Vegas is trying to do, and they may be on to something here – but I just can’t buy in enough to go against the grain. I guess I see the Rams games against good teams as a precursor for what’s going to happen Sunday, and a 6-42 loss to Indy, a 10-38 loss to Minnesota, and then 0-35, 17-36, and 0-28 losses to San Fran, Green Bay, and Seattle just doesn’t let me give St. Louis a chance. Who shall win? Vegas or Lucky?

Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free NFL Pick

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Cincinnati Bengals (+7) @ Pittsburgh Steelers Free NFL Pick: The Bengals beat the Steelers last time around, it took a touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell from Carson Palmer with about 20 seconds left in the game, but they did win. They were 3.5 point underdogs in their own stadium, so the 7 point spread here means the perception of these two teams hasn’t changed. Vegas still thinks the Steelers are 3-4 points better than the Bengals, you add the 3 points for playing at home – and there you have it, 7 points.

This is an interesting one because while the Steelers are 4-0 while playing in Pittsburgh, the Bengals are 3-0 while playing on the road. Neither team played really well offensively last time out. It was a game dominated by defenses, and Carson Palmer didn’t have very impressive numbers while throwing the ball 37 times, Cedric Benson only ran the ball 16 times, and yet the Bengals won.

Now this is a huge rivalry. Huge. These two teams really hate each other, I’m sure the Bengals have voodoo dolls that resemble Hines Ward’s chubby face with thousands of barbed needles implanted as angrily as possible. There’s no love here. In divisional rivalries, pitting two good teams against each other, I usually expect a split in the season series. And it usually works out that way. That very same thing may happen this time around, but I still think 7 points is too many.

The Road team is 11-4-1 ATS in the last 16 games in this series. The road team has won straight up in 7 of the last 10 contests. Prior to their game earlier this season, the Steelers had won 5 straight against Cincinnati. Pittsburgh plays a lot of close games – I expect nothing less here.

Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans Free Pick & Preview

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Buffalo Bills (+7.5) @ Tennessee Titans Free Pick & Preview: I got this game at +7.5 and was stoked about it. Yet every “expert” on Covers seems to love the Titans to cover by a touchdown at home. 66% of the public has their money on the Titans. All this and the spread has actually moved in the Titans favor, right now you can get them at just under a touchdown in most books. I guess it opened at -6, ran to -7.5, and has found a cozy little home at 6.5 – oh the life of the spread…

I see what the public sees here, and who knows, that might be the way it goes this Sunday. I see Chris Johnson and Vince Young and that Titan rushing attack that has been dominant like everyone expected them to be all season. I see Buffalo’s injury ridden defense and the fact that they can’t stop the run very well when they are healthy anyway. I see two straight wins for the Titans, and a 10-31 loss to the Texans and a bye week for the Bills. You know, when you lose big before your bye, the public basically counts that as two losses. So there you have it, this is the view from the public tree – and it’s all pretty accurate.

But what they are missing is the fact that Buffalo has actually played pretty well in most their losses. They were leading Houston 10-9 before Matt Schaub went all Tom Brady on the Bills defense, and Ryan Moats scored three 4th quarter touchdowns to ice it and make it look a lot more lopsided than it was. I see a 24-25 loss to New England that Buffalo, frankly, should have won. They beat up on Tampa Bay – they played tight with New Orleans until the 4th quarter (very similar to Houston), and they beat the Jets and Panthers before losing to Houston. They’ve won 2 of their last 3 games, have only really been beaten up by the Jets, and are playing a Titans team, that despite the public’s admiration and respect, have just 2 wins in 8 games this season. Plus, the Bills have played their best football on the road.

Needless to say, I think 7 points is way too many. 7.5 is even better!