NFL Free Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins

It’s hard for me to take a Dolphins team that just couldn’t get it done against the Tennessee’s and Houston’s of the world when the playoffs were on the line. Now, the Dolphins need nothing short of a belated Christmas miracle to find themselves in the playoffs, and the only thing that stands in-between them and finishing their part of the bargain is the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers and a defense designed to shut down all of their strengths.

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Did I mention that the Steelers are finally getting some big wins, and after losing five straight games to “all but eliminate” them from any chance at the playoffs, have won two straight ball games against future playoff teams and are currently back in the picture if the cards fall right?

It seems like a lot of stuff going Pittsburgh’s way in this one, but there’s one thing that has me retracing my steps a little bit, and making sure I don’t wager too much on this game. The Steelers have been talking all week, and so have the media types, and it seems like, between them, the Steelers are already getting a notch in the win column for this game. I know a lot about sports, and one of the key parts of playing a good game is putting a notch in the win column after you win the game.

I still like the Steelers, as they match up well with the Dolphins, but this one should be tight.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) @ Miami Dolphins

Arses Five Favorites: Week 16 NFL Preview

Ugh, I lost 4 games for the second week in a row, bringing me to 14-11 over five weeks of free picks. From what I hear, that’s not too bad, but still, it’s bean feast or fart for me in five weeks of picks, two weeks with 4 wins or more, two weeks with a single win, and that one 3-2 week. Anyway, I have to keep rolling, just two more weeks to go, and I like some favorites the public doesn’t seem too fond of and see a couple big public favorites that look good to me as well. Here’s my top 5 favorites for Week 16…

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Atlanta Falcons (-8.5) @ home VS Buffalo: The Bills aren’t explosive enough offensively to stick with Atlanta. Sure, Michael Turner will likely be out again, but Matt Ryan is back, and an Atlanta team taking more chances with receivers like Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White might be a good thing. The Falcons are 5-2 at home – only 40% of the public likes them – count me in that 40%.

Green Bay (-14) @ home VS Seattle: This game is a bit of a joke. The Packers have been playing very aggressively all year offensively, and most of the year defensively. The Hawks are as soft as room temp butter. 35-13.

Dolphins (-3) @ home VS Texans: The Dolphins are solid at home, and they are just more consistent than Houston because of their strong offensive line and efficient rushing attack. Houston is sexier, sure, but Miami can just get it done.

Patriots (-7.5) @ home VS Jacksonville: Please. The Jaguars give choke artists a bad name. Tom Brady isn’t going to keep throwing incomplete passes all the way into the playoffs, I promise, the guy is going to turn it around, why not against a Jaguars secondary that has trouble stopping themselves. And don’t even get me started on Jacksonville’s offense. Does Del-Rio know their best player needs to touch the ball more? Answer, last week, yes, this week? Nope!

Eagles (-7) @ home VS Denver: The Broncos defense has struggled against elite passing attacks, losing and failing to cover against Indy, San Diego, and Pittsburgh so far this season. And to make me hate their chances even more, they lost to the freaking Raiders last week, with their old starter, new #3 QB, JaMarcus Russell, leading the Raiders to victory. C’mon Man!!!

Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins NFL Week 16 Predictions

Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins NFL Week 16 Predictions: About 60% of the public bet is on Miami, and while they are a better team at home, the Texans have shed their normal “road schmo” title, going 4-3 away from Houston so far this season. And despite the Dolphins ability to run the football with success against just about any opponent, I do happen to think Houston is the better team of the two. Not only can they throw the ball as well as any team in the league, but defensively they bring a lot more heat than many believe.

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This Houston defense has given up 21 points or fewer in 7 of their last 9 games. And while that normal late season swoon basically eliminated the Texans from post-season dreams, they are still playing for their first winning season in, well, in forever. They’ve been 8-8 each of the last two seasons, and while that’s a step in the right direction, a winning year is theirs if they can win out. With that on the line, I definitely expect this one to be a battle.

So it will come down to the little things, or the small details, and the fact that Houston has had just about the worst luck all season long has something to do with my decision. Yes, that kind of stuff evens out folks, and it should do that here. Houston lost their first game by 17 points. Since then, they’ve lost 6 other times. Since then, not a single loss has been decided by more than 8 points. Those one score games have killed them, but I think they get this one. The luck turns!

Houston Texans (+3) @ Miami Dolphins

Papas Picks: Predictions for NFL Week 15 2009

Last week I only pulled out one win, this up and down roller coaster crap will make an old guy poop himself, but hopefully I can make it to Lucky’s pillow before I let it go. I can’t believe I ever picked the Seahawks, good lord they are an embarrassment. The Bears as well. Oh well, the Chargers made sure I didn’t go winless, but everyone else made me look like a senile gray nose haired bastard. Some would argue that a mirror would show the same thing, but some would get punched in the face by an old guy – and how can you press charges against an old guy? I love me some dogs this week, and I all but guarantee three wins from this bunch. Hold your breath…

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San Francisco 49ers (+9) @ Philadelphia: Lucky said it right when he mentioned that the 49ers have one single double digit loss this season – only one single loss by more than one score – that’s good enough for a +9 bet no matter who they are playing. I liked seeing Mr. Singletary get back to his run game last week against a good run defense – and while I’m sure the Niners will shoot themselves in the foot with the pass, they are good enough to play with the Eagles. Close games are their MO.

Miami Dolphins (+3.5) @ Tennessee Titans: I don’t know why, but the Dolphins look like a good bet here. They are questionable in the secondary, but that shouldn’t hurt them too bad here. They have been able to run on anyone, and that could help them keep this close. Expect them to take a few more chances this week. They might lose, but Tennessee is king of the field goal win, and that still makes my Dolphins an ATS winnner.

Green Bay Packers (+2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: I don’t get it. Are the books senile too? This crap never gets old, last year’s super bowl team no longer exists guys, that’s a thing of the past, like when skinny jeans took over for MC Hammer pants as the next thing that is cool now that will be remembered with lots of suck, the Steelers are an old champ that resemble hammer pants in today’s game. I’m taking the Pack by a couple scores. Champions don’t play all that well with nothing on the line, and their line has been stepped right over.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) @ Seattle Sehawks: Boy the Hawks are bad. Josh Freeman shouldn’t have as much trouble against this soft defense that has loved giving up big plays. Expect the Bucs to do just enough, going as far as nearly pulling the upset in Seattle.

Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars Free ATS Pick

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Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars Free ATS Pick This game’s a tough call, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fully justify my Dolphins pick, but I just get the feeling that this is the type of game the Jaguars love to lose. It’s the type of team they are going to come out and abandon the run against, putting all the pressure on David Garrard when they have one of the most dynamic players in the NFL in the backfield. Jack Del Rio and his staff can sure find ways to discourage a guy. They lost me at hello.

The Dolphins are a run first, second, and third team, but I know they’ll find plenty of room on play action to get a couple big plays on the shaky Jaguars secondary. Chad Henne has been spreading the ball around well since he took the job, but more importantly, the Dolphins seem completely fine with giving the ball to Ricky Williams 25 times a game since Ronnie Brown got hurt. It’s not as interesting as the Wildcat, but it’s very close to being just as effective. Ricky’s still got it folks, believe that.

The Dolphins have gotten the best of heavy run teams all season long, beating the Jets twice, the Panthers, Bucs, are also coming off a last second win over the Patriots last week – not as if that has anything to do with dominating run-first teams, but I thought it sounded nice, so I threw it in there. I can do that.

Jacksonville has struggled against tough run defenses, getting smacked around by the 49ers, and Titans most recently. They might have won 4 of their last 5, but they didn’t win one of those games by more than 5 points, and despite a 7-5 record, average 4 points less than they give up. Give me the fins!

Miami Dolphins (+3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Papas Picks: NFL Week 13 Free Predictions, Underdogs!!!

Okay, so I didn’t do so well last week taking the dogs. I’m sorry for that. That doesn’t mean I’m running away from this article, though, I’ve always followed up losses with wins, and why not now? Here goes nothing…

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New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (+4): The Dolphins run the ball really well, always successful, they slow the game down, they keep just about everything close, and they’re always in the game. The Patriots obviously are having troubles defensively, and offensively Tom is off a bit. I like the Dolphins to keep playing tough football at home.

Detroit Lions (+14) @ Cincinnati Bengals: The Lions have some offensive firepower and if any team in the NFL could care less than the Bengals do about beating the crap out of their opponent, I’d like to see them. Cinci just wants to win, and when they are up by double digits they just run the clock out like it’s their job. They did it last week against Cleveland and I think they do it against against Detroit.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+1): The Texans can’t finish the job and Maurice Jones Drew should find plenty of running room in Houston. All the losses in close games will come back to haunt the Texans sooner or later, and they’ll just fall flat on their faces. They’ve never been a good road team, and Jacksonville is always better at home.

Oakland Raiders (+15.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: It’s 15.5 points. The Steelers have played close games all year, against both good and bad teams. That’s enough for me.

Baltimore Ravens (+3) @ Green Bay Packers: I think the Ravens are the better team. They have an attitude that has them step up for big games in the spotlight, and I don’t know if there’s much better than Monday Night against a Green Bay team that has turned up the volume on their season. Ray Lewis, meet Aaron Rodgers…

New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins Point Spread Pick

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New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins Point Spread Pick: This one is a little scary when I look at the betting numbers. Despite being a huge public favorite from the get go, the line has actually moved away from the 6.5 it started at, and is already down to 5 at a select few books. It rests at 5.5 almost everywhere else – and while 6.5 and 5.5 are rarely any different when it comes to line work, I just don’t see what the “sharps” see or whomever is responsible for moving this line the way it’s going. And that’s what scares me I guess, not that the line is moving, or where it’s moving, but the fact that I just can’t see it.

Every time the Patriots have gotten beat, they’ve come back and blasted their next opponent. That’s how their attitude (collectively) works. Their leaders don’t like losing, this is one of the most competitive groups in sports, and they atone for losses better than anyone. After a loss this season, they are 3-0 SU and ATS.

Plus, the Patriots have owned the Dolphins over the last couple years. Sure, the Fins had that one Wildcat game that put the offense on the map and had many people questioning the direction of the Patriots defense, but 4 of the last 5 have gone to the Patriots – only that one game was won by Miami – the Patriots have won by at least 10 on all four occasions, 20 or more three times.

The Dolphins have a nice rushing attack, and they can run on anyone, but the Pats scheme against the run very well, and without a passing attack to really hurt the Pats, I just don’t see what “they” see. I’ll take the Patriots, but I’ll continue to look for a reason not to. Damn Vegas, has me tripping out some times.

New England Patriots (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills NFL Free Pick

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Miami Dolphins (-3) @ Buffalo Bills NFL Free Pick: I’ve been a big supporter of the Bills, saying often that they aren’t as bad as people think, and sure, sometimes that has kicked me right in the butt (see the Titans/Bills game a couple week ago when the Bills were right with Tennessee until they gave up 300 points in the 4th quarter, again) and sometimes it’s worked out for me (see last week’s game against the Jaguars), but I think this match-up ends up being just a little too tough for the Bills.

Usually, if Buffalo’s defense needs to focus on just one aspect of an opposing offense (just the run or just the pass) they do a pretty good job of making that tough for their opponent. But this is Miami, and they will pretty much run on anyone, and they won’t abandon that idea. Even without Ronnie Brown, they still have one of the more talented run blocking offensive lines in the league, and a great running back filling in as the full time guy – you might remember him from the Saints – or pre-marijuana Dolphins, Ricky Williams. Yeah, Ricky is back, folks, and he’s better than ever – or at least better than you think.

The Dolphins have won 3 of their last 4, covering in 3 of those games as well. Over their last 7 games they are 5-2 straight up and against the spread as well, and they have given fits to some very good teams this season, New Orleans, New England, Indianapolis, etc. – they are a good team. Not always the luckiest, but good nonetheless.

The 3 points shouldn’t be too much, I like the Bills, think this one will be close, but 27-17 is what I’m thinking.

Miami Dolphins vs Carolina Panthers Week 11 Free Pick

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Miami Dolphins (+3.5) @ Carolina Panthers Week 11 Free Pick: John Fox, here’s to hoping you blow it again! This week’s Thursday Night Football game on NFL Network pits two of last seasons’ most impressive teams against each-other for a game that promises to have some serious running back action. Ronnie Brown is out for the Dolphins, but don’t think they won’t keep their attack rush-centric, they still have Ricky Williams (who has been awesome this year) as well as running QB Pat White. But I’m thinking this injury might make them more balanced. week in and week out, the Dolphins run more than they pass, and that’s probably the right thing to do (John Fox, pay attention you dope), but Chad Henne has shown me he can throw the ball all over the field. Against a Panther team that is probably getting ready to see the Dolphins carry the ball 40 times, Henne might just be able to hurt them with his arm.

The Dolphins are set up well to hold the Panthers out of the end zone. They give up big passing plays, but are stout against the run, and have made big plays on defense when quarterbacks get fidgety with the ball. Jake Delhomme loves to play around with the pig skin. Both teams have won 4 of their last 6, but Carolina has been beaten in every game they’ve been out-rushed in. I like Miami’s D to allow that to happen.

If the Panthers came out and ran the ball 40 times, I would give them the cover here, but John Fox has repeatedly tried to break defenses at their weakest point, managed to ignore his own running game for long portions of winnable games, and generally has a dumb look on his face the entire time. I think Miami’s the better team, this game should be close, 3.5 points is good enough for me!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Miami Dolphins Point Spread

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins (-9.5) Point Spread: The Dolphins are probably the best team in the NFL that has a losing record. I think they’re a little better than San Francisco and basically better at everything that the Titans do well. So they’re better than them too. Miami has had one of the tougher schedules in all of football, their 5 losses have come against Atlanta, Indianapolis, San Diego, New Orleans, and New England. They’ve beaten the Jets twice, and Buffalo – not too exciting in the win column, but tough losses. And they’ve played close with everyone. They’ve been in every single game in the 4th quarter. They have been unlucky, to say the least.

But now the easier part starts, you have Tampa Bay coming down for a nice in-state match-up against an NFC basement dweller. There’s probably very few times I’d take the Dolphins -9.5, but this is a great situation for that. If there’s ever a time, it’s now. Miami has terrorized mediocre rush defenses, the Bucs can’t even claim to be that good. The Bucs are coming off a win, that will probably not happen again this season. The Dolphins need this one really bad if there’s any hope left in finding the playoffs. The Buc’s rookie QB, Josh Freeman, has major hype coming into this game because of his 3 TDs in his first pro start – but he only completely 14 of 31 passes against the Packers – that accuracy (or lack of) will hurt him against a defense like Miami’s.

And then you have Tampa, every “good” team they’ve played this season has crushed them. New England, Philly, the Giants, and the Cowboys all won by 13 points or more. The Dolphins could run the Wildcat exclusively and beat the Bucs by 10. Give Henne the week off! Give Ronnie 30 carries….