Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Free Pick

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Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Free Pick: It’s painful for me to do this, I mean, the 49ers have been pretty good to me this year and my favorite player ever to lace up his cleats and put a uniform on is Mike Singletary – but I have to go with the road favorites this week, and it has a lot to do with Singletary allowing his offense to become a spread it out, pass first, run never attack that doesn’t allow them to control the game whatsoever. Mike… Why are you doing it to me, my man? You have Frank Gore in the backfield, run the ball!

The Cardinals have been very good on the road, and even more importantly, very good lately. Some people are going to go-on-ahead and call this a trap game, but it’s hard for me to believe that the Cardinals won’t be ready for a NFC West seal-up game against the 2nd best team in their division. Now, 70% of the public bet likes Arizona, and I know this one isn’t as lopsided as a percentage like that would insist, but I still have to take the Cardinals with a chance for a push if they win by just a field goal.

It’s very hard to beat a good team twice in one season (though that seems to be happening more this season), and the 49ers almost seem like a different team since they snuck by the Cardinals on opening day. They have a little more explosion offensively, but they’ve traded in stability for explosiveness, and I don’t think that’s a good trade for them. The Cardinals have played pretty well in each of their last 5 games, and won each of the last 4 Kurt Warner has started in. With a chance to lock up the division, I think they come out and win a hard-nosed battle on Monday Night.

Arizona Cardinals (-3) @ San Francisco 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants NFL Sunday Night Pick

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Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants NFL Sunday Night Pick: This Sunday Night Football game should be a great one. NBC definitely does a better job than ABC and a way better job than the NFL Network when it comes to picking great match-ups. Maybe they have a special deal? Maybe they’re just smarter – whatever it is, the chance for the Giants to pull into a tie with Philadelphia, and the chance the Eagles have to stay atop their division, makes for one hell of a Nationally televised game – especially when it’s the Eagles and the Giants, two of the more popular teams in all of sports.

This match-up has been more than great over the years, in fact, while the Eagles have won three straight, they’ve been the underdog in all three games. Even more amazing, the underdog has covered this match-up in each of the last ten games, and the underdog has won outright in 9 of the last 10. That’s unheard of. The road team has won 7 of the last 10 games. Only three times since 2005 has the game finished with more than a touchdown separating the two, and the Eagles have won 2 in a row by double digits – including a 40-17 win in Philly earlier this season.

Neither team has a ton of injuries, but both will be missing key players. Brian Westbrook, probably the most important guy in this offense over the last five years, is doubtful yet again. Aside from that, most of the recently injured Eagles are probably for Sunday Night’s game. The Giants don’t have a bunch of injuries, but the few they’ve had have been crucial. Kenny Philips and Antonio Pierce are both out for the season, and the Giants are a little dinged on the offensive line as well. This should be a heck of a game, but I like the Eagles in this huge match-up.

Philadelphia Eagles (+1) @ New York Giants:

San Diego Chargers vs Dallas Cowboys Free Football Picks

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San Diego Chargers vs Dallas Cowboys Free Football Picks: A lot of people like the Chargers this week, and while I, in the end, am with them, it’s not that easy for me. I think Dallas will have a lot of pressure for Philip Rivers, and I think the Cowboys are sick of hearing about this December swoon crap, and I think they’ll come ready to play this Sunday. When the Cowboys come ready to play, they are definitely one of the tougher teams in the NFL to beat.

But I also like what the Chargers have done, and just barely enough, just by the smallest of margins, like them to cover on the road in Dallas. I think the Chargers have spread the ball around enough to force Dallas’s secondary to pay more attention to other pass catchers, and that will probably open up some things for Vincent Jackson to make big plays like he was earlier in the year.

I also think the Chargers throw a bit of a monkey wrench in the plans of Dallas by running the ball with some success early. The Chargers haven’t been very good running the ball yet this year, but I see a little something going well for LT and the Bolts rushing attack this week in Dallas.

The Chargers secondary has also turned things around. After a tough start to the season, and questionable play most of last year, the Chargers are making plays and keeping the ball in front of them. If they can make Dallas work for their points, I think they pull the upset in Big D. It’s a very tough call for me, but my lean has to be on San Diego, “Spanish for Whale’s Vagina.” 🙂

San Diego Chargers (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys

Washington Redskins vs Oakland Raiders Week 14 NFL Picks

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Washington Redskins vs Oakland Raiders Week 14 NFL Picks: The Redskins are better than the Raiders. There it is. The Raiders have more wins that Washington, but that has rarely meant anything to me when judging a team’s worth. Maybe I’m wrong for that, maybe I’m not, but the bottom line is, this is my freaking picks section, I write it every week, I have a pretty damn good record, especially when you consider the fact that I pick every single game every single week – and guess what, I happen to think I’m a pretty good judge of which teams are better than others. The Redskins, at 3-9, are better than the 4-8 Oakland Raiders, and I feel pretty confident about that statement.

Now just because one team is better than the other doesn’t mean I’m betting on them for sure, sometimes a lesser team is just a tough match-up for a better team, and sometimes the spread burden is just too much to bear, but this week, I like the better team, I’m taking the Redskins.

Washington hasn’t won on the road yet, but there’s a first time for everything, and it’s not like the Raiders make Oakland a tough place to play. Oakland is just 2-4 at home this season. 56% of the public likes Washington, and I think for good reason. While the Raiders have played well under Bruce Gradkowski (beating Cincinnati and Pittsburgh while winning 2 of their last 3), I can’t imagine they win 3 of their last 4. Washington has had tough luck this year, or no luck, however you want to put it, they’ve lost 6 games by less than a touchdown, and during their current 3 game losing streak against the Cowboys, Eagles, and Saints, they’ve lost by a total of 7 points. They’ve been ahead in both going into the 4th quarter. At some point the luck has to turn in their favor – like this week for example.

Washington Redskins (pk) @ Oakland Raiders:

St. Louis Rams vs Tennessee Titans Week 14 NFL Free Pick

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St. Louis Rams vs Tennessee Titans Week 14 NFL Free Pick: This line moved from 11 (which I thought was a little high considering how well the Rams defense has played lately, and how the Titans don’t put up a ton of points per game – 20) to 13.5 at most books. The move was early, and as of Thursday Night you could get the game at 14 at one book. I’d be surprised if that option continues to exist, as +14 seems like too good of a deal despite the 60% public bet on the home team Titans.

Listen, I know the Rams have a single win to their name, and I know I’ve been quoted calling them the worst team in football, but I’ve seen one hell of a turnaround with this team, and it all started after the Colts pistol whipped them 42-6 in St. Louis on October 25th. Since then, the biggest loss they’ve had was a 10 point defeat to the Seahawks in a game that was pretty close. They’ve covered 4 of their last 5 spreads, and they even won a game (though it was against Detroit). I’m not ready to call them good, but their defense is playing good football, they have a good coach that is changing the losing mentality, and I wouldn’t be stunned if they found a way to pull a big upset over the next few weeks.

Do I think the Titans will lose? I’m not saying that, they’ve been playing even better football than the Rams over the last 5 weeks, and they have a very good rushing attack and a quarterback that rarely loses. They also have a pretty solid defense. But 13.5 points? No, I think that’s way too many, thank you. I’ll take the Rams.

St. Louis Rams (+13.5) @ Tennessee Titans:

New York Jets vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview & Pick

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New York Jets vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview & Pick: The Jets started out hot, playing awesome defensively and giving just enough help behind their rookie quarterback to score enough to win games, but that was how it started. After going 3-0 to start the season, the Jets have lost 6 of their last 9 games, but they’ve been playing tough teams (sans the Raiders, Panthers, and Bills – all of which they beat with relative ease). The Jets have lost to just one team with a losing record, the Bills, on October 18th, in overtime, 16-13. Aside from that one slip up, they’ve proven too skilled defensively against bad offenses.

With big time playmakers in the secondary, they’ve forced a lot of bad throws and even worse completion percentages from opposing quarterback. It seems like the Bucs, and rookie Josh Freeman, are a likely candidate to have a lot of trouble against that aggressive Jets defense. The Jets have not allowed more than one offensive touchdown to a team with a losing record just once this year, they allowed two TDs in a win over the Titans. The Jets defense might just be too good for the youthful Bucs offense.

Offensively, the Jets will be without their rookie quarterback, but I’m not sure how much that hurts them. Kellen Clemens looked bad in reserve duty last week, but with a week of starter reps under his belt, I’m willing to bet the Bucs don’t give him too much trouble. Plus, like the Panthers, a 2nd string QB might be a good thing, if it means more runs and less pass attempts, they win this one easily.

New York Jets (-3.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers vs New England Patriots NFL Free Pick

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Carolina Panthers vs New England Patriots NFL Free Pick: The reason I like the Panthers more now than I did when their starting quarterback was actually playing is because now they are smarter about their run to pass ratio. With Delhomme, they were playing like they had a starting quarterback in the game, as if his starter status actually made him useful. That was obviously the wrong understanding, and will likely cost John Fox his job some time soon. But now, they’ve become the team they should have been all season long. They run the ball more than they pass. Last week, even without their starting pro-bowl running back healthy enough to play, they ran the ball 33 times to just 20 pass attempts. Perfect. That kind of number makes me love them as a 14 point dog against anyone, even the Patriots.

I also think the Panthers are a solid defensive match-up for what the Patriots do offensively, that’s just another reason why they’re a great big dog bet, because most people don’t even consider that when making their play, and that’s why the Patriots are still getting 56% of the bet – or at least that’s what I think.

I always say that you should never give a good team double digits while betting, and while I’m not saying Carolina is  a good team exactly, I do think they are a good team when they run the ball 15 times more than they throw it. It keeps their defense off the field, and keeps their big play ability going. The Panthers intercept a lot of passes, and they have some solid pass rushers. I think the Panthers keep running, and keep playing well in the secondary, that’s definitely good enough for a 14 point underdog.

Carolina Panthers (+14) @ New England Patriots

Cincinnati Bengals vs Minnesota Vikings Free Football Pick

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I know the Vikings have been one of the NFL’s best teams so far this season, shoot, they’ve only lost twice, but I still think they get a little more credit than they deserve. First of all, I think I’d take the Bengals as a 7-point dog against any team in the NFL, playing anywhere in the league. 2nd, the Vikings have had a pretty tough time running the ball efficiently against good run defenses, see San Francisco, Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and AArizona. In fact, the only two teams to beat the Vikings have brought pretty tough rush defenses to the table (Arizona last week, and Pittsburgh 7 weeks ago). The Bengals rarely get out-rushed, and rarely allow many easy yards on the ground. It will be interesting to see how the Vikings deal with that.

The Bengals have one of the league’s best defenses. They bring good pressure, have a solid secondary that makes big plays, and allows just 15.6 points per game, one of the best marks in the NFL. In a game that will likely be a low scoring affair, a touchdown underdog is a nice thing to get your hands on. The Bengals have had some tough injuries, but they’ve dealt with them well, and come into Sunday’s game with the Vikings winning 5 of their last 6.

Thats right, the Bengals are no joke either. At 9-3, they are one of the best teams in the NFL. I think they get even less credit than Denver, which is pretty amazing considering they have Mr. Ochocinco and his media circus running the gong show. I like the big dog here.

Cincinnati Bengals (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings

Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 14 Free Pick

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Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 14 Free Pick: The Buffalo Bills aren’t a good football team, I’m not trying to twist it that way at all, and playing at Kansas City is never an easy task (despite what Denver made it look like last week), but the Bills are a much better team than the Chiefs. Kansas City, defensively, can’t seem to stop anyone, and while the Bills have bad defensive numbers, they’ve done alright this season when they are allowed to gang up on one aspect of an opposing offense – I’m not saying they can give it all to the run or pass in KC, but they can put just about everyone of their guys within 12 yards of the line of scrimmage, because that’s where the Chiefs have been doing their dirty work – and offensively, the Chiefs are pretty grimy.

The Bills are 4-8 this season, and while it’s almost impossible to find a good 4-8 team, the Bills are about as close as you can get. They’ve been in almost every single game they’ve played going into the 4th quarter. From that point forward, sure, they’ve struggled, but at 4-8 they average 5 points less than they give up on the season. Putting that into perspective, the Chiefs give up 11 more points per game than they score. I’m not going into any details, but if you look at box scores from the Bills games this season, you’ll often see a 3 point game going into the 4th – they have played decent – and they’ve played even better lately.

The Bills have played a very tough schedule, and the only teams with losing records that they’ve lost to are the Titans (and they’ve been pretty good lately), the Texans (who can play with anyone), and the Browns (who suck, but just beat the tumbling Steelers). They generally beat bad teams, they’ve done so 3 times this year, and I think they do it again in KC.

Buffalo Bills (+1) @ Kansas City Chiefs

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