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!

Cleveland Browns vs Detroit Lions Free NFL Pick

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Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions (-2.5) Free NFL Pick: It’s hard to think of much to say about this game, but as far as wordy bastards go, I’m pretty much right up there, so you know I’ll give it my best shot.

These teams suck. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more terrible offense than the thing Cleveland puts out there on a weekly basis, but Detroit’s overall consistently terrible play all over the field makes them hard to watch as well. The fact that Detroit can actually put offensive touchdowns on the score board make them a sexy pick here, especially when you consider that most of Cleveland’s total yards come from a guy that might not play because of an injury on Monday Night’s last second play. Joshua Cribbs is questionable for Sunday’s game.

When you add everything up, the poo and the spit and the tears and the questionable decisions, the rosters, the firings, and all of the disappointment and questions surrounding the Cleveland Browns organization over the last, well, since they became the Browns again anyway, I just don’t see how there’s any other pick in this one besides the Lions.

Detroit is no sure thing, don’t get it twisted, but they have an offense with some solid play makers, they have a quarterback that can stretch the defense, and a receiver that is one of the very best in the NFL. They don’t do much defensively, but I’m not sure they’ll have to. Give me the Lions in a game too ugly for even me to watch. And that’s saying something.

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars Pick & Preview

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Buffalo Bills (+9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars Pick & Preview: I liked the Jaguars a lot coming into the season, and while they’ve played well lately, they still haven’t show enough for me to ever take them as a 9 point favorite, even against a Bills team that JUST fired their coach on Tuesday, seemingly has been outscored 4000 to 17 in 4th quarters during the first 9 games, and is among the league’s worst in stopping the run (something Jacksonville heavily relies on to succeed). Basically, the Bills defense is a good match-up for the Jags, and I’m still not taking the big favorite.

Buffalo has beaten the Jaguars twice in the last 3 seasons despite being the underdog in all three games. Teh Bills are 5-1-1 ATS against the Jags since 1998, they have won 5 of the last 7 match-ups. Buffalo has beaten the Jaguars in Jacksonville 3 of the last 4 times, and I’m sorry to say this, but Buffalo just isn’t as bad as their record (and 4th quarter play) is trying to tell you.

Now, there’s the whole coaching thing, and I want to let everyone know, I picked this game prior to Dick Jauron’s dismissal, but I actually like my chances better since the forever mediocre coach’s departure early Tuesday Morning. There’s two ways a team can go, they can be excited for the new guy or disappointed about the old guy’s departure. I’m guessing this will be option one. If anything, the new coach might pull his head out of the dirty smelling hole Dick Jauron was stuck in and get the Bills to do what they do best, run the damn football. If they do that against the Jags, this cover is as sure as they get. I’m taking a chance here, that’s for sure.

NBA Tuesday Night Free Picks: Nuggets @ Pacers

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Denver Nuggets (-4.5) @ Indiana Pacers Free Pick: The Nuggets may be on the road, but they are on fire. Carmelo Anthony is leading the league in scoring through the first week, and this Nuggets team is clicking. Since Chauncey Billups was traded to the Nuggets, Denver has become a much better road team. I know the Pacers have some solid pieces, but I don’t think they can hang with Denver’s back-court, and all around attack. I think Danny Granger has a big night for the home team, but in the end I like the Nuggets to pull away and cover this spread.

Phoenix Suns @ Miami Heat (-3): Two very close games against Minnesota and the Clippers doesn’t have me fully buying into Phoenix and their 3-0 start. I know they can put up points with the best of them, drilling jumpers from all over the court, but Miami can do it inside and out, and Dwayne Wade should have a field day against the Suns. And by field day I mean a field goal percentage looking a lot like 20 for 30 from the floor. Michael Beasily should have a nice game for the Heat, and it looks like Jermaine O’Neal should be healthy enough to give it a go. Nobody on the Suns front line can guard O’Neal even if they actually wanted to play defense (and they don’t), as he looks like the old JO so far this season.

Utah Jazz @ Dallas Mavericks (-5.5): I like the Mavericks to have a big season. They have a lot of pieces that all seem to be working well together, and this thing hasn’t even really gotten started yet. The Jazz don’t play well on the road, I don’t know if it’s lack of focus or what, but history has them struggling on the road over the last few years. Dallas does well at home, they match-up well with Utah, and the Jazz struggled last night. This back to back should be tough on them as the Mavs have the personnel to run and take advantage of a tired Jazz squad.

Minnesota Vikings vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free Week 7 Pick

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Minnesota Vikings (+4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: This pick seems eerily easy. The Steelers have played too close with just about every team they’ve played, going so far as to lose some big games late because they couldn’t close out their opponents. Brett Favre has been dynamite, never more-so than late in games where he’s brought his team back from defeat, delivering in the clutch, Brett-Favre-Style if you will. But the Steelers are good, and they’ll be out to show Minnesota a thing or two about the kind of teams they’re going to have to beat to dethrone the Champs. The Vikings are 4-2 ATS this season while Pittsburgh has just one win against the spread in six chances. The Steelers are 7-2 ATS in their last 7 games against an opponent with a winning record, but in 6 games this year, they’ve played 0 teams that came in with a winning record, the Vikings will be the first. Pittsburgh won’t win any early-season strength of schedule competitions, as their four wins come against the likes of Tennessee, San Diego, Detroit, and Cleveland. Yikes. Their two losses? Chicago and Cincinnati. Hmm… The Vikings have faced a few good teams, including a last minute win against Baltimore last week. Minnesota is 3-0 ATS on the road this season. I love that I still get a win if the Packers lose by a field goal, and I’ll get a push if the Steelers win by 4 (also a common outcome). The value is good, two good teams, I’ll take the undefeated road dogs here.

New England Patriots vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick

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New England Patriots (-14.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It’s almost poetic. New England heads to plain old regular England as the “road team” against one of the worst teams in football, Tampa Bay. Wimbley stadium has proven to be a tough place to keep your footing, as it gets chewed up by the weather. But tough field conditions can only be a help for New England. After the Patriots laid a proper onslaught of touchdowns on the Titans last week, and shut out Tennessee 59-0 (in the snow), of course they are going to be big favorites overseas. But it’s justified. The Patriots have played a lot better defensively that I expected this season, and that’s not good news for Josh Johnson and company. I don’t think it’s fair that New England gets to play in a sort-of funky situation, long plane ride, probably a shorter week of practice, because Coach Belichick and company do such a good job of getting their team ready for every situation. Rookie coach, Raheem Morris will certainly have his hands full this week, slowing what looks to be a revitalized Patriots offensive attack. 14.5 is a lot of points, and I wouldn’t bet too much on the game, but if I had to lean one way or another, I’d lean on Tom Brady.

Buffalo Bills vs Carolina Panthers Free Week 7 Picks

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Buffalo Bills (+7) @ Carolina Panthers: I like how the world is waiting on Trent Edwards to see if they’re going to bet on the Bills, or even more, the books are waiting to post lines until that information comes out. Here’s a piece of advice for you, if you like the Bills, like I do here, wait until the news comes out that Trent will not be playing Sunday. If and when that happens, you’re likely to see this line jump up a little in Buffalo’s favor, and +7.5 is just that much sweeter than +7. That being said, I don’t see what the Panthers have done to be a touchdown favorite against anybody in the NFL. Was it last week’s win over Tampa where they barely pulled it off? Or was it the week before that when Washington had Carolina on the ropes 17-2 midway through the 3rd quarter? Or could it be when Carolina got beaten in ever single other game they’ve played this year? Listen, Buffalo doesn’t stop the run really well, but they do play close football games. Despite their poor record, 2-4, they’ve been in every single game they’ve played late, besides when Miami dominated them. If Carolina has yet to win by more than a touchdown and Buffalo has played just about everyone tough, how can you call Carolina -7 value? It’s not, not at all. Anything can happen, but the Bills have proven to me that they can keep it close. Carolina can’t put up a bunch of points fast, Buffalo covers in Carolina.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Mississippi Rebels Football Pick

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Arkansas Razorbacks (+6.5) @ Mississippi Rebels: I have to be honest here, the Rebels just kind of gross me out. All pre-season all I heard about was how great Jevan Snead was going to be, he was highly ranked, touted as a Top NFL Prospect. So far the kid hasn’t completed 50% of his passes and Ryan freaking Mallet looks like a better pro prospect than him. The Razorbacks lost a close one to Georgia, then got blown out by Alabama, and took a tough three point loss to the Gators last week – but they have talent, and they can put up points on any defense in the Nation. Ole Miss has not impressed me, beating up on teams like Vanderbilt and UAB doesn’t make up for looking like absolute dump against South Carolina and Alabama in losses. The Razorbacks just have to fight that post-Florida hangover, and they’ll cover this easily. Arkansas has won 4 of the last 5 against Ole Miss, covering in each of those 5 contests. I’ll take them for 6 in a row…

Connecticut Huskies vs West Virginia Mountaineers Pick

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UConn Huskies (+7.5) @ West Virginia Mountaineers: The Huskies have to have heavy hearts coming into this game, but I’ll be rooting for them, and I think they have a very good chance. The Connecticut Huskies are as good as any team West Virginia has played thus far, and the Mountaineers haven’t impressed me with their ability to step on the gas. I know a lot has happened this week since their teammate was stabbed and killed at a school dance, and different teams react different ways, but from what I’ve heard from the Huskies, I like their chances to keep this one close on Saturday. I speak from experience when I say that a teammates death can cause a team to really come together, to rely on each other, to put the team first – those are all key things in team success. I’ll take them and a touchdown plus.

Maryland Terrapins vs Duke Blue Devils NCAA Pick

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Maryland Terrapins @ Duke Blue Devils (-4.5): I know Duke is Duke, and that this isn’t college hoops or Lacrosse, but they’ve impressed me so far this season. Playing tough against Virginia Tech, then beating up on NC State, you have to like that sequence moving forward. They easily could have ran with that close Va Tech game, and just came out sluggish against the Wolfpack, but no, they came out drilling NC State from the get go. At 3-3, they are much improved from the terrible Duke days. Thaddeus Lewis is a game breaking QB, and they do other things well to. Duke hasn’t beaten Maryland since 1999, but this is as good a year as any. You never know what you’re going to get with Maryland, a beat down by Rutgers, a loss to Middle Tennessee, an overtime win over James Madison, or an upset over Clemson – who will you get? I’m expecting Duke to draw that pathetic team with all those losses, lets hope it’s not the Maryland team that downed Clemson. I never though I’d see myself taking Duke as a favorite, lets hope that doesn’t backfire.