Ravens vs Packers Monday Night Football Free Pick

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Baltimore Ravens vs Green Bay Packers MNF Free Pick: Despite thinking the Ravens are better than Green Bay in most facets of the game (falling short in only the passing column), I also think Baltimore is a terrible match-up for the Packers. As you have probably figured out, match-ups are a big part of my game, I don’t just take the better team or the team with the better record or the team with the better defense or, well, you get the picture. I like to see how teams match-up: how what the defense does well will effect the offense, how what the offense does well will effect the defense. Well, all that jazz has me leaning on the Ravens on Monday Night Football.

Both teams, on average, score right around a touchdown more than their opponents. The Packers are 7-4, the Ravens are 6-5. This game means more to the Ravens who would put themselves in a very tough spot if they fell to 6-6. They’d basically have to win out just to have a chance at the playoffs. Green Bay is 6-4-1 ATS, Baltimore is 6-5. 55% of the betting public likes Green Bay.

This is what I like about Baltimore. I think Baltimore’s rushing attack will do more damage than Green Bay’s run game, if only because they actually make a commitment to run the ball. When Green Bay gets out-rushed, they are 0-2 in their last 10 games. When Baltimore out-rushes their opponent, they are 4-2 on the season (losses to only Peyton and Tom). The Packers beat up on teams that give them time to throw, the Ravens don’t give anyone time to throw. When hurried, the Packers offense struggles. This should be a close one, but I like the points and I think Baltimore upsets Green Bay on the road.

Baltimore Ravens (+3) @ Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings vs Arizona Cardinals Point Spread Pick

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Minnesota Vikings vs Arizona Cardinals Point Spread Pick: Just like I imagined, this spread sky-rocketed in my favor after I published Tuesday Morning’s newsletter – it’s all the way up to a much more likable 5.5 at half the books but if you like the Vikings, you can still get them at -4 in a couple spots. 75% of the public like the road favorites, and how can anybody in their right mind pick against Brett Favre and the media-darlings from Minnesota?

Well, leave it to me to pick against the grain in this one. I just like the match-up for the Cardinals. They don’t run the ball real well (though better lately), but so what, the Vikings take that away anyway, so why waste daylight on the ground? The Vikings have a shaky secondary from time to time, and while the speed rush Minnesota puts together often makes up for their secondary short comings, you have to know that Kurt Warner is a great and accurate quick decision quarterback, and his receivers are studs.

The Vikings get a lot of pressure with just 4 guys, but the Cardinals are very solid pass blockers, and I think they end up giving Kurt enough time to pull the big upset. The Cardinals haven’t been great at home this year, but the Vikings haven’t looked their best on the road either. Arizona does a good job stopping the run, they do a good job shutting down the middle, and they can cause some mistakes from opposing quarterbacks. Brett has been great thus far, could a tough game be coming his way? I like the Cardinals to pull the upset! As a Mike Singletary (and 49ers) fan, I hope they lose, though – make the division race closer. Ah the life of a sports-gambler…

Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals (+1.5)

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks Week 13 NFL Pick

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San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks Week 13 NFL Pick: Show me a team Seattle has played well against and I’ll show you a crappy team. Sure, the Hawks took advantage of the Jaguars in a weird situation, but the Jaguars have shown multiple times this year, they can play as terrible as any team in the league, and they’re proud of it. Other than Jacksonville, the Hawks other three wins have come against the likes of St. Louis (twice) and Detroit. Oooo, nice one. It’s not that Seattle’s not talented enough, they are pretty loaded when it comes to ability – they just play too damn soft, and that has to be coaching. There it is, I said it. If I wasn’t absolutely befuddled by the direct incompetence of Jim Mora and his staff prior to this week, the fact that Julius Jones is being called the starter and the guy that’s going to carry the load really clears things up for me. I like JJ, he runs hard, and despite having no vision, generally gets consistent positive yardage – but hello, Justin Forsett is the best offensive performer on this team right now. Who does this Mora guy think he is?

The 49ers outrushed the Seahawks by 190 yards last time these two teams played. Neither of these teams take many chances, but don’t think for a second that Seattle is going to be allowed to run the ball 70% of the time and win like they did last week against the Rams – oh no – it’s tough to run on the 49ers. Even if Forsett was going to get the bulk of the carries, I would be surprised if he eclipsed the 100 yard mark.

The 49ers need to get back to physical running against Seattle, something that they’ve proven they like to do against the Hawks. Frank Gore owns Seattle’s defense, if he touches it 20 times, the 49ers win by double digits.

San Francisco 49ers (+1) @ Seattle Seahawks

San Diego Chargers vs Cleveland Browns Preview and Pick

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San Diego Chargers vs Cleveland Browns Preview and Pick: I’ve never liked the Chargers as big favorites, even less so on the road, but one offensive outburst doesn’t a season make, and that’s where 99% of the Browns offense came from, one single offensive performance in once magic passing game (which they lost on the last play anyway) against a pathetic Detroit Lions secondary. And without any offensive burst, there’s no way the Browns stay within 14 points of Philip Rivers and that offense.

Unlike the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chargers don’t care about slowing the game down and getting a sure win, no, they like to throw the ball and jam touchdowns like your throat like force-feeding somebody almonds without giving them a drink of water (I use that example because I once force-fed my cousin almonds and he didn’t like it one bit). Vincent Jackson hasn’t had a huge day in a while, and there’s no better time than now. I’m sure Philip Rivers is watching tape of the Lions game and going, “Matthew Stafford threw 5 touchdowns against these guys, I’m going to throw 6….” He’s a competitive guy like that, and I must say, I like his chances.

The Browns lost Jamal Lewis for the season (and his career coincidentally) and so their offense takes a little bit of a hit. That’s right, if an offense is the worst in the league, and they take an injury hit, what does that make them? A nice play against, even as a big dog at home, that’s what.

San Diego Chargers (-12) @ Cleveland Browns

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

New Orleans Saints vs Washington Redskins Pick & Preview

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New Orleans Saints vs Washington Redskins Pick & Preview: I hate going against the Redskins as a big dog, but this week puts me to the test, what can I say? Big favorites late in the season really aren’t my style, especially on the road and playing against a pretty talented defense that has brought their Sunday’s best against good teams so far this season. But I have to go with the big road favorite in this one, my blasted feelings are just pushing me toward the Saints – and no, it has nothing to do with blasting the Patriots last Sunday Night…

The Saints have torched good secondary’s all year long. I don’t see what will stop them from doing the same thing against the talented Redskins. Washington can’t key in on a couple receivers, the Saints just have too many weapons. And if the Redskins drop 8 into coverage every down, the run-game in New Orleans is also very good, and they can certainly win with that – they have before. 10 points to the Saints is barely anything at all, that’s a couple plays in the 3rd quarter.

Defensively, the Saints are opportunistic as well – they’re basically a big favorite bet’s dream. The Defense can score, can set up a great offense on a short field, and can make a play deep in their zone to prevent points. This is a very complete team, a team more complete than Washington has seen all year – and I think the Saints continue to make a mockery of the league despite the possibility of this being a trap game. Trap shmap.

New Orleans Saints (-8.5) @ Washington Redskins

Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free Football Pick

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Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free Football Pick: I think the Raiders have a pretty good defense, better than the statistics tell us. I think the Steelers aren’t quite as good as people think, they’re closer to the 6-5 team than the defending Super Bowl Champion that people are still giving them credit for. The Steelers are good, no doubt, and they should take this game easily, especially after tumbling to the Chiefs two weeks ago, and losing a tough game to Baltimore on Monday Night last week. But they don’t kill opponents, and as crazy as it seems to be taking Oakland at +11.5, I’m going to do it. Right now you can get the Raiders as 2 touchdown dogs almost anywhere, and 14.5 dogs at most places. That’s obviously a better bet, but that’s what I get for putting out a newsletter early in the week. I knew this line was going up to my advantage, but I got the best number I could on Monday Night…

Why do I like the Raiders? Well, with Bruce Gradkowski they have an accurate passer, and I’ve always liked their talented receiving options. They’ll need to take some chances against a Steelers secondary that will be going all in on the short passes, but I think Bruce can hang in there and complete some deep throws against the pass rush – and that could be enough for a cover.

The Steelers are playing on a short week’s rest, and they aren’t always smart about committing to the run. I’ll take the points – you should too!

Oakland Raiders (+11.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs NFL Free Pick

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Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs NFL Free Pick: The Broncos have really beaten up on bad teams this year. Because of their recent four game slide, I think people (including sharp bettors) really discount what they’ve done this year. Don’t forget, leave the short memory in the ditch where it belongs, this team is still 7-4, and only one of those losses was a bad one (Washington). And the Skins, believe it or not, have a pretty damn good defense. Now I like the Broncos best when nobody expects them to win, and while that’s not the case here, I like them second best when they play a bad team.

Denver absolutely dominated the Browns earlier in the year in Denver when Cleveland absolutely couldn’t do anything. They also gave it to Oakland like the Raiders were a JV team, and certainly, Oakland has made it tough to argue with that idea more than a few times this year. They were in a slump, definitely, but they got out last week with a win over a falling Giants team, and I think they dominate this game – even in Kansas City.

The thing about KC is the Chiefs have been a no-chance home team before and finsihed on top. There’s something about Kansas City, it’s one heck of a home field advantage, and it’s not like the Chiefs are a completely useless team like some of the other tomato cans. I just happen to think the Broncos are a lot more like the team they played like earlier in the year, a lot less like the team they were during their losing streak. That’s worth a 4 point favorite bet right there.

Denver Broncos (-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants Week 13 Pick

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Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants Week 13 Pick: This may look like I’m giving up on the Giants or becoming a believer in the Cowboys – but lets not jump to any conclusions here, I’m doing a whole bunch of neither. Okay, I might be giving up on the Giants a little – but I wasn’t giving up on them last week when I went against them in Denver, I just like the Broncos as big dogs, especially at home. But there will be another time when I take New York this year, they still have lots of talent, and if they get healthier in the secondary, even a couple guys coming back and proving their healthy, I’ll jump right back on the free-money-train. But right now, I don’t know if they can put enough pressure on quarterbacks to stop opposing passing attacks. If they give Tony any time at all, I think the Cowboys win easily.

Earlier this year, the better team was Dallas in a game that New York ended up winning. Tony Romo gave out interceptions liked canned food during holiday food drives, and New York needed every single one of them to walk out of Dallas with a win. The Giants won 33-31. Eli and company had a short field all day while Tony completed less than half his passes, and went 3-1 on his Int to TD ratio – if you turn that around, you’re in good hands, if you leave it as is, you’re in Jay Cutler territory.

While Dallas hasn’t been pretty over the last few weeks, they’ve still won 6 of their last 7. For the Giants, it’s tough to beat a good team twice, especially in your division, and I don’t think that New York is ready to do it this time around either.

Dallas Cowboys (+1) @ New York Giants

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars Preview and Pick

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Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars Preview and Pick: I’ve always been fond of both these teams. I don’t know why, maybe because I was always looking for a team in the South to step it up and take the Colts’ top spot. Stunningly, that was the Titans job last season with Kerry Collins at quarterback. This year, early, I thought both these teams had a chance. Then I watched the Jaguars play a full game, and pretty much crossed them off the list (incompetent coaching being the main reason). Then I watched the Colts for a few weeks and realized nobody was taking their top spot this year. And of course, I watched the Texans quite a few times and saw a Jeckyl and Hyde type deal in single games – they show they can play with anyone, yet they find ways to lose to anyone as well. But that doesn’t mean this one is tough.

I like the Texans, and I don’t even think it’s close. While the Jaguars have the elite runner, I don’t think they have the elite rushing attack. Despite Steve Slaton’s troubles, the Texans still have a solid run-blocking offensive line and a scheme that is much more intelligent than the thing Jacksonville throws out there any given week. And when it comes to passing, as much as I like David Garrard, Matt Schaub is the better player, and Andre Johnson might be the best receiver in the game. Their passing game is better as well. Defensively, I also like the Texans.

But what this game really comes down to is this. The Texans have gained more yardage than 7 of the last 8 teams they’ve faced. The Jaguars, when out-gained, are 1-4 this season. There only win was against Buffalo. The Texans are bound to turn that bad luck around one of these days, and I believe one of these days will be this Sunday in Jacksonville.

Houston Texans (+1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars