Who will cover the spread each week in the NFL?
Each week, I’ll take a look at Vegas’ offerings against the spread and offer my views on who’s worth a punt. You can track my record here, and I’ll update each individual week with wins and losses.
New to sports betting? Check out my primer for help on the more commonly used jargon, and some tips & tricks to help you get the most value from your bets.
Week 8 Record: 2-3-0
Hear that sound? That’s the sound of the season wooshing overhead. We’re around the mid-point now – here’s some picks! As ever, check the 2 Minute Drill below for more information.
|1||Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals||Cincinnati -2.5||Loss|
|2||Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Oakland +1.5||Win|
|3||Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints||Seattle -2.5||Loss|
|4||New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills||New England -6.5||Win|
|5||Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears||Minnesota -5.5||Loss|
Week 7 Record: 2-2-1
That was a rough one last week. But like any team coming off a tough loss, I’m ready to bounce back. Everybody settled? Let’s go!
5 more games for you this week – check out the mini-cast below for a more in-depth look at the picks.
|1||New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs||Kansas City -6||Push|
|2||Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans||Tennessee -2.5||Loss|
|3||New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers||New England -7.5||Win|
|4||Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals||Arizona -1||Loss|
|5||Houston Texans at Denver Broncos||Denver -7||Win|
Week 6 Record: 1-4-0
Welcome to week 6! Who saw that Philly/Detroit result coming, in all honesty? Hands down, delusional Detroit fans, you don’t count.
5 more games for you this week – check out the mini-cast below for a more in-depth look at the picks.
|1||Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins||Philadelphia -2||Loss|
|2||Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants||Baltimore +3||Loss|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears||Chicago -2.5||Loss|
|4||Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins||Pittsburgh -7.5||Loss|
|5||Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta +7.5||Win|
Week 5 Record: 3-2-0 Week 5 is upon us, albeit a little late due to being bunged up with a cold, resulting in my speech being even more unintelligible than usual. I also learnt a valuable lesson about relying on Cleveland… won’t be doing that again. Check out the mini-cast below for a more in-depth look at the picks.
|1||New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns||New England -10||Win|
|2||Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions||Philadelphia -3||Loss|
|3||Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans||Minnesota -6.5||Win|
|4||Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos||Atlanta +6.5||Win|
|5||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Oakland -3.5||Loss|
Week 4 Record: 3-2-0 A new format starting this week – a quick-digest table below to summarise the picks for the week. If you want to know more about how I came to each pick – there’s a 2 minute drill to check out!
|1||Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins||Cleveland +9||Loss|
|2||Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets||Seattle -1.5||Win|
|3||Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots||New England -4.5||Loss|
|4||Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens||Oakland +3.5||Win|
|5||Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers||Dallas -2.5||Win|
Check out this week’s 2 minute (erm… 4 minute!) drill for more information on how I picked these games:
Week 3 Record: 3-2-0
Game 1 – Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills (Result: Loss)
If you need further proof that Buffalo have no idea how to run a franchise, look at how they dealt with their 37-31 loss to the Jets. The problem wasn’t that they didn’t put up enough points – it was that they allowed too many. And so they compensated by firing their offensive co-ordinater. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Meanwhile, Arizona seem to have put their slow opening week behind them and are firing on all cylinders again. Swallow the points, Arizona Cardinals -4.
Game 2 – Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (Result: Win)
16 points. That’s how much Tennessee have scored in both games so far. It’s not a lot. Defensively they have definitely improved from last year, but they’re going up against Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, a dangerous combination. Offensively, they’ve not been able to make the most of the names they have on the roster, and the jury is still out on Mariota. I’m going to take the extra points here, Oakland Raiders +2.
Game 3 – Washington Redskins at New York Giants (Result: Win)
The NFC East was supposed to be wide open for the Redskins, taking advantage of a division playing far below its potential. Unfortunately, it seems neither the Giants, Redskins or Cowboys seem to want to challenge. This week, Washington travel to Metlife to pitch one insipid offence against another. No matter who wins this one, it’s going to be a close, low-scoring affair – so take the points on this one. Washington Redskins +5.
Game 4 – Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Result: Loss)
If you thought Tennessee’s 16 points per game was bad, then you clearly haven’t looked at the Rams. They’re averaging a whopping 4.5 points, with Gurley averaging 2.7 yards per carry and Case Keenum being as ineffective as it’s possible to be. Last week they held their own defensively against the Seahawks, but that’s part of the Rams’ MO – good against better divisional teams, and garbage against everyone else. The writing has to be on the wall for Fisher soon, and it’s hard to pick anything but the favourite here. Tampa have been able to at least put up points in week 1, and their 1-score output last week is more of an anomaly. They might be without TE Seferian-Jenkins this week, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Swallow the points, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -5.
Game 5 – Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (Result: Win)
The Bears are relying on Brian Hoyer to weather the storm while Jay Cutler’s thumb heals – a terrifying prospect for fans in the Windy City. And it’s not just Cutler – Chicago’s injury list features names such as Trevathan and Jeffery. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott looks like he’s fitting in just fine in the starter role – raising questions about Romo’s future – and Ezekiel Elliot could have the breakout game we’ve been waiting for against a defence that frankly this podcast could run on. He’s been improving against frankly better teams, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him find the end zone more than once. Swallow a whole pile of points here, Dallas Cowboys -7.
Week 2 Record: 2-3-0 Is everyone excited for football to be back? Week 1 was certainly interesting. I was dead wrong about the Rams, and half a point away from a push on the Packers. Annoyingly, I actually found an operator who offered -4 after having published the article – but I went out thinking four and a half, and I held myself to it. Transparency, folks – you get it here.
Week 1 is in the books, so let’s crack on with week 2.
Game 1 – Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (Result: Win)
Two words here – Antonio Brown. He went off with 2 touchdowns last week, and is definitely a favoured target. As good as the Bengals defence can be, it’s hard to see them having an answer for one of the strongest 1-2-3 QB-RB-WR trios in the league right now. Dalton was solid last week against a strong Jets defence, but the Steelers have one of the most complete units around. This is going to be a gritty, violent game – because Bengals/Steelers games always are – but Pittsburgh should have this comfortably. Swallow a field goal, Pittsburgh Steelers -3.
Game 2 – Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions (Reult: Loss)
Maybe I need to rethink my predictions for the AFC South this year. I figured that Tennessee had improved enough to be competitive, at least to a .500 level, but they struggled to really get going against the Vikings in week 1, and their defence was unable to adjust in the second half. This week, they’re going up against a stronger offensive challenge – and if Murray couldn’t get any ground against Minnesota’s defensive line, they’re going to have double the trouble with Detroit. Once again I’ve got to advocate taking the favourite here – Detroit Lions -5.
Game 3 – San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (Result: Loss)
Last week, I figured that LA would comfortably handle the 49ers, and instead they got rolled. Meanwhile, Carolina are reeling from a tough loss in Denver and looking to bounce back. Whilst they should comfortably handle San Francisco, it’s hard to see them covering this one – especially if the 49ers can keep their offence rolling. When I see a spread this large I usually always err towards the underdog, and this is no different. San Francisco 49ers +14.
Game 4 – Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (Result: Win)
What do you get if you take the Patriots, remove Gronk, Brady, Ninkovich and give them a makeshift offensive line? Apparently, a team that can beat one of the best in the league. And this week, Miami are coming to town – an offensive powerhouse they are not. If Gronk is back as well this week (his status is still up in the air), there should be touchdowns-a-plenty. Even without him, the Patriots should be fine. Figure for New England to start with a comfortable lead, and not look back from there. New England Patriots -6.
Game 5 – Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (Result: Loss)
What do the Jaguars have to do to get some respect in this league? They covered a 4.5 point spread (just) against Green Bay in week 1 – and there’s a gulf between the Chargers and Packers. It’s easy to get hung up on San Diego’s dominant first half performance against Kansas City last week, but it’s a 60-minute game and the second half showed just how bad they are at adjusting, and keeping up production levels. I waxed lyrical about Jacksonville’s playmakers last week, so I’ll spare you it twice in a row. However, I would like to remind everyone that San Diego will be without top receiver Keenan Allen for the remainder of the season. Vegas is giving us points here, and you’d be wise to take them. Jacksonville Jaguars +3. Quick note that I’ll be on holiday in Denver this weekend (a fact that may have come up on previous podcasts) and as such I won’t be updating the record until the middle of next week.
2015 Record: 42-33-2 Week 1 Record: 3-2-0 The 2016 season is finally upon us, and it’s time to turn our gaze to the weekly spreads. Last year, I finished with 42 correct picks, 33 incorrect and 2 pushes – enough for a little profit. This year, I’m ditching the “avoid” recommendation, and going with 5 picks from the start. So let’s see what we’ve got.
Game 1 – Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars (Result: Loss)
I’m predicting good things from Jacksonville this season, in an AFC South division that’s wide open to anyone. Their receiving trio of Robinson, Hurns and Thomas is a combo to be feared, and can definitely help make Bortles look like a better QB than he is. However, they have probably their toughest challenge all season long in week 1, hosting the Packers. Last year they struggled with an overweight, injured and ineffective Eddie Lacy – as well as losing Jordy Nelson. This year, they’re at full strength – so expect them to be an offensive powerhouse straight out of the gates. Swallow the points, Green Bay Packers -4.5.
Game 2 – Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (Result: Win)
Last year, the Ravens had a season to forget. Injuries to Flacco, Forsett, Smith Sr. and Suggs – to name but a few – left them with a 5-11 record and a total of 22 players on IR. Hidden in that statistic, however, is that despite the injuries, 14 of their games were decided by 8 points or less. A full-strength Ravens team can compete with anyone in the league, and certainly shouldn’t struggle against Buffalo. With the exception of Reggie Bush, the Bills haven’t added much of note to their team, and don’t buy into the Rob Ryan hype just yet. In his last New Orleans years, he did very little with a better group than he has now. Swallow the points on this one – Baltimore Ravens -3.
Game 3 – Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks (Result: Win)
When a double-figure line heaves into view, it normally sets alarm bells ringing. This is the sort of thing trap games are made of. Last year, the Dolphins weren’t exactly great – firing Philbin mid-season should be all the evidence needed – but this is a new season, with a new head coach. Adam Gase is something of a QB whisperer, and even got some of the best work out of Cutler in Chicago last year that we’ve seen for years. Tannehill is one of the most polarising quarterbacks in the league, and I’ll be the first to say he’s not worth his contract. But he’s no Gabbert. He has a talented roster surrounding him, and even with Arian Foster’s age creeping up the backfield is still impressive. On the other side, Seattle typically start slow out of the gates and are now coming into the season without Lynch – taking away some of the much-needed dimension of this offence. Seattle shouldn’t be worried about this season, but the spread is being over-generous here. Take the points, Miami Dolphins +11.5.
Game 4 – Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (Result: Loss)
The Rams are playing in a new stadium, in a new city – but that’s about all that’s new. Todd Gurley has a whole pre-season behind him now (having missed the start of 2015 due to injury) to help increase his production, and even though Keenum is the starting quarterback for now, the offensive line and receiving corps look strong enough to alleviate some of the downside. San Francisco, however, need to be very worried about the ever-strong defence facing them – one that typically plays well against divisional rivals. The 49ers depth chart reads like a who’s who of QBs you don’t want anywhere near your team, and they’re going to struggle mightily. This will be a low-scoring affair for sure, but the line is less than a field goal and I have to plump for the favourite here – Los Angeles Rams -2.5.
Game 5 – San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (Result: Win)
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Which team am I talking about here? Well, the answer is both. The core of these two teams has remained pretty much the same from last year. The biggest name involved in Joey Bosa, who signed on the 29th August after 3 weeks of pre-season – and then didn’t play in the 4th game. It’s hard to see him being particularly impactful just yet, so Kansas have no cause to worry, despite the lack of Jamaal Charles in the season opener. That being said, Kansas don’t typically roll over the Chargers – since 2010, only 3 of their wins would have covered this spread, and they’ve got a 6-6 record against each other. Despite the Chargers’ woes, this should be a fairly close affair, and taking the underdog here looks like the smart bet. Take the points, San Diego Chargers +7.5.
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