September 30, 2015
The NFL action storms into week 4 with a AFC North clash taking place at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the week at 4-1 will host division rivals the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. These two teams enter this week in compleltly oppositie situations.
The Steelers enter week 4 sitting at 2-1 after picking up a 12-6 win on the road against the St. Louis Rams in NFL game picks and predictions. The win marked the teams second straight win after losing on Thursday Night Football to open the 2015 NFL season. The downside is despite the winning record the atmosphere could be a little down for the home team as Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss this game as well as possible the teams next 3-5 games.
Roethlisberger left the teams game on Sunday with a knee injury that some experts had feared could be to the ACL. In the end the injury was diagnoased as an MCL sprain on Monday giving the fans something to look forward to down the road. Till then the team will turn to Michael Vick to replace Roethlisberger while the turning up the workload for running back Le’Veon Bell.
While the Steelers enter in second place in the AFC North, the Ravens are one of four teams in the NFL that has yet to pick up a win. Much of the teams issues has been in the secondary something that A.J. Green singled out in week 3 in Baltimore. Along with the teams struggles on defense the teams offensive line has failed to block to allow the teams running game to get going. Some of that could be due to the fact the team has been without their starting left tackle Eugene Monroe since early in the teams first game.
Despite the Ravens struggles and the Steelers being without Big Ben we expect these two teams to give it all they have on Thursday Night Football based on what we have seen from them in past meetings. Here is how these two teams have stacked up in the last few meetings.
Past Meetings: These two teams are very familiar with each other meeting at least twice a season playing in the AFC North. Last season the Ravens were able to pick up wins in two of the three games they faced off with one of them coming in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. During the regular season though the Ravens have not won a game at Heinz Field since the teams first meeting back during the 2012 NFL season.
Betting Trends: As we start to look at this matchup on paper the opening line sat with the Steelers as a 1.5 point favor. That has all changed due to the injury as the Ravens are now a 2.5 point favor. The injury could have played a key part in the over/under line as well as the line dropped from 45.5 points to 44.5 points.
Looking at a few of the trends has us looking at how each team has faired against each other against the spread. Entering this contest the Steelers are 3-2 against the spread over the past five meetings including the playoffs last season.
While this game could play out with either team picking up the win we do however like the over 44.5 points despite the Steelers not having Roethlisberger behind center. The Ravens defense has struggled in back to back weeks after losing Terrell Suggs for the rest of the season. Look for Antonio Brown to get involved in the offense from the opening snap while the Ravens have showed they can put up points to keep up.
Key Injury Impact: All eyes will be on Michael Vick in week 4 as the team will be without Ben Roethlisberger. This injury comes at a bad time for the Steelers as the Cincinnati Bengals have started the season at 3-0. Along with the question marks for fans the injury has the Ravens as high as a three point favor despite the game being played on the road in Pittsburgh.
September 30, 2015
The Miami Dolphins are a team that is getting booed out of its own hometown right now, and they are getting about as far away from south Florida as they possibly can this week. We’re talking about Wembley Stadium in London, where the Fish, who were “squished” last weekend against Buffalo, will give it another try against an AFC East rival as they take on the New York Jets in a game that will kick off at 9:30 AM ET.
The Dolphins stumbled all over the place on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in NFL picks and predictions. allowing the Bills’ Tyrod Taylor to complete 21 of 29 passes with three touchdowns, while Ryan Tannehill had a trio of passes intercepted. Buffalo led 27-0 at the half, and if you know anything about he Miami “faithful,” that building emptied out in a hurry. The final score of 41-14 left a lot of people wondering about the future of coach Joe Philbin, who was considered by some to be lucky to hold onto a job in the off-season.
The Jets were looking like one of the more dominant defensive teams in the league going into last weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles, and truth be told, they held up their end of the bargain once again, limiting the Eagles to just 231 total yards. But they turned the ball over four times, including three INT’s by journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and gave up a punt return TD by Darren Sproles.
In the NFL odds that have been posted on this game the Jets are the slight favorites:
View the New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins matchup
New York Jets -1.5
Miami Dolphins +1.5
Over 41.5 points -110
Under 41.5 points -110
Part of the problem for the Jets on Sunday involved injuries. Eric Decker was out of action with a knee injury, which meant that Fitzpatrick didn’t have a lot of receivers to throw to. Decker’s status is unclear for the trip to London. The situation may be a little more certain for running back Chris Ivory, whose absence was really felt by the Jets, who had just 47 yards on the ground. Ivory’s quad injury, according to some preliminary comments by coach Todd Bowles, should be better with some rest.
What’s going on with Darrelle Revis is another question entirely. During the week that his groin strain was really bothering him, but he wound up playing anyway, Things must have become aggravated, as he had to be removed in the fourth quarter. We may get the same story from him again this week.
And for the “What About Me” moment of the week, Brandon Marshall, who had ten catches for 109 yards against the Eagles, is complaining that people don’t recognize him as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers.
If there are encouraging signs for the Dolphins, it’s that Rishard Matthews had 113 yards in receptions on Sunday, and that running back Jonas Gray, recently cut by the Patriots, got a chance to make some contributions in his Miami debut (49 yards). But if Ivory is good to go for the Jets, NFL bettors should be concerned about the Dolphins containing the run – Buffalo rookie Karlos Williams, picking up the slack for LeSean McCoy, rambled for 100 yards against them on Sunday.
September 25, 2015
The Auburn Tigers have been incredibly frustrated by the play they have gotten from the quarterback position, so just a few games into the season they have made a major move. Coach Gus Malzahn has replaced Jeremy Johnson with redshirt freshman Sean White, and it is with the youngster that Auburn will try to get back on the winning track at home when they face off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in SEC football betting action that is slated to get underway at 7 PM ET from Jordan-Hare Stadium.
White is similar to Johnson in that he is a pro-style quarterback, with the only difference that he is a lot shorter. While Johnson was 6-foot-5, White is about 6 feet even. These guys are both different than their predecessor, Nick Marshall, who was very adept at running with the football. For these quarterbacks, running is not a primary option.
Johnson completed only 11 of his 19 passes against LSU last week in a embarrassing 45-21 loss. Thus far he has thrown six interceptions in three games; Malzahn believes that he has lost confidence. And when reporters talked to Johnson, he sounded as if he was happy to have the pressure taken off him.
In the college football betting lines that have been posted on this game by the people at TopBet Sportsbook
, Auburn is the slight favorite at home:
View This Matchup Auburn Tigers vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
Auburn Tigers -2
Mississippi State Bulldogs +2
Over 59 points -110
Under 59 points -110
Mississippi State is not in the national rankings currently, but Auburn has managed to hold onto the 25th position in the coaches’ poll. This has happened even after the Tigers allowed 238 rushing yards in a close call (31-24) against Louisville in college football game picks, then had to go to overtime with FCS entry Jacksonville State the next week. Against LSU, they made sure they bolstered the Heisman Trophy credentials of Leonard Fournette, who gained 228 of LSU’s 411 yards. During the off-season Malzahn brought in Will Muschamps, who had been fired as coach at Florida, to shore up the defense. So far the project has not been a success; Auburn is allowing 5.7 yards per carry by opponents.
They have dropped eight straight games against the football pointspread. Without much defense, it is unlikely that we will see a repeat of the 2008 meeting between these teams, which ended in a 3-2 score (that is no typo). Dak Prescott, who got a lot of Heisman hype last year as his MSU team climbed in the rankings, has completed 65% of his passes without an interception, and he is backed up by a running game which operates by committee. The Bulldogs beat Northwestern State 62-13 last week, which means they probably had a bit more time to prepare for this SEC road game.
September 25, 2015
As far as the Tennessee Volunteers are concerned, they have had enough. They have lost ten straight games to the Florida Gators, including an incredibly frustrating result last season, but they believe it’s a different story now that they have their ideal quarterback at the controls. Joshua Dobbs will lead the Vols into battle on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET against the Gators, and they will do it from the standpoint of being the favorite in the college football odds. Even after the kickoff takes place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
Dobbs is one of those dual threat quarterbacks who may not necessarily be the best passer in the world, but knows how to improvise and make plays where they didn’t appear possible. He did not play at all in last year’s meeting between these squads, as Tennessee had just 28 net rushing yards on the way to a 10-9 defeat. This season they brought back ten starters on offense for coach Butch Jones, and they were part of the pre-season national rankings.
Yes there was a roadblock, as the Oklahoma Sooners dealt them an overtime defeat in Knoxville, in a game where Tennessee blew a 17-point lead. They rebounded the only way they knew how against an FCS opponent like Western Carolina, pounding them 55-10. But this is the game they’ve had circled on their schedule.
In the college football odds posted on this game , Tennessee is the slight favorite on the road:
View Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators Matchup
Tennessee Volunteers -1.5
Florida Gators +1.5
Over 48 points -110
Under 48 points -110
Who do you like with your college football picks and predictions?
Dobbs has not been incredibly accurate this season (only 58%), but he does a very important thing for Tennessee, which is to keep the ball out of the enemy’s hands. He has thrown only one interception in his 74 attempts, and he has some pretty good backup in the backfield, with GL and heard, who has averaged 5.1 yards a carry and scored five touchdowns. Tennessee will have to succeed working some play-action, as Florida’s secondary is about as dangerous as any in the country. They are led by All-American Vernon Hargreaves, who came back from a minor injury last week to intercept a pass and run 53 yards with it, setting up an important touchdown in the Gators’ 14-9 win over Kentucky, which was the 29th straight time they had beaten the Wildcats.
BetAnySports customers may be getting their first look at Alvin Kamara, who provides something of an “X” factor for Tennessee. He was one of the top junior-college players in the country last season, and in brief action as a running back he has averaged 7.5 yards per carry. He can potentially do a lot of damage on special teams; last week he returned a punt for a touchdown, and had another one called back because of a penalty.
Yes, Tennessee was burned in their opening game by Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, who had 433 yards through the air, but the Florida passing game is still a work in progress. Coach Jim McElwain has given most of the time to redshirt freshman Will Grier, although Treon Harris provides a change of pace. Between them, they have completed about 69% of their passes. And McElwain, the former head coach at Colorado State who is in his first season at Gainesville, would love to keep the visitors guessing as to what’s coming next.
September 25, 2015
The Dallas Cowboys are off to a 2-0 start, but it’s not like anybody is celebrating. They have lost their top wide receiver and will now have to move forward without their starting quarterback, so they are going to have to win in other ways as they face Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons in NFL game picks, which will get underway at 1 PM ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Tony Romo suffered a fractured left collarbone against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 20-10 win this past weekend, and it was announced that he would not have surgery for it. The timeline for his return has been set at about eight weeks. They are already without Dez Bryant, who could be out longer. They had the good fortune of a strong defensive effort against Philly, holding the Eagles and their alleged high-octane offense to just 226 total yards, and there is absolutely no question that the stop unit is going to have to hold up its end of the bargain.
In the NFL odds posted on this game by the folks at RealBet.eu, the Falcons are the slight favorites, which is reflective of the Romo injury:
Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys Matchup
Atlanta Falcons -1
Dallas Cowboys +1
Over 45 points -110
Under 45 points -110
So what can the Dallas Cowboys do, now that they are going to be without Romo for about eight weeks? Well, they can insert Brandon Weeden for the time being, and then hope that they can get Matt Cassel, who was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010, acclimated to the system. Cassel was picked up from Buffalo this past week in exchange for a fifth-round draft choice in 2017.
In all probability, this stays Weeden’s show, and this is what this the 31-year-old four-year veteran brings to the table:
More than you might have thought, although it’s not all successful.
Don’t forget that Weeden was the starting QB for the Cleveland Browns after they selected him in the first round of the draft in 2012. So he doesn’t really come into this thing without experience. He has 832 career pass attempts, with 27 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. A lot of that was with the Browns. Clearly he is a guy who would benefit with better players around him.
The problem is that the Cowboys are running out of those guys. When you take Dez Bryant away, this is a receiver corps that may or may not be slightly above pedestrian level. DeMarco Murray left the Cowboys with a committee of running backs, none of whom are going to be difference-makers.
Okay, Weeden completed all seven passes for Dallas on Sunday, and he had a 42-yard TD pass to Terrence Williams. But he was also horrible when he had to go in for Romo last year against the Arizona Cardinals, with a 7.5 QB rating in his start.
The Cowboys play seven times in the next eight weeks. If they can go 3-4 during that time, they might be able to get Romo back with a record of 5-4, and that would, most likely, keep them in the middle of the NFC East race. They will play at home this weekend, and host New England and Seattle (an uphill battle), as well as a rematch with the Eagles, who might have their act together by that time. They would be visiting the Saints, Giants and Bucs.
September 23, 2015
How should people be looking at the first two games of the New York Giants’ season? We mean that when we ask.
Certainly, on the one hand it has been an incredible catastrophe. After all, not for eighty years in the NFL, when there were teams like the Canton Bulldogs and Potsville Maroons in the league, has a club blown a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter to lose each of its first two games.
Then again, if you are NFL handicapping this game, you might be looking at it a different way. Perhaps this is a team more than good enough to be 2-0 at this point, save for a couple of lapses or mental mistakes, which, if they can be corrected, can make a big difference.
So that is the kind of thing Tom Coughlin would rather focus on as his team approaches Thursday night’s meeting with the Washington Redskins (CBS, 8:30 PM ET).
Mental mistakes are an understatement – do we need to go over them again? Any New York fans reading this would get close to a heart attack again, so we will spare them. Do they have the talent? Yes, on the offensive side of the ball they do. We don’t worry too much whether Eli Manning can produce some points when all is said and done, and Victor Cruz is close to coming back after his calf sprain – he wants to play this Thursday, in fact – and if and when he does, he will make for an extremely effective combination with Odell Beckham. who do you like with your NFL game picks?
In the NFL odds that have been posted on this contest by the people at BetAnySports, the Giants are the home favorites:
New York Giants -4
Washington Redskins +4
Over 44 points -110
Under 44 points -110
The Giants did enough business through the air last Sunday, as Manning threw for 291 yards. And Beckham had almost half of those yards, including a 67-yard touchdown. The Giants’ secondary, minus Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was taken off the field with a concussion, just could not deal with Julio Jones, who caught thirteen passes for 135 yards.
But if this is any consolation for them, Washington does not have a big-time receiver like that on their roster. What they DO have is a running game that has been infused with some energy in the person of rookie Matt Jones, who rambled for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
So maybe BetAnySports patrons are asking themselves what makes circumstances this time around than the last time Kirk Cousins faced the Giants and was intercepted four times in what was a humiliating 45-14 loss for the ‘Skins.
Perhaps there is a healthier receiving corps on hand, and maybe the Giants are missing key pieces of the defensive puzzle, with Rodgers-Cromartie likely joining pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (finger blasted off) on the shelf. Cousins, who is, style-wise, a better fit for Jay Gruden’s offense than Griffin, went 23 for 27 against St. Louis last week, and we’ll find out if that has lulled everyone into a false sense of security around the nation’s capital.
Things tend to get rough in New Jersey. You’ve seen the Sopranos – a lot of people get buried out there near the Meadowlands.
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