NFL Newsletter: Week Four Football Predictions 10-1-17
NCAAF Newsletter: 20 Week Five College Football Predictions 9-30-17
New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction 10/1
Both teams travel across the pond in the NFL’s second game in London with one team arriving high as a kite, and the other as low as you can go. Yes, losing as favorites to the lowly Jets and not scoring until the final play of the game is about as low as a team can go. Meanwhile, the Saints enter Wembley on the heels of dominating the Panthers in Carolina in a surprising 21-point win as 5-point underdogs.
That combination sets the table for this fray, as New Orleans is just 3-9 ATS in games off a win under head coach Sean Payton when facing a foe off an SU favorite loss. Yes, I realize that the Saints are 5-0 ATS in games following the Panthers, and Miami is just 1-7 ATS in Game Three. But, neither of those occurrences took place at the Queen’s playground. My all-knowing database cements it, noting that 1-2 favorites of a win are just 11-31-1 ATS in Game Four of the season, including 2-16 ATS when coming off an underdog win. I am not crazy about Miami’s Orbitz schedule to open the season, but I’m also not about to question myself. Neither should you.
- Miami Dolphins +3
Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Prediction 10/1
The Brady bunch is at it again, staving off defeat with dramatic 4th quarter comebacks in a style that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick certainly own preliminary patents on. In the process, though, they have been doing so despite a disregard for a defense that currently ranks DEAD LAST overall in the NFL.
So the question today becomes whether or not Giselle’s beau can outgun the best defense in the league, and still overcome a 9-point impost. I am voting no, in one regard (beating the spread), and likely yes in another (winning the game). That’s because while the Pats are 17-3 SU and 15-5 ATS in their last twenty games in Foxborough when playing off a home game. They are 0-4 ATS the last four games in this series, and 1-5 ATS in the 3rd home game of the season.
Yes, New England is 5-1 ATS in its last six games versus NFC opponents, but Carolina QB Cam Newton counters with a 4-1 ATS mark in his last five away games versus AFC foes. And while the Panthers are wobbly following the previous week’s beatdown at home against the Saints, it should be noted that Carolina is 4-0 ATS in games following New Orleans. The bottom line, teams with bad defenses should not be laying a touchdown in NFL games. Period.
- Carolina Panthers +10.5
Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys Prediction 10/1
Call off the paramedics. The Cowboys are not dead. They’re just suffering from a bad case of bipolar disorder. After impressively opening the season with a knockout of the NY Giants, and then getting their butts whipped in Denver. The up-and-down Boys then stormed back to take down the Cardinals in Arizona this past Monday night.
They will need to take a hefty dose of Xanax this week if they are to avoid a head-splitting 0-8 SU and 1-7 ATS record in games following Monday night contests. Also, the Cowboys are also 0-7 ATS in Game Fours versus a .500 or greater opponent. The upstart Rams are 2-0 ATS in games following a Thursday night win and own a re-vitalized offense that is 15 points and 64 yards per game superior to that of the Cowboys.
Behind a lineup that features eight starters that were either first or second round picks the past two seasons, my money is on the hard-charging Rams today.
- LA Rams +7
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Prediction 10/1
Surprise, surprise. The Minnesota offense opened up with 34 points and 494 yards of offense behind backup QB Case Keenum against the bewildered Buccaneers last week. The question begs: does Keenum have back-to-back similar efforts in his repertoire? I doubt it, given the fact that he’s just 4-7 SU and 3-8 ATS against division foes in his NFL career, including 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS as a favorite.
A small sample, for sure, but one that leaves us wary. Yes, I realize Detroit QB Matthew Stafford is just 7-14 SU and 7-13-1 ATS away in division games. But the Lions are 5-0 ATS away between home games, and 6-0 ATS in Game four of the season with a .500 or greater record.
So the decision becomes do I want to go up against Minnesota’s 12-1 ATS record at home against opponents coming off a home game? Or Mike Zimmer’s 5-0 SUATS mark at home following a home game?
- Who Knows?
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Prediction 10/1
Kudos on a good job by both of these AFC South division upstarts last week. The Texans went toe-to-toe with Bill Belichick’s monster in Foxborough, while the Titans proved they were for real when they stuffed Seattle in Nashville. On the surface, I find a Houston home dog with 43 YPG the better defense, one that has dominated its rival in this series. Going 12-5 SU and 13-4 ATS of late, including 6-1 ATS as a host.
The Texans are also 5-1 ATS in their 2nd home game of the season, as well as 5-1 SUATS following the Patriots. The Titans arrive 0-6 ATS in division games following an NFC games. And 0-4 ATS in the first of consecutive away games when facing a division opponent. Bill O’Brien’s 2-5 SUATS mark as a home dog is pause for concern. But, I like better defensive home dogs seeking revenge in division games. You should, too.
- Houston Texans +3.5
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets Prediction 10/1
Stunning wins were in the offing by both teams last week when the Jaguars blew out Baltimore in London, while the Jets surprised Miami here in dramatic fashion. As a result, the Flyboys return home where they are 6-1 SUATS following a home win. But, just 9-22-1 ATS at home following the Dolphins.
Also, the Jets are just 2-9 ATS in this series, including 1-5 ATS as a host. Meanwhile, the Jaguars opted not to rest following their visit to England. Then again, you would too, if your next game was against the Jets. It’s likely because Jacksonville is 3-1 ATS in games after playing in London, and also that teams returning from London are 8-2 SU and 9-0-1 ATS since 2015.
Couple that with the fact that the Jets are on a 0-5 SUATS slide in games after upsetting division rivals and I can safely say the Jags deserve their favoritism here today.
- Jacksonville Jaguars -3
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction 10/1
Only three teams since 1990 have gone on to make the NFL playoffs after opening the season with losses in each of their first three games (the last team, Buffalo in 1998). The one common denominator that all three teams possessed, you ask? Each of them went on a major win skein of 5 games or longer to help overcome the season-opening hat trick.
With headhunter, LB Vontaze Burfict back in the lineup following his reduced 3-game suspension for (what else?) headhunting. The Bengals look to be the most viable option of the 0-3 teams this year to crash the playoff party. For openers, the Bengals are 5-0 SUATS the last five games in this series and 7-1 ATS in Game Fours versus division opponents.
Cleveland obliges at 0-5 ATS in the first of consecutive home games. And remember, the Browns are 0-13 SU and 2-11 ATS in their last 13 division games. It’s no wonder Cleveland is now 1-18 SU under head coach Hue Jackson. We’re not going to stand in the way of history, and we’re certainly not going to use the Browns as a roadblock.
- Cincinnati Bengals -3
New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction 10/1
Big Blue is feeling mighty blue these days, as they are one of only five NFL teams to begin the 2017 season with a goose egg. However, like the aforementioned Bengals, they have (on paper, at least) the potential to spring a winning streak and get themselves back in the chase. They were, after all, expected to win 8.5 games at the Westgate SuperBook before the start of the season.
A loss today, however, would drop the curtain on their chances: since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 only one team – the 1992 San Diego Chargers – found their way to the postseason following a 0-4 start. To do so, though, the G-Men will need to establish a ground game, on both sides of the ball, as they rank DEAD LAST in rushing both on offense and defense this season.
For openers, the Giants are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS the last five games in this series as well as 10-2 ATS in Game Four of the season. Tampa Bay is 1-8 ATS following an away game versus an opponent coming off an away game, and 1-8 ATS in the first of consecutive home games. No more excuses, Blue. You’re on your own.
- New York Giants +2.5
San Francisco 49ers vs Arizona Cardinals Prediction 10/1
Both teams take the field off tough home losses last week, the 49ers in a nip-job against the Rams and the Cardinals in a Monday night collapse against the Cowboys. The question is which one is more capable of bouncing back? Is it an Arizona bunch that painfully misses the services of its star RB David Johnson (59 RYPG is 2nd worst in the league only to NYG). Or a San Francisco squad that brings an anemic sub 300-yard offense in this battle?
What I do know is that the Niners are 24-14-1 ATS away in division games following a division game, but 0-4 ATS as division underdogs in Game Four. Whereas the Red Birds are 5-0 ATS in their 2nd home game of the season but only 3-9 ATS the last 12 home games in this series. When push comes to shove, and it usually does in a matchup of losing division foes. I turn to our coaches card where I find that Bruce Arians has never lost consecutive home games in his NFL career. He is also 24-9-2 ATS in games his teams win straight up as a favorite. And that’s likely good enough here.
- Arizona Cardinals -7
Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Prediction 10/1
Following a huge week for underdogs in the NFL last week. It’s hard to take your eyes off one this week that arrives in a division game with revenge while coming off an SU favorite loss last week. But like most married spouses would say, you can look but you better not touch. Not when there is a 100-yard disparity in the defenses and a 158-yard differential in total net yards between the two teams.
Those are the numbers in this contest favoring the Broncos who are winning the stats an average 93 YPG while the Raiders are losing them 65 YPG. And this is a Denver squad that is 27-7 SU at home in games after losing SU as a road favorite in its previous game.
Meanwhile, Oakland is 1-8 ATS in its 4th game of the season, and just 4-9-1 ATS away following a Sunday night game. With Denver now 8-2-1 ATS the last eleven games in this series, I’ll keep my eyes on the prize in this game – the home-loving Broncos.
- Denver Broncos -2.5
Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction 10/1
Something’s not right in the city of Seattle, and I’m not talking about the java. The Seahawks have opened the 2017 season on a 1-2 note for the fifth time in the last ten years while losing the money in all three contests this season. Slow starts aside; a losing record is certainly something head coach Pete Carroll is not accustomed to.
In fact, in his NFL career, his teams have responded with aplomb in games with a sub .500 record, going 17-9 ATS in home games. As well as 6-0 ATS in games against foes off a SU underdog win when his troops are carrying the label of a loser.
In addition, the Seahawks are 7 1 ATS at home following an away game versus a foe coming off a home game, as well as 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in their 2nd home game of the season. And speaking of losing teams, the Colts bring a lofty 6-0 ATS record in games with a losing record against NFC opponents,
as well as going 11-4 SU and 11-2-2 ATS away on Sunday nights (albeit with Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning, though).
With the host team 10-2 ATS in Seahawks games versus AFC South opponents, there is only one way to look in this Sunday night prime-timer. It’s time for Pete to go General George Patton on his troops.
- Seattle Seahawks -14
Washington Redskins vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction 10/1
If you’re like me and are growing tired of fading Andy Reid’s magic act, then read no further. His ‘inside-out’ winning behavior has become a staple and will be put to the test here tonight. That’s because the Redskins 8-3-3 ATS away following a Sunday night game, including 5-0-2 ATS versus an opponent coming off an SU win.
The Skins are also 5-0 ATS in the 2nd of consecutive away games versus AFC opponents. The Chiefs counter at 6-0 ATS the last six games in this series. The clincher though is likely the fact that 3-0 NFL home teams have been murderous in Game Four, going 38-5 SU and 31-12 ATS since 1980.
Sure, Reid is only 4-7-1 ATS at home in career games versus Washington, but I’m not about to fade Game Four numbers like the one outlined above. After all, a fool and his money are soon departed.
- Kansas City Chiefs -7.5
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