At the beginning of the year we promised best ever football season for very specific reason. Our specialty, the NFL has exceeded it.
On Thursday, we gave pro bettors this from Joe Duffy’s Picks:
CLEVELAND -4 Buffalo
Cleveland 2-0 straight up and against the spread since QB change to Brian Hoyer, 0-2 before that. When analyzing home field advantage, too many people forget, the home crowd has to have something to root for in order to be that so-called 12th man. For the first time in a long, long time, the Dog Pound has reasons for optimism. Now playing a marquee Thursday night game, look for as big of a home field edge as has been seen in Cleveland since the pre-Ravens days.
True we do generally state that rookie QBs, which Buffalo of course has, can be underrated against the spread. But the home team is 4-0 against the spread in Buffalo contests and the young Bills will be playing just their second road game of the year in what we do expect to pretty raucous.
Also rookie Cleveland TE Jordan Cameron quietly having spectacular season and he and Hoyer clicking big time. Bills did very well without top three DBs but can they do it again on a short-turnaround? Cleveland is holding teams to a full yard below their normal average. Though not a blowout, the Browns get the green by seven.
Just as Buffalo developed some life in their running game, each of their two top backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson got banged up and now must work on a short week.
We came back Sunday with:
OAKLAND +4.5 San Diego
Terrelle Pryor has given Oakland life. His status fluctuated last week before he was finally scratched and replaced with the poor man version of Scott Mitchell, Matt Flynn who had one good game in his life, a meaningless win when the Packers rested Aaron Rodgers a few years ago.
Philip Rivers is a long-time predictably unpredictable QB. Off a big win last week, look for him to come out with a disaster as he often has off big wins. Oakland is banged up, which is why they are getting so many points. But no way they should be getting 4.5 at home from a grossly overrated QB.
Denver-Dallas OVER 56
You may have heard that Denver is scoring a lot of points and given up a few too. Their games are averaging 67.4 points per game. Nobody has ever had to twist the arm of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to abandon the running game. A game plan of keep away is extremely unlikely.
They are averaging 33.5 points per game at home. We also expect Dallas to keep the game closer than the Broncos first four foes, so Denver will not have the luxury of scheming against the pass every play. Denver is getting an outlandish 9.3 yards per pass but also giving up a pretty generous 7.3.
It is just not in the nature of Jason Garrett to slow things down and he has some weapons at his disposal. High total? Nope, not with the Broncos and Dallas only corroborates it.
Philadelphia-NY Giants OVER 53
When the Eagles offense played on a short week, the Sunday to Thursday turnaround, the game went under. All three other games with normal rest have produced overs by eight, 12, and 14.5.
While some keep speculating that Chip Kelly will refine his offense and slow things down, it will not happen this week. The Giants will be without Aaron Ross (back) and Jayron Hosley (hamstring), and starting cornerback Corey Webster (groin) is doubtful. That leaves them with just Prince Amukamara, Trumaine McBride and Terrell Thomas. Amukamara and McBride likely will start on the outside
We use efficiency rankings and rating ahead of the raw numbers. Chip Kelly and Eagles have lost three straight and are a classic good offense, lousy defense team of contrasts. Philly passing game ranks in the top 10 in just about all the key indicators, but its pass defense ranks No. 27 or worse in those same categories.
Eli Manning has been a huge bust this year, but his arm is strong and this is the perfect team to take out some frustrations on.
NY GIANTS -2.5 Philadelphia
Both of these teams have been awful, but the Eagles are genuinely bad. The Giants bounce back begins this week. Home field advantage is worth three points, so this line actually implies Philadelphia is the better team. They are not.
As horrible as the Giants have looked, three of the losses were on the road, the other to Denver, which is a complete freight train right now. Just ask the Eagles, who were castrated by them last Sunday?
Chip Kelly had the largest salary cap in college football at Oregon, thanks to Phil Knight. He could recruit three-deep and rotate fresh bodies in and out over an 11 or 12 game schedule. As we knew it would not, it has not worked in the NFL.
Remember in both of the Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin Super Bowl winning years, they were counted out during the regular season. They are in the NFC Least. They certainly can make the playoffs in this joke of a division. Three of their four losses were outside the division and this is their first divisional home game.
The Giants have a clear upside as their key numbers show they are much better than the 0-4 start suggests. They are actually getting 5.8 yards per play to teams normally permitting 5.7 and allowing 3.9 yards per rushing attempt to teams earning an average 4.2. 6.5 yards per pass to 7.0 and 5.4 yards per play to 5.7.
The Eagles chuck and duck offense has a point of diminishing return. It is no surprise they won their first game, lost their second by three, third by 10, and fourth by 32. Okay, that pattern will not continue perfectly as they will lose by less than 32. But they lose by double-digits.
While the schedule maker finally gives the Giants their second home game, this is the second of three straight road games for the clueless Eagles. Maybe they do lose by more than 32.
DALLAS +8.5 Denver
Yes Denver is a machine, but they beat four teams that may not even make the playoffs. We told you when we swept with Denver and the over on opening night, the Ravens will probably get better as the year went on, but the perfect time to play the rebuilt squad was opening week. The other three teams they beat are the Giants, Oakland, and Philadelphia. Because the NFL Least is horrible of historic proportions, in theory New York or Philly could make the postseason, but neither even comes close to playoff caliber.
Finally, Denver is playing just their second road game of the season. Dallas fits well into our predictably unpredictable angle. They look great one week, horrid the next. When you least expect it, well you know the rest. So they followed up a close win with a close loss, followed by a blowout win and semi-blowout loss. The home team is 4-0 straight up in their contests. This game will be much closer than the oddsmakers think.
Detroit-Green Bay UNDER 54.5
Green Bay is very clearly committed to running much more and passing a bit less. Yes Matt Stafford is on top of his game right now. And that is when time and time again he comes up with a dud. As soon as he seems to turn the corner, start fading. A dome team, their offensive numbers are much less at home.
Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley match up well against Green Bay and their rebuilt offensive line. Look for them to slow down the pack.
SAN FRANCISCO -6 Houston
This is a sharp versus square, which is when our Vegas, offshore, and outlaw contacts tell us the majority of sharp money is betting one team, the square money the other. We go with the smart money as contrarian betting is used by many professional gamblers.
Oh and Monday:
NY JETS +10 Atlanta
Remember, last year Atlanta had seven wins of three points or fewer. This season their only win was to St. Louis by a touchdown. They have had their share of good fortune and rarely blow teams out.
Geno Smith has 17 completions of 20+ yards are the most by a Jets QB in the first four games of a season since Joe Namath’s 17 in 1972. Again, rookie QBs are generally undervalued. That is why the Jets are 3-1 against the spread.
Absolutely he has been very sloppy. But a rookie who showed talent, but bad decision making certainly has a huge upside, especially against a suspect defense. Atlanta allows 7.7 yards per pass versus squads that usually get 6.6 and 6.3 yards per play to 5.5 as they are not good at stopping the run either. They allow 4.0 yards per rushing attempt to 3.6.
Smith has faced some good defenses and Jets get 7.1 yards per pass to teams normally allowing just 6.2. If Atlanta loses the turnover battle, they may lose outright. We cannot see them covering the huge spread.
Jets outright as a Wise Guy makes us 32-16 in the NFL since week 3 of the preseason. We go 8-1 in the NFL last week. We hit all four Wise Guys Giants OVER, Cowboys OVER, Raiders, and Jets. We have two NFL and a college football up for this weekend. Get at least the weekly Joe Duffy’s Picks or Bet it Trinity pass to access now. Get the picks now