The Football Drive NFL Week 2 Picks Against The Spread!

At This point you probably know about the Wrestling Drive, my daily wrestling car vlog looking at the biggest news stories in pro wrestling as they happen as well as reaction vlogs to the biggest shows in the world professional wrestling.  Well, this week I decided to take that same concept and extend that out to football.  Introducing the Football Drive!  Each week I’m going to bring you 2 different NFL Football Car Vlogs looking at both top picks against the spread as well as NFL Survivor/ Knockout Pool advice.  I’d love to get you feedback on both pieces and so I’m going to attach both pieces right here!

First up take a look at my top NFL Picks Against The Spread,  looking at my top 6 picks against the spread.  I was 5-2 against the spread to start the season last week so we are off and running

 

Next take a look at my picks for NFL Survivor/ Knockout Pools for Week 2.  I give you two obvious choices, your smartest “Big Picture” choice of the week and 3 games to stay away from this week!

Check out the videos here and be sure to hit subscribe so that you get these videos as soon as they upload to the site!

Thanks and enjoy Week 2!

The Spotlight NFL Week 8 Picks Against The Spread

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s spotlight NFL picks against the spread for Week 8 in the 2015 season.  At this point in the year it’s important to finally give up on some teams.  The Detroit Lions made the playoffs last year, this year they are a bad team, hell, they may very well be the worst team in the entire league (Jim Caldwell just isn’t a big time coach in this league).  Many people had the Ravens in the Superbowl (A move I didn’t understand at all by tbe way with the lack of talent around Joe Flacco and a subpar defense) but alas they are a bad football team who can’t get out of their own way. Oh and tom Brady is very good, actually he’s a freak of nature.  Unfortunately, my wifi in Dubai wasn’t great so I couldn’t get my pick in but you probably didn’t me to tell you that the Patriots were money in the bank by a touchdown this week.  Seriously though, through 7 games this season Tom Brady leads the league with an unhuman 20 touchdowns and 1 interception.  ONE FREAKIN INTERCEPTION THROUGH SEVEN GAMES!!!! Andrew Luck usually has more interceptions than that before halftime.  Andy Dalton is having a career year with a 14-2 TD-INT ratio and it looks simply mediocre behind the type of season Tom Brady is having.  So yes at this point it’s time to realize some teams just plainly aren’t any good and stay away from them while on the contrary leaning on the teams that are good  when all else fails.  With that said let’s get into this week’s top picks against the spread.

Top Picks For Week 8 In The NFL

1) Houston Texans (-3) over Tennessee Titans

Last week I underestimated the Titans (or more importantly over rated the Falcons) and it came back to bite me as the Titans hung in the game to lose by a mere field goal against an Atlanta team that was seemingly on cruise control.  Well with Marcus Mariota out again I’m going back to the well this week.  Zach Mettenberger just isn’t very good and we all remember the infamous “Selfie Sack” game the last time the JJ Watt met Zach Mettenberger and I expect that the Texans defense will have enough pride to win this one on their own without having to even talk about who’s playing quarterback for the Texans. Also don’t look now but by the end of the this week, with the Colts heading to Carolina (and Andrew Luck sitting on one win all season), the Texans can be tied for first place in the horrible AFC South.  They know that too, take the Texans by a field goal!

2) Cincinnati Bengals (0) over Pittsburgh Steelers

But Tommy, Big Ben is back this week.  I know I know and I also know that most money is pouring in on the Steelers this week and so does Vegas.  Look Big Ben is great and it can’t go without being mentioned that this will be the first week that the Steelers will be a full speed on the offensive side of the ball all season.  The Steelers arguably have the best back in the game in Le’veon Bell and the best wideout in the game in Antonio Brown (hope you fantasy players didn’t sell too low on him because he’s a must start once again).  Now that we got all of the due props out of the way, let’s bring in some reality.  Big Ben is likely going to be rusty and  the Steelers are welcoming in an undefeated division rival in the Bengals who have played the best team football on both sides of the ball than anyone else this season.  Add in the fact that the Bengals have had two weeks to prepare and it should be clear why I’m going the other way.

3) New York Jets (-2) over Oakland Raiders

As I always say I’ll never pick against the Jets and so because of that I hate touching their games period.  I’m also not huge on picking an east coast team traveling to the west coast.  That said, I’m riding Gang Green again this week and they’ve been good to us.  The Jets have played one bad game all season and came closer than anyone in taking down the champs last week.  It won’t be as easy for Derek Carr and company this week as it was in San Diego last week, not against that stout Jets defense.  The Jets need this game to stay ahead of the pact in the AFC wildcard picture by being that remaining non unbeaten team with less than three losses.  They can sweeten their position with a win here over Oakland.

4) Seattle Seahawks (-4) over Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys looked better last week with Matt Cassell under center and this week they get their stud wideout back in Dez Bryant.  I’m also not big on the Seahawks so I hate making a pick like this but I have a hard time believing that the Cowboys are going to have any luck moving the ball down the field against that Seahawks secondary.  The Hawks haven’t looked great but they’re still better than any backup quarterback.  The Cowboys need Tony Romo or this may end up being a lost season…if it already isn’t.

5) Minnesota Vikings (-1) over Chicago Bears

This was real close to being my lock of the week but it is a bit of a trap game and I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Jay Cutler especially off a bye.  The Vikings have been flying under the radar but actually having a pretty good season with a 4-2 record, if the season ended today they’d actually be in the playoffs.  That said both of these teams have pretty poor offenses ranked 28th for the Bears and 30th for the Vikings.  The Vikings have been getting it done the same way they have for years, they ride or die with Adrian Peterson.  When he’s on the field, he’s the best player on it and this week will be no different.  I like the Vikings to run away with this one.

6) IF YOURE DESPERATE- San Diego Chargers (+4) over the Baltimore Ravens

Two teams that are under achieving big time but I try to give you 7 games every week and I didn’t get my Chiefs pick in on time so here it goes.  I’m back to the well one last time by believing in Phillip Rivers in Baltimore.  The Chargers just have more weapons on the offensive side of the ball (to the point that they lead all of the NFL in total offense, though they’re usually playing from behind so take that with a grain of salt) and the Ravens have no business being favored by more than a field goal.  The Ravens, seriously, are one Josh Brown made field goal away from being still winless, that’s how bad they’ve been.  Expect the Chargers to keep it close and may even win the game outright.

7) LOCK OF THE WEEK: New Orleans Saints (-3) over New York Giants

I’ve been pretty big on Eli Manning this year as honestly save for two fourth quarter collapses in the first two weeks of the season, the Giants could be 6-1 this season.  That said, I hate this spot of them this week.  The Saints are finally starting to find their groove and WhoDat Nation can feel it.  It’s only a field goal and I love the Saints at home here.  I haven’t lost a single Lock of The Week through the first 7 weeks of the season and I don’t expect it to be this week.  Eli Manning doesn’t play particularly well at the Superdome and this week will be no exception.

That’s going to do it for me for now but I will be back in the middle of the day to review the big Sunday Night Football matchup a bit later on so stay tuned for that.  Until then, let’s make some money!

The Spotlight Picks Against The Spread for the NFL Week 7

Top of the morning to you everyone…well I guess really it’s good evening to most of my readers and followers but I’m coming to you live from the United Arab Emirates.  Ever since I met my girlfriend, over 3 years ago, she has been talking about going to Dubai and so this year I finally made it happen.  With Dubai being a solid 8 hours ahead of us New Yorkers, the time change has really been killing us.  We sleep when we can for a few hours here and there but we usually aren’t tired until around 6 or 7 AM and then have trouble getting up any earlier than 3 pm…I say this but it really is only our second night here so hopefully it’ll get better.  In any event, tonight I fell asleep aroun 3 Am only to wake up a few hours later a bit after 5.  After tossing and turning for almost an hour, I threw in the towel and decided to come provide you guys with  the picks you’ve come to depend on each week on thedailyspotlight.com.

One thing that’s really interesting is that the NFL really isn’t much of an entity at all here in the middle east.  There is much more of an emphasis on Soccer and Rugby (and WWE for that matter but that’s another blog for another day) then the sports we follow in the states.  This is to the point that until moments ago I hadn’t even known the Royals won the pennant and that was only because I flipped over to espn to find the updated NFL injury report.  Now that I do have that report, what a segue way this is, let’s finally get into the reason you’re all here your top NFL picks against the spread.

Now it took until week 6 but we finally did hit double digits in losses on the year when I took two losses with both the Ravens ( who we can officially right off as a bad football team for 2015) and the Arizona Cardinals (who I can’t lie really surprised me in a bad loss last week to a number three quarterback).  Regardless we are still rolling after a 5-2 week 6 bringing our total up to 34-11 on the year.  I’ll be honest being on vacation, I considered taking this week off but my goal is to bring you winners every week and so I’m going to try to do just that yet again.  This is a tough week so proceed with caution but let’s hope Dubai brings us luck.  The picks for Week 7 in the NFL…

Cleveland Browns (+7) over The St. Louis Rams

On a tough week this game immediately jumped right out at me.  The Rams play hard for Jeff Fisher, no doubt, they are usually in ever game right down to the finish and often play up for division games.  But this isn’t a division game…and I can’t recall the last time the the Rams blew anyone out.  On the other side of things you have a Browns team that despite a 2-4 record has played every game close and almost beat the undefeated Broncos last week.  Josh McCown is playing at an elite level and always gives his team a chance.  Remember, I don’t picks underdogs that I think have no shot to win.  Don’t be surprised if the Browns do just that.

San Diego Chargers (-3) over Oakland Raiders

Talk about a team that shouldn’t be 2-4, how about the San Diego Chargers who have lost some real heartbreakers.  Phillip Rivers proved last week that on any given Sunday (great movie), he can compete with any quarterback in the league, even Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau, in what was arugably the best game of the 2015 season.  Now the Chargers have the Raiders coming to town with the season on the line and I like their chances.  Only a field goal, roll with it!

Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) over New York Giants

I was finally starting to believe in the New York Giants last week and then…bad Eli showed up!  Scratch that! Terrible Eli showed up.  Now the Cwobys come to town off their bye and it’s officially the Matt Cassell era in Dallas.  The Cowboys now know that Dez Bryant is probably one more week away and if they can just tread water until then the division is right there for the taking.  Will Matt Cassell fair better than Brandon Weeden?  Well he can’t fair much worse.  When a player has lost that many starts in a row, that losing stigma has to project in his confidence and in his leadership.  Cassell won’t fight Tony Romo for his starting job, but he’ll do enough to hang onto it until he’s ready.  Cowboys will rally around their new QB and may steal one at Metlife.  (Note: This was my final pick of the week. I was prepared to go Bills but they just have too many injuries so the Cowboys were my backup pick, take that for what it’s worth)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) over Washington Redskins

In a tough week, a lot of my picks here are being determined by that extra half a point.  The Redskins looked awful last week against the Jets in a game I watched all 60 minutes of.  The Jets are ight years better than the Bucs but the Bucs have some talent, in particular, on the offensive side of the ball.  Coming off their be this gives Mike Evans and Doug Martin a chance to get healthy and Lovie Smith a chance to get Jameis Winston two weeks of preparation.  Kirk Cousins just isn’t the answer at quarterback for the Redskins and if this becomes a close game, I’m going the other way almost every time.

Kansas City Chiefs (-1) over Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is officially out on Sunday which means that Landry Jones will be in at quarterback and the reason this line is so low is because Landry Jones looked pretty good in a shocking win over the Cardinals last week.  Don’t get me wrong, Landry Jones gives the Steelers the best chance to win in Big Ben’s absence but also understand that the reason he looked so good last week was because he was playing a team that spent all week preparing for Mike Vick.  Andy Reid should have the Chiefs prepared for the rookie quarterbac who has the uneviable taks of heading to Arrowhead.  If the Chiefs can’t find a way to win this week, they may no win a game the rest of the season.

Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) over Tennessee Titans 

Well you knw it was going to happen that at some point the Falcons were going to flirt long enough with dangers in the fourth quarter to not allow Matt Ryan to pull out a comeback for the win and that happen last week at the Superdome.  Honestly, that loss was probably the best thing that could have happened to the Falcons and the worst thing that could have happened to the Titans.  This should light a fire under the Falcons collective asses as they now had 10 days to think about it.  To make matters worse for the Tennessee Titans, they’ll be starting the selfie loving Zach Mettenberger at quarterback.  Forget all this talk about a trap game, Falcons should win this one running away,

LOCK OF THE WEEK: New York Jets (+10) over The New England Patriots

What were you expecting something else.  Call me a homer, call me whatever you want but I’m taking my New York Jets in Foxboro this week.  This should be a tight division game between two teams with one loss between them and this line is just plainly disrespectful.  If you don’t think the Jets and their number one defense smell blood and want to take down the undefeated champs then you got another thing coming.  I won’t say the Jets are going to win but damn it I don’t think that defense will let them get blown out.  I’d understand 7 but 10 really is a slap in the face.  I’ll be rooting for them and maybe this is a heart pick but the Jets are my lock of the week and I haven’t lost one of those yet!

That’s going to do it for me but be sure to give me a follow over on twitter @TommyOnTheSpot which is where I’ve been dong my picks the last few weeks and where I make many announcements on this site.  Also I always welcome your feedback either in the comments section below or via email at thedailyspotlight2@gmail.com, I respond to all questions so send them in.  Until next time, best of luck everyone.

The Spotlight NFL Week 1 Picks Against The Spread

Last night my girlfriend and I went on a double date with two of our closest friends right here in New York City.  We went to a place called The Loopy Doopy Bar on top of the Conrad Hotel.  This place was fine, it was your typical New York City bar where you agree to pay $20 a drink, moreso for the view, the ambiance and some sort of gimmick (at Loopy Doopy it was the the ice pops they put in the drinks) then the actual drinks themselves.  In any event, there was a couple sitting next to us that I couldn’t help but people watch as they were both pretty loud and obnoxious.  It was obvious that this couple was on one of their first dates as the gentleman seemed to continue putting on a full court press on his female counterpart to get himself a little hibbity dibbity (Chris Jericho, how are ya?).  This guy was doing everything from hugging the girl mid laugh, after a joke, to going for a smooch several times throughout the night and it was clear that he was growing frustrated by the minute.  Eventually, the young lady caved and gave him a little lip service, which he immediately tried to take to the next level, only to fail…  This is when we left so I can’t tell you what happened next, maybe the two took things to the next level, but I have my doubts, it honestly isn’t important, the main point here is that my man came on way too strong.  If things didn’t go well he only had himself to blame for playing things way too hard and if he ended up scoring, where can he really go from here?  He took this lady to one of the nicest places in town on top of one of the nicest hotels in New York City all while the two were still in the feeling out process of their relationship.

The feeling out process is what I consider this week to be for football bettors around the world.  All week long I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how Sam Bradford will be the NFL’s comeback player of the year or how Tyrod Taylor will lead the Bills to the playoffs.  Both of these may be very true but they also both remind me of a team that everyone fell in love with this time last year…the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Even the most respected football guys on the planet, including SI’s Peter King, picked the Bucs to make the playoffs last year and they ended up choosing Jameis Winston with the 1st overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.  All I’m saying is that week one in the NFL, there are no sure bets because you don’t really know the teams yet.  There is a reason why every betting site on the planet is offering unreal bonuses to sign up this week and that’s because they know that people will likely lose money week one.  Thus, don’t blow your wad entirely this week and proceed with caution.  It’s fine to make the games a little bit more fun (I mean that is why we’re here) but don’t go for the home run too early or you may be left with nothing to play with for the rest of the season. With that being said, let’s get into this week’s top five best bets of the week.  (Caps denotes pick)

GREEN BAY PACKERS (-7) over Chicago Bears

I hate picking touchdown or more favorites on the road and in a rivalry game, no less, also makes me a bit nervous but I think the Packers just have too much for the Bears to keep up with.  The Bears defense ranked towards the bottom in the whole NFL last season whereas the Green Bay Packers were the NFL’s best overall offense last year.  I expect that John Fox is going to have a positive impact on the Bears but it isn’t going to happen this week.  Say what you will about Brandon Marshall, but he’s always been Jay Cutler’s favorite target and they did little in the way of replacing him, sorry Eddie Royal.  Packers should win this one running away, they’re a veteran group who’s mostly been together for some time and while the loss of Jordy Nelson will be tough, DaVante Adams looks ready to fill in admirably.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-3) over Tennessee Titans

Battle of the rookie quarterbacks tomorrow is one of the cooler matchups of the day but the main difference is that Jameis Winston has many of the weapons on his team that gave everyone reason to pick this team last year.  From all reports Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson are healthy and Mike Evans will be back and is as big of a rising stud at the wide receiver position as anyone.  Marcus Mariota on the other hand has,,,,well, Bishop Sanky. Also in a game of two rookie quarterbacks starting in their first ever career games, how do you not take the one starting at home?  Only a field goal as well.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (-4) over Washington Redskins

Like I mentioned in my preview on the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins have one of the easiest schedules to start the year and it starts with a trip to Washington.  I’m not a huge believer in the Dolphins but the Redskins make my New York Jets look like a functional organization.  The Kirk Cousins era officially begins for the skins tomorrow and while he has the weapons around him (Jordan Reed, Desean Jackson, Alfred Morris) he has not shown much consistency at the quarterback position.  It almost feels like he’s been named the starter as a way for new head coach Jay Gruden to make a goat out of RG3.  If I’m siding with Ryan Tannehill, you know i have no faith whatsoever in Kirk Cousins. (sorry SCJ)

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-3) over Oakland Raiders

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably point out that one of these three road favorite picks are almost guaranteed to blow up in my face but it’s too tempting not to take the veteran Bengals over the young upstart Raiders by only a field goal.  I know that the trio of Derek Carr, Latavis Murray and Amari Cooper look pretty sexy but they are all still pretty young and inexperienced.  The Bengals may be boring but they are just better at every phase of the game and this is when they are at their best.  In the beginning of every season the Bengals always fool you into thinking that this may be the year their playoff run extends past the first round and this week (opening day) should be no different.  You can have faith in Andy Dalton…for now.

LOCK OF THE WEEK- THE NEW YORK JETS (-3) over The Cleveland Browns

This line really has to be a reflection of the oddsmakers lack of respect for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability to play quarterback.  This reads like a sucker bet but it almost seems too easy.  While the defenses of both teams may be comparable, the Jets playmakers (Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Chris Ivory) are way better than the players for the Browns (Isaiah Crowell, Dwayne Bowe, Andrew Hawkins).  I also really think that that short run by Josh McCown with the Bears in 2013 was more of an aberration and a team playing as hard as possible for anyone not named Cutler then it was a reflection of McCown’s talent.  The Jets also play well during their home openers and tomorrow should be no exception.  Again, it’s only a field goal and this time it’s for the home team so I’m confident in gang green here.

That’s going to do it for me this week.  Be sure to check out my pick for tomorrow night’s Sunday Night Football game tomorrow as well as Monday Night Football Doubleheader on Monday.  Until then, what are your best bets for the week?  Be sure to let me know it the comment section below, via email at dailyspotlight2@gmail.com or on twitter @TommyOnTheSpot .

The Spotlight On The AFC East in 2015

Here’s the thing with the AFC East. I do believe that one of the other three teams in the East is going to get into the playoffs as a wildcard and a good argument can probably be made for either one but I’m going to make the case for my team.

The division winner- The New England Patriots (10-6)
Truth be told, had Tom Brady’s suspension been upheld, I think I  would’ve predicted the Pats to get in more as a wildcard. However, with Brady’s suspension overturned, he’s just so far and away the best quarterback in the division and I can’t bet against him. That said, I’m really not liking the Pats defense without Darelle Revis or longtime leader of the defense Vince Wilfork. Brady will also be without longtime safety valve, Shane Vereen, on the offensive side of the ball but I think so long as he has Gronkowski (and newly acquired TE Scott Chandler) he will find a way. One thing to keep an eye on, and part of the reason I’m giving the Pats 6 losses, they finish the season with 3 of the final 4 on the road.  That isn’t ideal even if you are the defending Superbowl champs.

The Wildcard- The New York Jets (10-6)

Go ahead and call me a goober if you must but I’m picking the Jets to sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard.  There was perhaps no team more active over the offseason than the Jets who took care of almost every area of need. Whether it be at wide receiver with the addition of Brandon Marshall, running back with the additions of Zac Stacy & Stevan Ridley and the secondary with the return of both Antonio Cromartie & Darelle Revis, the Jets would seemed primed to make a run under first year head coach Todd Bowles.  So why aren’t they my pick to win the division? What else, the issue of quarterback. First off this idea that Ryan Fitzpatrick was brought in as a veteran backup and is in any way shape or form a step back from Geno Smith is ludicrous. Fitzpatrick will never be representing the AFC in the Pro Bowl but is a smart enough quarterback to not blow games for his team which was a problem with Smith. Also, likely because Fitzpatrick was given so much money by the Bills and never lived up to that contract, Fitzpatrick is actually pretty under rated as a passer. Each year he’s improved his quarterback rating since 2011 up to a respectable 95.3 last year.  Last season, he posted a respectable 63% completion percentage and a career best 17-8 TD-INT ratio. This was en route to him leading a Texans team to a respectable 9-7 record while competing for a playoff spot with comparable talent. If the jets can remain around .500 before their bye, the schedule gets a lot easier and I have the Jets winning 10 games and returning to the postseason.

3) Right On The Outskirts- The Miami Dolphins (7-9) 

Looking at the Dolphins schedule you’ll probably be quitck to throw your arms up in the air and call me expletives…provided you only look at the first seven weeks of their schedule.  Seriously, there is an outside chance that the Dolphins will be first place in the AFC East and start the season 6-0.  Then all breaks loose for the Dolphins schedule as they go on the road for three straight weeks to face to Foxboro, Buffalo and Philly.  They should come back to Earth really fast and then they have games remaining against Dallas, the Colts, Giants and Ravens as well as trips to the Jets and the Chargers.  Remember this is isn’t a case where I think the Dolphins are going to be Tennessee Titans awful, I’m sure they’ll be competitive, and something can be said for riding the momentum of a fast start.  They now have Ndamukong Suh & a pretty stout defense to boot. But that’s always the story with the Dolphins. They still have the same quarterback and this time he doesn’t even have Mike Wallace and the Dolphins haven’t done much to replace Wallace. Ryan Tannehill isn’t the type of QB who can make household names out of a Jarvis Landry or Kenny Stills . That said, I also don’t believe in Joe Philbin, even if this is his last shot. 

The Bottom Of The Barrel- The Buffalo Bills (6-10)

A lot of people are picking the Bills and first year coach Rex Ryan to make a run at the postseason. Does this sound familiar a Rex Ryan team with a great defense, a ground and pound attack with a stud running back, a couple of playmakers at wide receiver and no sign of a quarterback whatsoever? Of course it does! At the end of the day it comes down to the fact that the Bills have a collection of unproven quarterbacks. The fact that so many people are picking this Bills team to make the playoffs when opening day starter, Tyrod Taylor has thrown a total of 35 passes in his 4 YEAR NFL career is baffling! Look at their schedule and find me more then six wins, I bet you can’t!