The Spotlight NFL Week 4 Picks Against The Spread

Hello everyone it is bright and early here in the East Coast and about an hour ago I woke up to take my girlfriend to work.  I took a run over to the corner store like I often do, to get her some coffee and breakfast.  When iplaced my stuff down on the counter, I turned to my right only to see a steak and a six pack of Corona placed on the counter.  Figuring it mayve been a little early for steak and beer, I looked up to my right only to see a man chuckling a bit as he said “Sorry my brotha, we got football in 2 hours!”  My man is right, this week in New York, we get to see how the West Coast lives as in just under an hour, at 9:30AM, the Jets and Dolphins will face off live from London.  While I know it’s probably very hard for players to travel overseas and play football, I love when the NFL goes to London and we get bonus football.  I remember a few years back when the Raiders played after midnight on the East Coast and one year when there was Tuesday Night Football, I enjoyed them both.  If so inclined today, the football fan can sit down and watch a complete day of 4 games of football.  It’s no wonder when my girlfriend jumped out of the car for work, he kissed me goodbye and told me to have fun!  This is going to be a lot of fun so let’s get right into it.

If you’re not following along with me on twitter, I would urge all of you to do so as the last two weeks I’ve been unable to post my picks on their but have done so on their.  Same as usual, I’ve been posting my weekly picks as well as my primetime picks for every Thursday, Sunday and Monday night game.  This season we couldn’t have asked for a better start (and a little bit of luck along the way with games like Baltimore on Thursday night) as we currently have a record of 19-6 on the year all against the spread.  While we’ve been hot remember that as hot as the Summer gets, the Autumn is always soon to follow.  This is a tough week of games and while I believe I can get you through it but proceed with caution.

The Picks

1) The Oakland Raiders (-3) over The Chicago Bears

I’ll admit that I will feel a lot better about this one if Jay Cutler doesn’t play because if that happens, the Bears offense is all on the hsoulders of Matt Forte and while the Raiders defense isn’t the Seahawks, he saw how that went for the Bears offense last week.  That said, even if Cutler plays he isn’t going to be 100% and neither should Alshon Jeffrey.  The Raiders on the other hand, may have finally found some real players with Derek Carr, Latavis Murray and Amari Cooper.  Other than that, they also finally won on the east coast in Cleveland last week and I don’t see them slowing down this week.  The Bears defense is banged up and now they’ve gotten rid of Allen and Bostic to boot.  Hold your breath kids, we’re going to believe in the Oakland Raiders.

2) Carolina Panthers (-3) over The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Has anyone realized that the Panthers are 3-0.  While their offense isn’t world beating, Cam Newton has found a way to get it done and now he leads the Panthers to inconsistent Tampa Bay to face Jameis Winston and the fighting Bucs.  The Panthers went out of their way to add Jared Allen to an already stout defense.  I don’t like rookie quarterbacks against good defenses, even moreso than I hate picking road favorites.  This one should be easy for the Panthers.

3) Cincinnati Bengals (-4) over The Kansas City Chiefs

It’s the regular season and so you know I’m on the Bengals and so far they haven’t let me down.  Really like them at home this week against a Chiefs team that honestly I’ve found to be pretty overrated to start the season. Sure the Chiefs have played Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers the past two weeks but Andy Dalton hasn’t been far behind this season.  Chiefs are also banged up and the Bengals offense may in fact be the most complete in all of the NFL.

4) Philadelphia Eagles (-3) over The Washington Redskins 

I’ve gone back and forth a million times here on this pick because I was tempted to go with one of these underdogs like the Texans +7 or the Browns +7 but I don’t like to go with teams that you’re betting to hang in the game.  If I don’t see a way that a team is going to win the game, i don’t like picking them because they’re going to keep it close.  The numbers here would actually have you pick the Skins especially with a good amount of rest but I think the Eagles had something click last week and if they can get their high octane offense going, the Skins will be looking to keep up and they’ll have to do it with Kirk Cousins.  I feel like if the Skins are dependent on Cousins to win or keep them in a game, he’s likely to turn the ball over, they’re likely to lose and I think they will again here.

LOCK OF THE WEEK: New York Jets (-2) over the Miami Dolphins 

On the one hand, I hate picking the Jets because they’re my favorite team and because I’ll never bet against them.  Yet on the other hand,  Miami has looked like the worst team in the league this season.  They lucked their way into a victory week one and lost to the Jaguars two weeks ago and got manhandled by the Bills last week.  So much for that Dolphins week schedule to start the season, eh?  I think the Jets are just the better team and they’ll have both Chris Ivory and Eric Decker back this week.  Miami is the home team but that’s only by technicality as the game is in England.  i hope my Jets bounce back and I’m confident they will.

That’s going to do it for me now but I’ll be back later today with my sunday night football pick against the spread.

The Spotlight NFL Picks Against The Spread- Monday Night Football- Jets At Colts

Hello everyone,  first off I just wanted to apologize for being off the grid these past few days.  It was actually my three year anniversary with my girlfriend and so I was away for the weekend.  We did a variety of different activities from checking out a lobster bake at Penthouse 808 in Long Island City to boat riding at Central Park to checking out Matilda on Broadway.  They were all a lot of fun and you can expect reviews of each one of those in the coming weeks.  Due to this,  I was unable to give you guys the usual Picks entry you’ve come to expect but will return with that this Friday.  However, what I was able to do was post some of my picks over on twitter (@TommyOnTheSpot) throughout the week.  I hate missing more than one but I missed two this week, including our lock of the week- the Detroit Lions who got manhandled by the Minnesota Vikings.  It looked like Adrian Peterson was able to knock off some of that rust from week 1 and Matt Stafford just doesn’t look like himself.  I also missed badly on the Titans (-1) over the Browns.  This was a game that I wouldn’t have touched had Josh McCown been starting for the Browns but I got suckered in when I heard Manziel was starting.  While I’m not a believer in Johnny Football,  I should have realized a rookie quarterback on the road in Cleveland so early in the season wasn’t going to be able to do much.  Like I said in my preseason predictions, there will be growing pains with Marcus Mariota.

The good new is that I absolutely cleaned up with the rest of my 1pm picks yesterday connecting on the Patriots (-1), the Cardinals (-2), the Steelers (6), the Falcons (+2) and the Bengals (-3).  I then ended then night out strong by picking the Packers (-3.5).  This brings our total over here this season up to 11-3 with our NFL Picks Against The Spread and we’ll attempt to keep the hot hand going with Monday Night Football tonight.  Remember with the Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games, I’m going to give you guys a prediction because they are the primetime games but I’m not including them in my picks of the week.  That said,  I do think the primetime games are a little bit easier to pick sometimes due to the fact that they allow you to focus in on one key game.  With that said,  let’s get into today’s game.

In the interest of full disclosure,  I’m a big fan of the New York Jets, I like them more than any team in any sport and have rooted for them my entire life.  You will very rarely see me pick against them as one of the picks I choose to place action on but since they’re playing on Monday Night, I’ll will remain as impartial as I can be when I pick the Jets (+7) tonight.  I’m not saying the 1-0 Jets are going to beat the 0-1 Colts in Indy but I expect them to keep it close.  The number one thing I look at here is the injuries that the Colts have. It remains unclear if Robert Mathis will make his season debut and also remains unclear if TY Hilton is going to play.  If Hilton is out this means that Andrew Luck is left with unproven Donte Moncreif and Andre Johnson, who he really didn’t seem to click with during Week 1.  Furthermore, I’m already pretty unimpressed with the Colts on the defensive side of the ball and now Cornerbacks, Greg Toler and Darius Butler have both been ruled out as well.  I’d look for Eric Decker to have a big game tonight and for Ryan Fitzpatrick to exploit the weaknesses that Indy has at the cornerback position tonight.

Thus, my pick is The New York Jets (+7),  I expect a close game and don’t be shocked to see the Jets win the game outright.  Until next time who were some of your winners and losers from last night?

The Spotlight Picks Against The Spread- Thursday Night Football- Broncos At Chiefs

Week 2 in the NFL season will kick off in a bit over an hour with a clash of AFC West teams as Peyton Manning will lead the Denver Broncos into Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

This reads like a tale of two teams who fans feel completely different about this season.  Everywhere you look you see people jumping on the Chiefs bandwagon.  It seems like the only thing that Andy Reid’s team was missing last season was a wide receiver.  They have an elite running back in Jamaal Charles, a quarterback who has won in the playoffs, a rising tight end in Travis Kelce and a stud defense.  Well enter Jeremy Maclin and the Chiefs came out firing in Houston with seemingly all pieces in place.

On the other side of the dime you have the Denver Broncos, the four time division champions are seemingly finished accoridngly to the public.  Peyton Manning hasn’t looked good since last season and last week he averaged under 5 yards per pass.  Denver also got destroyed in the process…what’s that?  Denver won last week?  They beat the Baltimore Ravens?!?! You’d never that the Denver Broncos are currently 1-0 based on everything you’ve heard all week.

So what do we do tonight?   I’ll admit it, I cringe every time I see Peyton Manning go down and go down hard. It’s hard to watch knowing his injuries and, let’s face it, his age.  The Chiefs will be coming at him all night long but this year it’s a different Denver Bronco team.  After three years of the Broncos being carried by Peyton Manning, he is now being carried by them.  The Broncos have a great defense and have a good running game now that the Montee Ball experience is over.  I know Arrowhead will be loud tonight and I know the Chiefs are the consensus pick but I’m not willing to give up on Peyton Manning just yet.  This game reads more like a pickem and if I’m getting points with Peyton Manning I’ll take them gladly.

The Pick:  Broncos (+3, if you can wait it should drop to +3.5,  though don’t be too surprised if the Broncos win outright) 

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 .