The Spotlight NFL Week 12 NFL Picks Against The Spread

Almost had to take a bye week here, but have no fear we are in before the kickoffs here.  If you were unable to check out my thanksgiving picks, you can do so right here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_U76Nifok , that would be our official youtube channel which I’ll be updating again either later today or tomorrow with a video chronicling my trip to the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  So far this week with the Thanksgiving games I’m 2-1, which brings my year long total to 62-24 against the spread.  Vegas can be a cold hearted  bitch but we are getting through this so let’s get into the rest of the picks.

1) Oakland Raiders (-1) at Tennessee Titans

I’ve been against the Raiders much of the way because I feel like they’ve gotten a ton of hype, despite not beating any one .500 or better (other than the Jets but that was the Geno Smith game).  Well, this week they get to play the 2-8 Titans and so I’m back on the Raiders here.  Look the Titans defense is pretty good (ranked number 6 overall) but they haven’t been able to carry the offense to anything save for that game in New Orleans where they won a stunner in overtime.  Honestly though, I could call my boy Adam Tobey and have him rally up the Benai Brith youth troop and we’d drop 30 on the Saints defense too.  The Raiders have been pretty unlucky the past three weeks but that luck will turn around in Tennessee.  I like the Raiders in a pickem.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Indianapolis Colts

If you can make this 3.5 for a little less juice, I’d like it a little more because it reads like a field goal winner either way.  It’s the battle of the oldest quarterback in the league vs. the youngest quarterback in the league.  Despite Matt Hasslebeck being undefeated this season, I’m going to take my chances with youth on the road.  Famous Jameis has arrived folks!  Way sooner than anyone could have predicted, Winston has the Bucs right in the midst of a playoff race.  While Winston has made the play when he’s had to, I can’t give him all the credit.  The Bucs have done it this season lead by a stout defense, lead by Lavonte David and by the number 2 rusher in the NFL, Doug Martin, who has bounced back in a big way this year.  The Bucs really showed me a lot last week when they went into Philly and beat them by four touchdowns, I think their road prowess continues this week.  I like to the Bucs +3

3) Houston Texans (-3) over New Orleans Saints 

Oh boy do I love this pick!  I like it so much it was so close to being my lock of the week.  The Texans are rolling after taking down the undefeated Bengals and my New york Jets and now they get Brian Hoyer back.  While Hoyer likely won’t be battling for a pro bowl slot, he’s the best the Texans have and opposing defenses don’t need Deandre Hopkins to get a better quarterback.  Speaking of defenses, you’ve probably heard all week that the Saints defense will be a lot better because they’ve finally fired Rob Ryan.  Well, they still have the same personnel and the last time I checked, Drew Brees still can’t win on the road.  Don’t expect Brees to get his act together against JJ Watt and that stiff Defense of the Texans.  I lie the Texans by a field goal.

4) Kansas City Chiefs (-4) over the Buffalo Bills 

After going on the road and outscoring their opponents 62-16, the Kansas City Chiefs return home winners of four straight to play host to the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills have a good defense but seem to really be struggling to score on the offensive side of the ball.  You mean to tell me a Rex Ryan led team has trouble with the quarterback position.  As a Jets fan, I’m tired of that narrative.  The defense should keep it close, but I like Kansas City, -4.

5) Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 at Seattle Seahawks

Big Ben makes his first ever appearance at Seattle today and I’m going to go with the road team in this one.  Go ahead a take a peak at the Seahawks schedule.  They really haven’t beaten anyone all season and have been beatable at home.  On the other side of things, the Steelers are coming off a bye so Ben has had an extra week to rest up and get healthy.  You know I don’t choose underdogs that I don’t think can win.  I like the Steelers +3.5

6) IF YOU”RE DESPERATE: Atlanta Falcons (-1) over Minnesota Viking 

I know I know, the Falcons have been awful as of late and continue to find a way to lose.  Actually I haven’t lost too much this season but when I have it’s mostly been with the Jets and the Falcons.  That said, this is my tenth game that I’m picking before the primetime games even start and so it’s a bit of slim pickings.  The Falcons have been a bit too dependent on Devonta Freeman after his fluky hot start and so now that he’s out I expect a lot of Matt Ryan airing it out.  That’s when the Falcons are at their best.  The Vikings were a bit exposed last week against the Packers and I expect a bit of a hangover here.  Falcons will find a way to get it done.

LOCK OF THE WEEK (10-1): New York Giants (pk) at Washington Redskins

Prior to this season, I have never picked the Giants and when I have it’s blown up in my face.  That said, the Giants have been my Lock of the week 3 times this season and I like em again today.  The Redskins are sneaky good at home (4-1) and have their big weapon back in Desean Jackson which makes Kirk Cousins look like a professional quarterback.  That said, the Giants are coming off of a bye and get Prince Amukamura back.  Couple Prince with the resurgence of JPP and the Giants have something on the defensive side of the ball to go along with Eli, who’s looked great.  The Giants will find a way to get it done and put the NFC East to bed before Decemeber.

 

The Spotlight NFL Week 11 Picks Against The Spread

No your eyes are not deceiving you, this really is the first time ever in which we are bringing you the NFL Picks Against The Spread on a Friday and not on Sunday morning like you’ve grown accustomed to.  Last week we went 7-2 on the week going 5-2 on our weekly seven pack of games and then connecting on both Sunday and Monday night.  We lost last week with the Saints, who look like a team that’s ready to blow the whole thing up at this point, and the Cowboys who once against lost a nail biter on the final seconds of the game.  This week we’re back with 7 more games that you’ll hopefully be able to cash out on, let’s get right into it.

Highlights:

1) Kansas City Cheifs (-3) at San Diego Chargers

You know I hate picking against bad teams coming off of a bye but look out AFC, here come the Kansas City Chiefs and they feel really good about themselves.  This is a team that went into Denver last week, turned Peyton Manning over five times and destroyed the Broncos en route to moving to 4-5 which is just about where every team in the AFC Wildcard race is sitting.  I love Phillip Rivers, but the injuries have really caught up to the Chargers this season and losing Keenan Allen was the one injury that was too much to handle.  I like the Chiefs by a field goal in this game.

2) New York Jets (-3) at Houston Texans

That’s right I’m taking another road team by a field goal here and I’m taking my New York Jets.  The only worry I have here is the health of Ryan Fitzpatrick but if he’s cleared to play, and it looks like he will be, the Jets have to find a way to win here.  I know the Texans defense looked out of this world on Monday night, and honestly, they’re in a good position to win their division now but Brian Hoyer is out, which means it’s going to be TJ Yates at quarterback.  I know Yates just won on Monday and has shown flashes but he was the third string quarterback coming into the season and in his career has a less than impressive 4-7 TD-INT ratio.  That doesn’t bode too well for Yates against the NFL’s 4th ranked defense that the Jets have.  The Jets are also coming off of 11 days rest, while the Texans are on a short week.  The Jets bounce back this week and create much needed separation.

3) Chicago Bears (pk) over Denver Broncos

So Peyton Manning is out this week and in comes a relative unknown in Brock Osweiler, and the Bears aren’t even favored at home?  Aside from that it really looks like the Bears are going on a bit of a run here.  I know I mentioned this over the past few weeks but Jay Cutler always gives his team a chance to win and I’m thinking he wins his third in a row this week.  There also may not be a team hotter in the NFL right now than the Bears who walked into St.Louis and destroyed them by 24!  Oh, and did I mention that Bears head coach John Fox was fired by the Broncos last season?  I think it’s safe to say he’ll be a bit motivated.

4) Green Bay Packers (pk) at Minnesota Vikings 

Everyone and their mother is picking the Vikings here and with good reason, the Packers have looked pretty bad over the past three weeks.  That said, I’m going against conventional wisdom and rolling with Aaron Rodgers to have a big bounce back game and get a win when he needs to in order to keep pace in the division.  If losing the Lions at home for the first time since 1991 won’t wake the Packers up then seemingly nothing will.

5) St. Louis Rams (+3) at Baltimore Ravens

Ok so Case Keenum is starting this week for the Rams and his 11-8 career TD-INT ratio isn’t lighting the world on fire, but, does anyone remember what happened with the 49ers 2 weeks ago?  If you don’t, that’s why I’m here.  Two weeks ago, the 49ers benched their struggling franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick after struggling all season and reports came out that his teammates were petitioning for Kaepernick to be benched.  The 49ers replaced him with Blaine Gabbert, the dreadful former quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars, went on to beat the Falcons in Atlanta as his team rallied around him.  Back to this week now and the Rams suddenly find their, once promising, season going down the drain as quarterback Nick Foles ranks dead last in QBR.  Well, now Foles is heading to the bench and again it’s time for the Rams to rally around a backup quarterback.  I think they will.  Also, what have the Ravens done to have any right to be favored by a field goal? This 2-7 team is so done, they lost at home to Jacksonville last week.

6) IF YOU’RE DESPERATE: Detroit Lions (pk) over Oakland Raiders

Not a popular pick here, I know, but I had a hard time finding a 7th game and so I’m going to roll with the Lions here.  Logic would say to pick a Raiders team that, until two weeks ago, was in the drivers seat on the fast track to a playoff spot.  But they lost both of those games over the last two weeks, one to a third string quarterback in Pittsburgh and then got their doors blown off last week by the Vikings.  As a matter of fact, if you look at the Raiders wins they’ve come against one team with more than two wins and that was the Jets, when Geno Smith was starting.  Yes, the Lions also only have 2 wins but their coming off their first win in Lambeau since 1991.  Maybe that was their superbowl but you know Detroit will be up for the game and they have the talent to beat anyone.  I like the Lion by a field goal!

7) LOCK OF THE WEEK: Dallas Cowboys (pk) at Miami Dolphins 

I mean if you didn’t see this one coming then you haven’t been paying attention.  Tony Romo finally returns for the Cowboys after they lost all 7 games in which he didn’t play in.  The Cowboys know that if they have any shot in the NFC East, it’s going to have to start this week against Miami.  The good news for them is that if they win, they’ll be just two out in the division.  The Cowboys are not losing this game, the Dolphins have been inconsistent all year and Ryan Tannehill has digressed to a scary degree (30th in QBR).  It’s been a long time coming, Cowboys fans…the suffering ends this Sunday.

That’s going to do it for me here but I’ll be back with my Sunday night pick against the spread as well as my Monday night pick.  Good luck and let’s make some money.

The Spotlight NFL Week 10 picks against the spread

Hello everyone and happy football Sunday!  Last week we came awfully close to losing our first week after we went 5-3 (with Monday night) but so this week we’re going to be taking a look at 7 games in the NFL but I will again warn that this is a tough week.  There are a lot of games this week where teams are so close and/ or Vegas has set the line exactly where it should be.  Let’s see what we can do here to navigate you through the week.

1) Dallas Cowboys (+2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hold your breath here but I’m taking the Cowboys on the road, no less, to their first game of the year without Tony Romo.  I like some of things that Tampa Bay has done this season and I think that in a year or two they’re going to push for a playoff spot with Famous Jameis under center.  That said, they can’t win at home and they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot a evidenced by last week’s game at Metlife where I really felt that they had the game except for a few dropped passes.  On the other side of dime here, the Cowboys have kept it close every single week and against pretty good teams (at least in Seattle and Philly).  If they can find a way to win this week, it won’t put Romo in the unenviable task of having to win every game in order for his team to have a chance to make the postseason and I think they know that too.

2) Chicago Bears (+9) at St. Louis Rams

I’m going back to the Bears this week after picking them to win the game outright in San Diego.  I’m actually starting to have a little bit of faith in Jay Cutler who seems to find a way to keep his team in games every week.  The Rams are probably the better team here but the’ve been under fire all week after the hit to Teddy Bridgewater and Vikings Head Coach, Mike Zimmer coming at the Rams personnel hard.  I also think the Rams were exposed last week in Minnesota and you know I don’t pick underdogs unless I feel there is a chance they can win outright.  I liked them at 7.5, love them 9, Da Bears with pick number two.

3) New York Giants (+7.5) over New England Patriots 

Perhaps underdogs are a theme this week with me but I love the Giants here.  Tom Coughlin is 5-1 lifetime against Bill Belichick which includes two Superbowl wins, one of which, the Patriots entered that game undefeated! I know you’re probably going to be quick to point out that those were different teams and while you’d be right, realize that those Giants teams weren’t that good back then, they were mediocre teams that went on historic runs. Eli Manning has been really good this season and I feel like he always plays to his competition.  I also look for the injury to Dion Lewis to be a tough one for the Patriots who now become a bit more one dimensional.  The Giants are also home and you know Metlife will be rockin!

4) Carolina Panthers (-3) over Tennessee Titans 

I’ll tell ya when the line was 5.5, I really liked the Titans in this one.  A really stout defense (especially against the run) coupled with a team feeling really good about their new coach and their rookie Quarterback who just got a win at New Orleans and their is reason to think the Titans may end the Panthers undefeated run.  That said, getting the Panthers by a field goal?  I’m willing to bite on this sucker bet.  The Panthers haven’t only been on such a good run but they’ve done it against some really good teams.  In the last four weeks, they beat the Colts, the Eagles, at Seattle and just last week they beat Aaron Rodgers.  Sorry but I’m not willing to count this team out against the Tennessee Titans especially when they haven’t won a game at home.

5) Minnesota Vikings (+3) over Oakland Raiders

Real good one here at the 6-2 Vikings head to Oakland to take on the 4-4 Raiders who came about as close as you could last week to really taking control of their destiny in the AFC playoff race.  A lot of people like the Raiders but I’m actually going the other way, especially after hearing that Teddy Bridgewater is a go.  The Vikings have to be feeling good about themselves and know that if they can find a way to win in Oakland, they will be really pushing the Packers in that division race.  I like the Raiders but they haven’t beaten a winning team yet besides the Jets and they were without their quarterback that week.  That won’t change this week as the Vikings will win this one outright.

6) IF YOUR DESPERATE: Kansas City Chiefs (+6) at Denver Broncos

Do you see the big caps letter up above?  Proceed with caution here as this pick is more a product of feeling a bit uneasy about picking the other games and wanting to give the Sunday Night game it’s own post.  This one is more of a product f how unhealthy the Broncos are as opposed to how much i believe in the Chiefs.  The Broncos will be without Aqib Talib and Demarcus Ware and may be without Emmanuel Sanders (who is a game time decision).  Peyton Manning will break some records this week but will do so with a bad rib cage injury and if he gets hit, the Broncos may be in more trouble.  The Chiefs will be without Jamaal Charles but at this point they know that and have had time to adjust.  They’re also coming off of a bye and are bad team doing so, this means they’ve been preparing and practicing that whole time for this game.  KC also knows that if they someone can find a way to steal one in Denver (which won’t be easy), they’re right back in a mediocre wildcard race in the AFC. The Chiefs had the Broncos beat the last time and can compete with them.

7) LOCK OF THE Week : New Orleans Saints (pk) over Washington Redskins

The Redskins get their play maker back this week in Desean Jackson and they’re back hoe where they are 3-1 so this one wont; be a slam dunk but if I’m getting the Saints in a pickem, I have to go with them, even on the road where they are 1-3.  The Saints are coming off of a brutal loss at home to a rookie quarterback but this is a chance for Drew Brees and Sean Payton to right the ship and I don’t think they’ll fall in Washington.  I always say that when I get a choice to go against Kirk Cousins in a close game, I’ll do it every time and this week is no exception.  The Saints defense is awful but if it’s up to Cousins to take advantage of that defense, I say no thanks.  The Saints are the Lock of the week and I haven’t lost one of those all season.

That’s going to do it for me but follow along with me on twitter @TommyOnTheSpot as I’ll be live tweeting throughout the day, despite attending an engagement party.  I’ll also be back with my Sunday Night Football pick a little later on, until then have fun and go make some money!

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 .