The Spotlight NFL Week 10 Picks Against The Spread- Monday Night Football

Tonight Week 10 in the NFL concludes when the 3-5 Houston Texans head to Cincinnati to take on the 8-0 Bengals. So far this week we are 6-2 against the spread connecting on 5 out of our 7 picks and then closing out last night with a big win by the Arizona Cardinals. We missed at the very last second with the Cowboys and unfortunately losing our first LOCK OF THE WEEK of the season. Our Lock of the week was the Saints who made Kirk Cousins look like a 1st ballot hall of Famer. I think it’s time to officially write the Saints off this season and I have to wonder if Rob Ryan should get his resume together. 

As for tonight’s game, it’s pretty tough as the Bengals are again a huge favorite at -11 1/2. I hate choosing big favorites  in the NFL, even though the Bengals covered their big spread last week and actually are the only team this season perfect against the spread, I’m still rolling with the Texans tonight. A couple of things jump out at me here, for one, the Texans are a bad team coming off a bye and they joined three other under .500 teams coming off byes in week 9, the Lions, the Ravens and the Chiefs. My feeling is that when a bad team goes on a bye, they don’t get to vacation, but instead they spend those two weeks busting ass and preparing for their next opponent for two weeks, so let’s look at it. The Ravens lost to the Jaguars, which is obviously awful, but the Jaguars offense is sneaky good and they lost it at the very last seconds of the game. The Chiefs turned Peyton Manning over four times and destroyed the 7-1 Broncos in their building. Lastly, the Lions went into Lambeau and beat the Packers for the first time since 1991. Do you notice a trend? Next, you have to figure that with Andrew Luck down for 6 weeks, the Texans feel like the division is right there for the taking, so while I still expect them to lose, they should play inspired ball to keep it close. Lastly, Vegas is rarely wrong for all that long and usually adjust to teams that are undefeated against the spread. The 2007 Patriots, for example, went 8-0 against the spread to start their 16-0 regular season but they only finished 2-6 ATS the rest of the way. 

Thus all of that being said, while I’m not flying out to Vegas tonight to drop a huge wager, I like the Houston Texans +11.5 tonight. That will do it for me for now but in just 48 hours I’ll be back to kick off Week number 11! 


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 On The Biggest Game Of The Season For the New York Jets-Thursday Night Football Preview

Normally on Thursday afternoons, I post my Thursday Night Football Pick Against The Spread. Honestly it’s hard for me to do that today with the Jets involved and, well, with me having no confidence in this game whatsoever. Rex Ryan returns to MetLife Stadium for the first time since taking over as the coach of the Buffalo Bills to take on his old team, the New York Jets. If you don’t think that Rex has had week 10 circled on his calendar since his first day on the job, then I’m not sure what you’re thinking. I’ve been fired before and whenever I see my old employer, I want to make them look bad and look my best, it’s human nature. Rex hasn’t taken the high road either in naming IK Enemkpali a team captain for the Bills tonight for the sole reason of him breaking Geno Smith’s jaw.

Aside from Rex, this is a tale of two teams going in opposite directions in terms of health. The Bills had both Tyrod Taylor & Sammy Watkins return last week and they are just a different team with those two players healthy. It also appears that the Bills will have Lesean McCoy healthy for tonight’s game and if they can ever get Shady McCoy going, they can be one of the most explosive offenses in football. 

On the other side of the ball, the Jets seem completely ravaged by injuries everytime I turn on the TV. Our top three running backs are banged up (Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, & Stevan Ridley), both of our top wide recievers (Brandon Marshall & Eric Decker) are banged up & our quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is playing with a torn ligament in his non throwing hand. If that wasn’t bad enough, look at our defense: Dee Milliner- Out, Calvin Pryor- Doubtful, Antonio Cromartie- doubtful, Dion Bailey- Doubtful, Buster Skrine-Questionable. To make matters even worse the Jets will be without 2 cornerstones of their Offensive Line in Nick Mangold (who can’t stay healthy) and Willie Colon who was shut down for the season. The cherry on the top of this doom and gloom injury report is of course that the Jets will be without their Even Steven kicker, Nick Folk, and had to dust mothballs off of Randy Bullock with only four days to prepare. 

Looking at all of those injuries I’m pretty pessimistic about tonight’s game for the Jets. The 4-4 Bills are right there in the playoff race and the Jets are just barely ahead of this mishmash of mediocrity battling it out for wildcard spots in the AFC, with a 5-3 record. Now if the Jets can somehow ride that hometown crowd to a victory well then 6-3 looks a lot better then 5-3 and the Jets could be 10-3 before you can say “Merry Christmas”. After the Bills game tonight,  the Jets travel to Houston and then are back at MetLife to face the Dolphins, Giants and Titans. All four of those games are winnable and may have to be for the Jets to get that precious 5th seed as they end the season heading to Tony Romo & the Cowboys, welcoming the Patriots and at these Buffalo Bills. 

Thus, tonights game can really be season-defining for the Jets. Will gang green be able to give us fans a little breathing room? Or will Rex Ryan be the guy to ruin this promising season for Jets…just like he’s been for the last three years.