Falcons -3 vs Vikings: I have these teams even in my power ratings so I think the spread is right. I side with the Falcons though who really need this game to maintain their position in the playoff race and stay within striking distance of the Saints for the NFC South. The Vikings put a stranglehold on the NFC North with their win on Thanksgiving Day so this isn’t as important of a game for Minnesota. My only concerns are that the Vikings had more rest and time to prepare for this game, and the Falcons host the Saints on Thursday in Week 14. If you agree with the Falcons, I would wait a little bit to see if this goes down to -2.5 or you could just take the moneyline at around -145.
Seahawks +6 vs Eagles: It’s scary to step in front of the Eagles but this line is too inflated. If this game was on a neutral field, I think that the line would be around six. This game is in Seattle and they have one of the best home field advantages despite their team being down. The game is also at night so the crowd should be even louder. Along with the line value, I like the Seahawks as an underdog in a game they need to win.
Lions +3 vs Ravens: I think the line is right but the Lions have an edge with 10 days to prepare for this game and the Ravens coming off a Monday night game. Baltimore’s offense won’t be able to expose Detroit’s struggling defense and Matthew Stafford is much better than most of the quarterbacks the Ravens have faced. Continue reading
Colts (+6) over Falcons
Packers (+1) over Vikings
Broncos (-1) over Bears
Bengals (+4.5) over Cardinals
Patriots (-7) over Bills
Pick: Vikings over 7.5 wins (-160)
The Minnesota Vikings usually don’t get much preseason hype but this summer has been an exception. Running back Adrian Peterson returns to the team after his off-field issues and Minnesota has an exciting quarterback entering his second year in Teddy Bridgewater.
The Vikings were 7-9 last season but played exceptionally strong in the last six weeks of the season. They went 3-3 in that span but lost the three games by a combined eight points. Bridgewater really impressed and didn’t have much to work with. His offensive line was a mess, there wasn’t a No. 1 wide receiver or a every-down running back. Now Peterson is back and looks better than ever in his summer workouts. Minnesota added a downfield threat in wide receiver Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson is another passing game option who emerged late last season. The Defense should improve under defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer.
The Vikings just need to go .500 for me to win this pick. I think the team believes they can do more than that and I expect Minnesota to compete for a playoff spot in the NFC.
Chargers (+1.5) over 49ers: The 49ers have nothing to play for and Jim Harbaugh has one foot out the door in San Francisco. The 49ers also played the Seahawks last week and teams struggle the week after playing Seattle. The Chargers need this game to stay in the playoff race.
Vikings (+7) over Dolphins: The Dolphins aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but they are pretty much done. Their coach also might be fired and the Vikings have been a covering machine.
Raiders (+7) over Bills: The Bills had a huge home win against Green Bay, and have held Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers without a touchdown pass the last two games. However, the offense has been terrible and their touchdown last week was a special teams score. The Raiders have shown up the last two times at home and won. I think they will cover this number and possibly spoil the Bills’ postseason chances.
Bengals (+3.5) over Broncos: The Broncos are winning games but something is wrong with Peyton Manning. It looks like Denver is locked into the No. 2 seed so I don’t think they will give a maximum effort on the road. The Bengals are in a must-win situation and I think they will be able to run with rookie running back Jeremy Hill. A successful running game will keep the ball out of Andy Dalton’s hands, which would be ideal for Cincinnati in primetime.
Redskins (+8) over Eagles
Here are my three Week 15 NFL picks and the rest of the contest picks:
Panthers (-3) over Buccaneers
Under 50.5 in Packers vs Bills
Vikings (+7.5) over Lions
Raiders (+10.5) over Chiefs
Jaguars (+14) over Ravens
Falcons (+2) over Steelers
Ravens (-6) over Chargers: This line might be a little higher after Baltimore went into New Orleans and beat the Saints on Monday night. The short week isn’t an ideal situation for the Ravens but I think the win by double digits at home. The Chargers are 3-3 in their last six games and haven’t covered a spread. The Ravens are right in the AFC North race and face must-win games every week.
Bengals (-4) over Buccaneers: I think this line might be lower than I expected because the Bengals play the Steelers next week. However, Cincinnati can’t afford to look ahead as the Ravens, Steelers and Browns are right behind them in the division race. Tampa Bay is coming off a big game where they played Lovie Smith’s former team. Next week they travel to Detroit, which might also be an important game for Smith facing an old NFC North rival. The Bengals are a different team with a healthy Giovani Bernard along with Jeremy Hill and I think they win by a touchdown.
Saints (+4.5) over Steelers: The best thing for the Saints after three uncharacteristic home losses is to get away from New Orleans. I think they regroup especially with a division title to play for. I still think the Steelers can win this game but it will be by a field goal. Saints have played a lot of close games on the road where they just fell short.
Panthers (+3) over Vikings: The Vikings had a great effort against the Packers last week and I think they show up flat. The Panthers had a bye week to prepare and amazingly are still in the NFC South race. I think this will be a very low scoring game in Minnesota.
Broncos (-1.5) over Chiefs: The Chiefs have a great home field and this game is at night. I still think the Broncos should be the favorite in this game and the line should be closer to a field goal. Julius Thomas looks like he is coming back for Denver, which will cause matchup problems for the Chiefs defense. The inconsistent play from Kansas City receivers will catchup up to them and I think the Broncos win by at least three points.
Here are my Week 12 NFL picks and the rest of the contest picks:
Under 49 in Eagles vs Titans
Lions (+7.5) over Patriots
Vikings (+9) over Packers
Bengals (+2) over Texans
Buccaneers (+6) over Bears
Chargers (-5) over Rams
Giants (+3.5) over Cowboys
Contest Picks Continue reading