The Indianapolis Colts travel to Nashville in week 8 to square off against the Tennessee Titans.
The Colts are a much improved squad this season with franchise QB Andrew Luck under centre. After a dreadful 2-14 season last year, the team has surpassed their win total from 2011 with a solid 3-3 record on the year. They are 3-3 ATS however in 2 road games this year they are 0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS with losses to the Jets 35-9 in week 6 and 41-21 at Soldier Field in week 1.
QB Luck has been solid under centre with a 53.6% completion percentage and 1,674 yards in the air with 7 TDs. He has had trouble turning the ball over mind you as a rookie QB learning the ropes in the NFL with 7 INTs in 6 games. Starting RB Donald Brown is expected to be out for a couple more weeks with an injured knee. Rookie RB Vick Ballard filled in admirably for Brown Sunday with 84 yards rushing on 20 attempts however the team remains thin at this position with their starter out. 34 year old veteran WR Reggie Wayne has excelled with Luck at pivot with an excellent 666 yards receiving this year with 2 TDs. The offense has struggled overall putting points on the board averaging 19.5 PPG while the defense has given up a massive 26.3 PPG for a net differential of -6.8 PPG. On the road, the team has averaged a net differential of -23 PPG!
The Colts have been decimated by injuries of late, aside from starting RB Brown being out, perennial All Pro LB Dwight Freeney has been bothered by a nagging high ankle sprain all season that has really effected his mobility as a top rated pass rusher. As a result he has a mere 4 tackles and 1 sack on the season. OT Winston Justice left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and is questionable for the Titans game. LB Robert Mathis has been sidelined with a knee injury and remains questionable for Sunday. DT Cory Redding has been out with a knee injury and is not expected to be ready for week 8 while DE Fili Moala (knee) and CB Darius Bulter (shoulder) are not expected to play as well, leaving the team thin across the board.
The Titans are 3-4 SU and 3-4 ATS after solid back to back wins at home vs. the mighty Steelers 2 weeks ago 26-23 and a slim road victory in week 7 by a score of 35-34 at Buffalo. Including the Steelers victory, the Titans are 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS at home with their only loss to powerhouse New England 34-13 in week 1, while they beat Detroit 44-41 at home in week 3.
Young starting QB Jake Locker was injured in week 4 with backup veteran pivot Matt Hasselbeck taking over winning 2 of 3 starts impressively in his absence. Hasselbeck has what it takes to win with a solid career 82.1 QB rating in 191 career games! Superstar RB Chris Johnson has had a history of slow starts and 2012 has been no exception. In his first 6 games of the season, Johnson struggled while posting 301 yards on the ground and 0 TDs, for a 50 YPG average. In week 7 vs. Buffalo he exploded for 195 yards on the ground and 2 TDs against the Bills 32nd ranked rushing defense! Look for much of the same this Sunday as the Colts have not been much better stopping the run, ranking 26th in the NFL giving up a massive 141.7 YPG on the ground!
The Titans offense has struggled posting 21.3 PPG but they have been much better with Hasselbeck under centre scoring an average of 30.5 PPG in their last 2 games. The defense will look to improve on their 34.0 PPG average given up this season with the young Colts squad in town Sunday. They have been outscored at home by an avg -5 PPG in 3 games but that includes the 23 point loss in week 1 to New England.
2009 1st round pick WR Kenny Britt has scuffled the last 2 seasons with injuries but comes into this matchup 100% healthy and looking to break out. In his last outing vs. the Colts, he exploded for 9 catches, 124 yards receiving and 1 TD. Look for Britt to make a difference downfield in this game.
Starting QB Locker could be ready for this game however it looks like the team will give Locker at least another week to recover as the team rides the success of Hasselbeck. LB McCarthy is questionable for this game and backup RB Javon Ringer (knee) remains out, with no other significant injuries on the table.
The Titans are 3-1 ATS vs. the Colts in their last 4 meeting including 2-0 ATS in their last 2 at home, however historical figures between these two do not hold a lot of weight with the QB carousel in Indy the past few seasons.
The Titans are currently a slim 3.5 point favorite in this game and I expect them to ride their momentum to the victory in this game. Take the Titans to win ATS.
The NFL’s #1 offense will take on the #1 defense Sunday when the New England Patriots 3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS travel west to Washington to face off with the Seattle Seahawks 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS.
The Patriots (1-1 ATS road) are averaging an NFL best 33 PPG and 439.4 YPG. QB Tom Brady has had another great start to the season in 2012, completing 67% of his passes for 1,450 yards with 8 TD and just 1 INT. He has a QB rating of 102.8.
Overall the offense is 1st in total yards (2,197) 3rd in rush yards (827) and 8th in pass yards (1,370).
DE Chandler Jones leads the defense with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. They have allowed an average of 22.6 PPG (16th), 290 pass yards per game (4th) and 82.2 rush yards per game (8th).
The Pats haven't lost ATS on the road since October of last season. It's October in Seattle and they are overdue.
The Seattle Seahawks picked up a big 16-12 win on the road last week in Carolina. QB Russell Wilson has been average for Seattle, posting a QB rating of 75.3 and throwing for 815 yards with 5 TD and 6 INT. RB Marshawn Lynch has been a beast, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 100+ YPG.
DE Chris Clemons has been solid, picking up 5.5 sacks and 1 FF through the first 5 games. Overall the defense has been top notch. They are 2nd in PPG allowed (14), 1st in total yards allowed (258.6), 3rd in rush yards allowed (66.6) and 4th in pass yards allowed (4th).
The Hawks are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games at home including the last 5 consecutive.
Of note, the Patriots were held to 18 points at home against Arizona in a 20-18 loss. The Hawks defense is comparable to the Cardinals while the Hawks home field advantage is considered the best in NFL. No crowd is louder than the 12th man in Seattle, I've witnessed it myself, its amazing.
While Brady is one of the best ever and will be up to the challenge of the loud crowd, is his offensive line up to the challenge of the Seahawks awesome pass rush?
The Hawks stuffed the Packers high octane offense on Sept 24th for 8 sacks in the first half until Rodgers was forced to hand off to Cedric Benson in the second half. Seattle won that game 14-12 at home. The Packers offense is comparable to the Patriots. They are both pass first mentalities, expect the Pats to be forced to run the ball in this game.
It is cold and wet in Seattle these days with an 80% chance of rain for this matchup. Look for a heavy dose of the ground game from Seattle which will slow the game down and keep it close. With the home team as the dog +4 points. Take Seattle to win ATS
The Buffalo Bills (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) travel to Candlestick Park to take on the San Francisco Giants (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) in week 5 Sunday afternoon.
The Bills are stinging after getting hammered at home last week 52-28 to a determined New England Patriots club. They had won their previous two contests 24-14 at Cleveland and 35-17 at home vs. K.C. after a week 1 loss 48-28 at NYJ.
QB Fitzpatrick has put up decent numbers with an 89.8 QB rating, 57.6% completion, 931 yards throwing, 12 TDs, 7 INTs and 66 yards on the ground. Of note, all of his 7 INTs were in the teams 2 losses to the Jets and NE. Keep it simple Fitzy and your team will keep it close.
Neither RB Jackson (knee) or Spiller (shoulder) are at 100% however both are expected to play Sunday. The duel when healthy are as good as any RB combo in the league. In 2011 they combined for 2,206 total yards from scrimmage with 12 TDs.
The offense has been excellent overall ranking 6th with 28.75 PPG. Their rushing attack has been stellar ranking 4th overall with a massive 632 yards through week 4.
The Bills focus in the offseason was on improving the team defense. They landed big name free agents DE Mario Williams and DE Mark Anderson to solidify a front line that includes 2011 third overall pick DT Marcell Dareus out of Alabama. The defense has struggled so far ranking 30th allowing 32.7 PPG and ranking 25th giving up 406.5 YPG. LB Nick Barnett has been awesome with 38 tackles while DT Kyle Williams leads with 3.5 sacks. San Francisco is known for hard nose football with a strong defensive presence. Patrick Willis is arguably the best linebacker in the game right now with 5 years in the league and 5 pro bowls including 4 first team all pros (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011). QB Alex Smith is an efficient passer with a 98.1 QB rating and 67.3% completion. He does not have a big play offensive weapon at WR however TE Vernon Davis is considered one of the most athletic players in the game and is the fastest of the 49er receivers. RB Frank Gore continues an impressive career with 326 yards rushing in 4 games this season and 7,951 in his career in 104 games. The offense ranks 12th in the NFL scoring 26 PPG and 19th with 346.3 YPG. The defense ranks 3rd in the NFL giving up a mere 16.3 PPG and 5th in the NFL allowing 277.3 YPG.
LB Navorro Bowman (arm) is probable for this game while CB Carlos Rogers (ankle), DT Isaac Sopoaga (knee/ankle) and RB Brandon Jacobs are all questionable.
These two teams haven't met since 2008 therefore the head to head matchup is irrelevant. I expect both teams to supply a heavy dose of the run game in this one which will eat up time on the clock. If Buffalo can avoid turning the ball over they can keep this game close. With Buffalo currently getting 11 points, take the Bills to do enough to cover the spread.
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2012 03:04 AM
Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 08:56 PM
This is a free play on the Atlanta Falcons (3-0) to win Sunday Sept 29th ATS at home vs. the Carolina Panthers (1-2).
The Falcons have looked dominating this season with a home win vs. Denver 27-21 and two road wins at KC 40-24 and at SD 27-3. They are at home Sunday where they have been tough, winning 15-5 SU and 12-6-2 ATS.
QB Matt Ryan has led the way with 9 TDs (1 rush) and a 114 passer rating. The offense is stacked with weapons which has contributed to Ryan's success, WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White are arguably the best 1-2 combo in the NFL (2,255 receiving yards and 16 TDs combined in 2011).
RB Michael Turner (2,711 rushing yards last 2 seasons) is the power and change of pace back Jacquizz Rodgers (105 combined yards and TD this season) is the speed resulting in solid depth at the position. TE Tony Gonzalez (13,552 career receiving yards) will go into the hall of fame as the best ever at the position. He continues to stand the test of time with 214 yards and 3 TDs so far this season.
The defense is dynamic and hard hitting and they proved that impressively last week holding the Chargers offense to a mere 3 points. The week prior the defense had Peyton Manning in fits with a chess matchup of schemes that resulted in 4 INTs and 5 turnovers in the first quarter of the game. OLB Stephen Nicholas is probable after being limited in practice with a thigh injury.
The Falcons offense is ranked 3rd in the NFL scoring 31.3 ppg and the defense is ranked 4th in the NFL giving up 16.0 ppg resulting in a net point differential of +15.3 ppg.
Carolina opened the regular season with a tough road loss 16-10 to the Buccaneers. In game two they pulled out a 35-27 victory over the winless Saints while last week they look terrible in a 36-7 loss at home to the NYG.
The Panthers are led by 2011 offensive rookie of the year Cam Newton who grew up just south of downtown Atlanta. Newton was awesome as a rookie moving the ball effictively with his arm and his feet with a combined 4,757 yards and 35 TDs. In 3 starts this season, he has a mere 2 passing TDs against 5 INTs with a QB rating of 78.3.
RB Jonathan Stewart is expected to play in this game after dealing with a toe injury for most of the season. RB DeAngelo Williams (146 combined yards) has led the charge in Stewart's absence and could put up some yards against a weak Falcons run defense.
WR Steve Smith has flourished with Newton under center putting up career numbers in 2011 with 1,394 receiving yards. As Newton goes, so does Smith.
The Carolina defense is ranked 18th against the pass and 24th against the rush for ypg. LBs Jon Beason and Thomas Davis and DE Greg Hardy are all questionable for Sunday.
The offense is 30th in the league scoring 17.3 ppg while the defense is 24th in the league giving up 26.3 ppg resulting in a net point differential of -9 ppg.
Newton was benched in the 4th quarter last Sunday and was called out for "sulking" on the bench. He will be in tough to improve his performance against the Falcons. The Falcons won both contests last season 31-17 and 31-23 with Newton posting 2 of his 4 worst passer ratings of the season.
My first NFL free play of the season was successful last Sunday with the Texans easily covering the spread. Hope everyone got on board that pick.
A big part of my NFL betting strategy involves projecting overall win/loss records at the start of the season and comparing/contrasting to actual records week in and week out.
As week 3 hits there is an opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0) to showcase this strategy.
At the start of the season, projecting the Eagles to start 3-0 seems possible with 1 home game vs. the Ravens and two road games vs. the Browns and Cardinals. To project the Cardinals to go 3-0 to start the season with 2 home games vs. Seattle and Philadelphia and a road game at Foxborough seems outrageous. For that reason and the analysis below, my play is on the Eagles.
The Eagles are the first team ever in the history of the NFL to start the season 2-0 while turning the ball over 9 times. Vick led the futility charge with 7 TOs himself (6 INTs). He knows he has to be better Sunday at securing the ball and odds are he will. The Eagles offense is as explosive as any in the league, we all know that, it doesn't need to be reiterated. Starting centre Jason Kelce has been lost for the season and the Cardinals have an excellent pass rush however there are few QBs as elusive as Michael Vick.
On defense, the Eagles strength is in the secondary with arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league with Asomugha and Rodgers Cromartie. Considering the Cardinals rely heavily on the passing game with little of a running attack, this scenario bodes well for the Eagles. Look for the former Cardinal Rodgers Cromartie to be a factor in this game!
Kevin Kolb has seized the starting QB role for the Cardinals with Skelton going down to injury. The former Eagles pivot will look to remain productive in this game, something he's struggled with since joining the Cards. In two games this season Kolb has a QB rating of 95.7, 18 points higher than his career average of 77.7.
The Cardinals offense is the lowest ranked in the league after two games with a 250 ypg average. The heart and soul is WR Larry Fitzgerald with a mere 67 yards receiving out of the gate. He will be in tough to break out Sunday.
Starting RB Beanie Wells is expected to carry the load in this game despite rushing for only 58 yards this season nursing a sore knee. Back up RB, 2011 second round pick Ryan Williams has only 22 yards rushing on the season as he is nursing a sore knee as well.
The defense has developed into one of the best in the league with LB Daryl Washington leading the NFL with 21 solo tackles and DE Calais Campbell earning defensive player of the week honors in week 2.
As I break this game down a couple items stand out. The Eagles have two narrow victories despite losing the turnover battle in both games, giving up the ball 9 times. The Cardinals won last week thanks to a last second FG miss by the Pats. In the opener, the Seahawks had 7 straight unsuccessful attempts from inside the 5 to win the game thanks to a pass interference penalty.
In the two games the Eagles offense has accumulated an average of 471 ypg while the defense has allowed an average of 268 ypg for a +203 differential.
The Cardinals offense has accumulated an average of 250 ypg while the defense has allowed an average of 320 ypg for a -70 differential and the team is 2-0.
Take the Eagles to win this weekend ATS! Good luck betting.