I Talk Sports Picks- NFL, NCAAF

2-8 to start the season sucks but we have to tread on.  Late adds again helped us out but we can only document what we put on this page.  Eventually it all turns around and this week could be the week.

NFL

Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings -17

17 points is a huge margin in the NFL.  Let’s look at the facts, LeSean McCoy has busted ribs, Rookie QB Josh Allen making his second start, Bills defense has players retiring in the first half.  This has beat down written all over it.

Minnesota was not happy with their performance in week two versus an injured Aaron Rodgers, they will come out hungry to make a statement at home.  We could see a few more Bills players retiring at halftime in this one.  While 17 points may be a lot, in this case that may be to low.

PicksVikings -17

Chicago Bears -6 at Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have been the definition of awful through the first two games of the 2018-19 season. Scoring just 6 points over their first two games they now get a matchup with a stingy Chicago Bears defense.

Sam Bradford’s QB rating sits at a league worst 55.6 with his longest pass play so far being 15 yards to Larry Fitzgerald.  Star runningback David Johnson has been limited to 14 touches in their week two matchup which will never lead to a victory.  While the Bears don’t yet feature a top level offense with the still developing Mitchell Trubisky at the helm, they have begun to progress with a new go to receiver in Allen Robinson.  Look for the bears to establish Jordan Howard early and Khalil Mack to potentially injure Sam Bradford.  Opening up the door for Josh Rosen…a door that should be at the least unlocked.

PicksBears -6

New England Patriots -6.5 at Detroit Lions

Let’s start with the obvious.  Since 2000, New England is 21-6 against the spread following a double digit loss.  Tom Brady does not take losing well and Bll Belichick will not allow his former coordinator to look good against him. For what it’s worth, Belichick has faced former assistants who went on to be head coaches on 18 occasions and has posted a 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS record.

Even without the pickup of Josh Gordon I would think this is a huge advantage for the New England Patriots.  Gronk, White, Michel, Hogan and company should all have big days.  This should be a blow out.

PicksPatriots -6.5

NCAAF

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Wolverines -17.5

Nebraska took a humbling loss last Saturday to Sun Belt for Troy, the first time since 1957 that the Huskers have lost their first two games of a season. Many will look at these first two home losses and say the Huskers will be on a mission this weekend in Ann Arbor.  I see it a different way.

Nebraskas first two losses of the season came at home to lesser competition then the Wolverines.  It is Michigan that has something to prove in this game.  They are still look to make a statement on the national scene.  If Michigan can avoid turnovers while finally establishing the run they can dominate the game and take this home easily.  I may wait and see if the money begins to come in on Nebraska as I expect it will.

PicksMichigan -17.5

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Maryland Terrapins -1.5

I watched this line move from 3 to 1.5 over the last week. With two key injuries for the Golden Gophers, RB Rodney Smith and QB Zack Annexstad the offense should be partially neutralized.

The Terps are coming off a disaster of a game losing to Temple 35-14.  They return home to face a Minnesota team that has yet to face a real power five team.  Maryland’s offense has been rough early in the season but with the homefield advantage and a litany of injuries Maryland should be able to pull this one out.

PicksMaryland -1.5

Boston College Eagles -6.5 at Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue beat me last week putting up points against the horrid Mizzou defense sinking what looked like a sure thing. But they still took an L in a game where the momentum was in their favor. Boston College will feature AJ Dillon in the backfield spear heading a dominant running attack that has averaged 296 yards per game over their first 3.

Purdue is no doubt better then their record may show but after a few brutal losses and facing a team with a solid pass rush and runningback that will allow BC to utilize clock management this will be a tall task for Purdue.

PicksBoston College -6.5

 

James “Why Not” Pick of the Week 1-1 .

Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers

Last week I road the Tannehill train to victory over the Jets.  The Dolphins being an underdog in that game never really made much sense but I will take the victory.  This week is a little tougher.  I wanted to go with a college game but none of them seemed to stand out.  So I went with a team that is hot.

The Cincinnati Bengals have started the season 2-0 with a couple of impressive victories, they head into Carolina to take on a beat up Panthers squad.  The Panthers will need to rely on their defense, forcing a turnover will be huge especially from Andy Dalton. When Dalton throws one interception in a game, the Bengals are 21-13-1 straight up and 17-14-4 against the spread. However, should Dalton throw two picks, that record dips to 10-16-1 SU and 8-16-3 ATS.  I don’t think the loss of Joe Mixon will play a huge factor as Gio Bernard is a veteran that knows the role he must play.

PicksBengals +3

I Talk Sports- Picks ATS (NFL, NCAAF

I will be the first to admit that a 1-4 start to my season was not ideal.  Meltdowns from the Steelers, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas were a grocery list of bad beats.  Oh and the Saints forgot how to play defense.  Luckily late adds like Penn State and the Rams kept me in good graces.  Let’s get into this weeks picks.

Houston Texans -2 at Tennessee Titans

Following the longest game in NFL history the hobbled Tennessee Titans return home to take on division foe Houston. Both teams will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the regular season.

Let’s start with the obvious, the Texans have dominated the Titans winning 9 of the last 12 meetings.  They are also 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games against the Titans.  Houston’s defense will look to bring the heat on a Marcus Mariota whom is likely to start despite an elbow injury that caused him to leave their week 1 game.  All signs point to Mariota playing on Sunday but with some injuries to the offensive line the Titans could be looking at a long day trying to stop powerhouses JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney.

The Texans have lost 8 straight games on the road but this matchup with a healthy DeShaun Watson and and a returning Will Fuller will be to much for the Titans to handle.

PicksTexans -2

 Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins -5.5

The Washington Redskins have been flying under the radar during the preseason.  The addition of Alex Smith was not a sexy one but could pay dividends during the season.  His first game was as success full as you would think completing 21 of 30 for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns against an above average Cardinals secondary.  Veteran Adrian Peterson showed he’s still got it by rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 touches. He also caught two passes for 70 yards.

The veteran Redskins will now have a chance to feast on a Colts defense that has been its achillies heel for an eternity. Statistically, they finished in the middle of the pack in total yards allowed this past Sunday. However, Andy Dalton averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, sixth-highest in Week 1, and Cincinnati gained 5.1 yards per rush as a team, second-most in Week 1. Alex Smith will have homefield advantage and the weapons necessary to pick a part the secondary.  Luck will keep the Colts in the game but the Redskins are to solid on offense to let this game slip away.  I would love this line to get to three but that won’t happen I’ll settle for where it is.

Picks Redskins -5.5

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons -6

The Carolina Panthers play a gritty style of football.  The Falcons don’t like to score in the red zone.  This game has tightly contested written all over it.  The Panthers come into Atlanta as 6 point dogs most likely due to a litany of injuries including long time tight end Greg Olsen.  Cam Newton’s go to receiver broke his foot, he will likely be out for at least three weeks.

The Falcons are dealing with their own injuries as well. The loss of Keanu Neal for the season is a huge blow to the defense, linebacker Deion Jones has also been missing practice due to a foot injury.  Other injuries for the Falcons includes mental injuries, offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian tends to forget that he has arguably the best wide receiver in football on his team in the red zone.  Matt Ryan has forgotten how to throw a pass with any velocity as well.  This game is a tough one to pick.  So I am going to go a different direction.  I am looking under for this one and leaning towards the Panthers covering.

PicksPanthers +6 and under 44.5

Ohio Bobcats at Virginia Cavaliers -3.5

Virginia fell to Indiana in week two of the college football season but they intrigued me with their ability to keep it close.  Virginia Quarterback Bryce Perkins has been good for the Cavaliers, dealing with tough weather conditions last week, he will have a favorable matchup against an Ohio secondary that was picked a part by Howard Quarterback Caylin Newton.

Virginia will need to get out to a lead quickly and not look back.  Ohio’s best option will be to play a grind it out style to control the clock.  Keep the bad secondary off the field.  I don’t think Ohio has it in them.

PicksVirginia Cavaliers -3.5

Mizzou Tigers -6.5 at Purdue Boilmakers

The season could not have started in better for the Missouri Tigers.  Two dominate offensive games.  Drew Lock looks like a legit NFL prospect, as a team they have scored 91 points in two games and have covered both weeks spreads…Lock is also averaging 396 passing yards per game over the first two.

Purdue on the other hand has not started the season they way they had envisioned.  A tough loss to Northwestern in game one was followed up last week with a surprising defeat at the hands of Eastern Michigan. A big problem for the Boilermakers has been on the offensive side of the ball. They are averaging only 23 points per game. They have also had an issue with throwing interceptions. Giving a talented offense like Mizzou multiple opportunities will lead to a long night.

PicksMissouri Tigers -6.5

James “Why Not” Pick of the Week 0-1

PicksDolphins +3

My “Why Not” pick of the week fell just short of cashing due to a late interception thrown by DeShaun Watson.  This week I am sticking with the NFL and going with The Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins will head into the 1-0 New York Jets looking to build on their upset victory over the Tennessee Titans. Sam Darnold looked great outside of his first throw of the game but I still see a rookie QB in a divisional game.  The Dolphins also have a passing attack that can be a problem for any secondary.  Establishing veteran Frank Gore alongside Kenyan Drake will also give the Dolphins a solid run game to back up Ryan Tannehill.  I am not only looking for the Dolphins to cover but I think they win outright.