Terrible day of football yesterday but luckily baseball and hockey evened out the day. Baseball stays unbelievably hot and we are now 14-3 in the playoffs. Both hockey picks were absolute runaways with an 8-2 win and 5-2 win so we are getting that going in the right direction. We need to have ourselves a day for NFL today so let’s see what we got.
Straight against the spread:
Bengals (-1.5) - Here are the Bengals at home as one of the best teams that no one is paying attention to. They will host the Steelers who have yet to put together consistent games this year. Sure the Steelers are coming off of a 41-17 win against the Falcons but the Falcons suck this season. The Steelers are 2-2-1. The Bengals come in 5-1 and their one loss came on the road against the Panthers. The Steelers passing defense ranks 29th in the league allowing just under 300 yards per game so Andy Dalton should be able to get the passing game going and the Bengals should be able to get out to a lead in this one. I feel like the Steelers still have a bunch of drama going on and the Bengals are rolling right now. 66% of the public are betting on the Steelers - give me the Bengals in this one.
Chargers (+1) - The Browns are coming off of an impressive overtime win against the Ravens where they didn’t allow a touchdown. However, that’s always been the thing with Joe Flacco led offenses, they decide to take games off once in a while. Don’t be fooled about the fact that this Browns defense didn’t allow a touchdown last week, they rank 27th in passing defense and I think that Phillip Rivers is going to have a BIG game today. Rivers is coming off of a game against the Raiders where he threw for 339 yards and when he played a bad Chiefs passing defense in Week 1 he threw for 424. I think Phillp has another 300+ game today and I don’t think Baker and the Browns offense will be able to keep up with the Chargers. Phillip hasn’t forgot that the Browns spoiled his Christmas Ever two seasons ago when they beat him 20-17. Revenge today and I have the Chargers in a blowout.
Rams (-7) - The Rams are going into Denver today where it is currently snowing. Some may be worried that the snow and the thin air will slow down this Rams offense but I’m not worried. The Rams will get their offense going and the snow should make them rely heavily on Todd Gurley and I am fine with that! BELIEVE this or not, the Broncos rushing defense ranks 30th in the league allowing 140 yards per game. It’s tougher to play defense and make tackles in the snow than it is for a running back to make cuts. The Broncos season is going down hill faster than a kid on a sled in the snow. They have lost three in a row and they were absolutely blown away by the New York Jets last week. The Rams are undefeated and they are the best team in football. I like the Rams to run all over this Broncos defense and the Rams win this one by multiple scores.
Patriots (-3) - This spread is -3.5 but we are buying the half a point to get the Patriots at -3. The Chiefs have been playing great football and come into this game undefeated but it ends tonight. The Chiefs have played well on the road so I don’t think that is as much of a factor as them taking on the Patriots just because it’s the Patriots. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are 18-4 against rookie starting quarterbacks dating back to 2001. That is a crazy stat but the mind of Belichick has always schemed something up to confuse rookie QBs. It will be the biggest test of the season for Pat Mahomes but I think this Patriots defense who has been playing well the last couple weeks will force a turnover or two that will be the difference in this game. The Chiefs defense ranks 31st against the pass so they aren’t dead last in the league anymore but they are still pretty bad, they are also dealing with some injuries. I think Tom Brady will spread the ball around and absolutely pick this team apart tonight. The Chiefs will be able to put up points just as quickly but like I said, Belichick’s scheme will create a turnover or two that will be the difference in this game and the Patriots win. Buy the half a point to protect yourself and get this one at Patriots -3.
Teaser selections: Play in groups of two - in order of confidence:
Falcons / Bucs OVER (51.5)
Texans / Rams / Jaguars / Patriots (+303)
Red Sox (Price) (+115) - Not a homer pick, I have the numbers to back this one up. I just want to remind you guys that we are 2-0 in the postseason when we have taken the Sox as underdogs. Game 3 against the Yankees at +160 and Game 4 against the Yankees at +110 (although it closed at +124). Anyways, let’s get to this game. This is a HUGE spot for the Red Sox and David Price. The Sox dropped game one last night with their ace Chris Sale pitching and they will go to Houston for three games after this one. This is a must win for the Red Sox. It’s also a HUGE start for David Price who can’t catch a break from the media. They want to bring up the fact that he is 0-10 in the playoffs and all that but every matchup is different and none of those reporters want to talk about what team he pitched for when he suffered most of those losses (Tampa Bay). We have played Price all year and he has been good to us when he doesn’t pitch against the Yankees. Price has pitched against this Astros team twice this season and he was good - 6 innings 3 earned and 6.1 innings 2 earned. He also has 17 strikeouts in those 12.1 innings against them. He has also held them to a .233 avg in 189 career at bats. The Sox bats will need to get a few runs off of Gerrit Cole who has been good against them this year, he went 7 innings allowing 3 earned and 6 innings allowing 2 earned. In a big spot like this, I expect the Sox offense to get it done. Give me the Sox to even this series up tonight at home as “underdogs” - 62% of the public are betting the Astros. PRICE CHECK!!!