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4 UNIT = Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears – OVER 53 POINTS (-108)
(Note: I’m risking 4.00 units to win 3.70 units)
This play wasn’t locked in until I confirmed that Aaron Rodgers was back at the QB position. While the Packers currently rank 9th in the NFL scoring 25.6 ppg, that number would obviously be a bit higher if one of the league’s best QBs was behind center for all of the games he missed. This match up will feature two of the NFL’s better offenses, as the Bears themselves rank 3rd in the NFL with 27.8 ppg. Today’s game also features two of the NFC’s weaker defenses. The Bears are giving up 29.7 papg, while the Packers are giving up 26.7 papg. Also note that since Week 13 these two teams are 2nd and 3rd last in papg, giving up 34 and 33.8 per game during that stretch. Rodgers was injured the first offensive series Green Bay had last time these two teams met and we still saw a total of 47 points scored with Senaca Wallace in at QB. The OVER is 7-2 in the Packers last 9 road games, 4-1 in their last 5 overall and 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs a team with a winning home record. The OVER is also 5-1 in the Bears last 6 overall, 5-0 in their last 5 home games vs a team with a losing road record, 9-4 in their last 13 vs NFC teams and 5-2 in their last 7 games at home overall. Take the OVER for 4 units.
4 UNIT = Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints – SAINTS -13 (+104)
(Note: I’m risking 4.00 units to win 4.16 units)
The Saints find themselves in a “win and we’re in” situation today vs at home vs the Buccs. The 10-5 Saints need a win to clinch a playoff berth, and they will be facing the 4-11 Buccs. While New Orleans is 7-0 at home this year, the Buccs have won just one road game. New Orleans has won just 1 of their last 4 games, but those three losses came on the road (and two of them were against playoff teams). The last home game the Saints played they beat Carolina 31-13. The Saints are 6-1 ATS at home this year, with their only loss against the spread at the Superdome being when they were 3.5 point favorites against the defending NFC Champion 49ers and won by 3 points. The Buccs are 2-5 ATS on the road. The Buccs have the 29th ranked scoring offense as they average just 18.1 ppg, while the Saints are 13th scoring 24.8 ppg. Also note that the Saints average 32.9 ppg at home this year, while Tampa Bay is scoring just 15.7 ppg on the road. The Saints have been one of the best bets at home with Drew Brees, as they are 35-17 in their last 52 home games. They are also 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs a team with a losing road record, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a loss. The Buccs are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs NFC teams. Needing a win to make the playoffs I will put my money on Brees and the Saints at home to roll over Tampa Bay on their way to the playoffs.
4 UNIT = Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – EAGLES -2.5 (-116)*
(Note: I’m risking 4.00 units to win 3.45 units)
*It is now confirmed that Tony Romo has undergone surgery and will be out for Sunday Night’s game. The line is now at -6.5, and at this number I would make it a No Play. For grading purposes we will still have the 4 unit on Eagles -2.5, as there was about 5 hours or more when the line was available after I emailed it out (and if it went the other way against us I would still grade it).
The Eagles and Cowboys will square off tonight with the winner taking the division and advancing to the playoffs. The Eagles have been one of the best teams in the NFL over recent weeks as they’ve won 6 of their last 7 games. During those games they’ve scored 49, 27, 24, 24, 34, 30, and 54 points. The Eagles are now 2nd in the NFL scoring 27.9 ppg. Nick Foles has been one of the best stories in the NFL this year, as he has taken over as the starting QB for the Eagles and has put up stellar numbers. He is completing 63.9% of his passes with 25 TDs and just 2 INTs for a 118.7 QB Rating (#1 in the league). The Cowboys will have Kyle Orton as their starting QB tonight with Romo out. Orton has started a game since 2011 with the Chiefs. Defensively these two teams are pretty similar, although Philadelphia does have a bit of an edge. The Eagles are giving up 24 papg, while the Cowboys are giving up 27.2 papg. The Cowboys faced two other good NFC offenses in Green Bay and Chicago in 2 of the 3 past games and they gave up 37 and 45 points to those two teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles put up 30+ against Dallas tonight. Note that the Cowboys are just 5-13 ATS in their last 18 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs NFC opponents and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 overall. The Eagles have covered in 4 of their last 5 road games and 5 of 7 overall. I wouldn’t be laying 6.5 points on the Eagles tonight even vs Orton, but I do like the Eagles covering the 2.5 spread we got earlier in the week versus any QB the Cowboys were throwing out there. Nick Foles and this Eagles offense has proved to be very hard to slow down, and this weak Cowboys defense will struggle doing that tonight.
2 UNIT = Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders – OVER 53.5 POINTS (-105)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 1.90 units)
One last regular season OVER play for me on the Broncos as they head to Oakland needing a win to try and secure the #1 seed in the AFC. The Broncos are still first in the NFL by a wide margin in scoring as they average 38.1 ppg. Today they will be facing one of the weaker defenses in the Raiders who allow 357 yards against per game and 27.9 papg. The Raiders have also been the worst defensively since Week 13 and they’ve given up 26, 56, 37 and 31 points against per game over their last 4. The Broncos themselves have given up 27+ points in 4 of their last 5 games. The OVER is 6-2 in the Broncos last 8 road games, 6-2-1 in their last 9 vs a team with a losing record, and 36-17-1 in their last 54 games vs AFC opponents. The OVER is 6-1-1 in the Raiders last 8 games overall and 7-3 in their last 10 games vs a team with a winning record. The OVER is also 6-2 in these two teams last 8 meetings. Take the OVER for 2 units.
2 UNIT = Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers – OVER 45 POINTS (-105)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 1.90 units)
The Chargers need a win and some help to make the playoffs, while the Chiefs are locked in the #5 seed in the AFC. San Diego has one of the better offenses in AFC averaging 392 yards per game and 24.6 ppg. The Chiefs are scoring 27.1 ppg, and while they are expected to rest some of their key players, I still think they should be able to put up some decent numbers against the league’s worst defensive team as far as yards against per play. The Chargers are giving up 6.2 yards against per play. While the Chiefs once had one of the league’s best defenses, they have struggled in the second half of the season and are ranked 20th overall giving up 5.5 yards per play. In their last 6 games they’ve givne up 23, 31, 10, 35, 41, and 27 points against. The OVER is 4-1 in the Chiefs last 5 games and 3-0-1 in their last 4 games following a loss. While the OVER is only 1-2 in the Chargers last 3 games all of those games have gotten over today’s total of 45 points. Overall 5 of their last 7 games have had over 45 points scored in total. I like that trend to continue today. I’ll take the OVER in this one for 2 units as well.