Week 17 Ends the NFL Regular Season with Still Much Undecided

The last week of the NFL regular season has arrived. It is quieter in comparison to year previous. Nine of the 16 games in Week 17 of the NFL have meaning for the playoffs, with two others featuring teams that are playoff bound where their games do not mean a thing.

Three quarterback changes have been made since the start of the week.

However, surprisingly, the action in Week 17 this season has seen four games produce line movements of 1.5 points or more. Normally, the last week of the NFL season sees line movements that are atypical of a normal NFL Week since many variable come into play based upon the players playing or resting for the postseason.

Sharp bettors are holding back waiting to hear information that would give them the decided edge on any number prior to the books getting the same info.

The week’s biggest movement on a line had the Baltimore Ravens go from a home favorite of 9-points versus Cleveland, to 13.5 points, after it became known that Brian Hoyer would not play quarterback and Conner Shaw a rookie must take his place.

Cleveland is 0-4 SU in its past four games, while Baltimore can still make the playoffs with a win.

It is not often that sharp money finds itself at the worst of the line because their information often is spot on. However, they were late by 15 minutes, with info on the lacerated spleen of Alex Smith forcing him to sit out the Chiefs Sunday game versus the Chargers.

There was big movement on boards such as Bovada and topbet on Kansas City laying between -3 and -3.5 points and when most of the books moved it to -4, the news Smith would not play became public and the line retreated to -1.

In the 49ers meaningless affair with Arizona, San Francisco opened at -4.5. Arizona can still clinch the title of the NFL West with a win and a Seattle loss.

Ryan Lindley was announced during the week as the starter, after most thought Logan Thomas would start. With Lindley was announced the line jumped to -6 and since has gone up to -6.5.

New England has clinched home field advantage in the playoffs through the AFC Championship and therefore is just 3-5-point favorites over Buffalo when they could have been 9-point favorites. However, no one is sure how long the starters will play.

The Cowboys could still have a bye next week, but the likely scenario has they at home next week as the NFC East champs playing a wildcard opponent.

Steelers (-3) host Chiefs in Crucial AFC Showdown

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs in a critical AFC matchup with huge playoff implications on the line.

If Pittsburgh wins, they can clinch a spot in the playoffs. Kansas City must continue winning to stay alive in the hunt for a wildcard.

The current line has Pittsburgh favored by 3 points with the point total sitting on 46.5.

According to Bovada and betonline, Kansas City is 11-5 against the number in its past 16 games on the road.

Pittsburgh is 6-0 against the spread in its past 6 games against opponents with a record above .500.

The OVER has cashed in each of the past 6 games Pittsburgh has played at home.

Kansas City is 4-1 against the number in its past 5 games against Pittsburgh.

Kansas City is 6-1 against the number in 7 games as an underdog.

According to topbet and sportsbook.com, Kansas City in the past three games head to head against Pittsburgh has been an underdog by double-digits

The UNDER is 9-5 this season in Kansas City games, and the past two scores in this matchup have ended 16-13 and 13-9.

The Steelers this season however have a team that is much different from the ones that played those two previous games. The Pittsburgh team this season has a better offense and worse defense.

Offensively Kansas City is an open book. Jamaal Charles at running back is the team’s best weapon. In addition, no wide receiver for Kansas City has a touchdown reception this season.

Alex Smith at quarterback commits very few turnovers and Kansas City has just 16 as a team all season.

Nonetheless, the Chiefs are still -6 on the season in turnover ratio.

Pittsburgh’s motivation in this game is simple, win and the Steelers reach the playoffs.

The Steelers games this season are opposite to the Chiefs with the OVER going 9-5.

The Pittsburgh offense is led by Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, Le’Veon Bell at running back and Antonio Brown at wide receiver.

Defensively, the Steelers are shaky, but at linebacker, the team is finally getting healthier.

The Chiefs defense allows only 18 points a game, but 4.9 yard a carry on the ground, which is the worst in the league. Look for Bell to have a big day for the Steelers.

This is similar to a playoff game. The loser will likely be done. Pittsburgh has beaten its opponents at home by an average of 7 points with the total averaging 63.

The Steelers have been at home only once in their past five games and lost that to New Orleans.

I like Pittsburgh less the 3 points and the UNDER.

Thanksgiving Day Games Top NFL Week 12 Early Line

Week 12 of the NFL still has two Monday Night Football games to be played, but that does not stop the odds makers from looking to Week 13 and releasing their opening lines for what should be an exciting lineup of games.

This week is Thanksgiving and the traditional three games will be played so fans can enjoy their turkey and fixings and see their favorite teams play football.

The lineup of games on Thanksgiving is superb with division rivalries between teams battling to win their respective division or stay alive in the hunt for the postseason.

Here is an early look at the three Thanksgiving Day NFL games.

November 27- Thanksgiving Day

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

Bovada and topbet opened the early game on Thanksgiving with Detroit favored at home by -6. Other books had Detroit favored by 7, but within an hour of it being posted on Sunday the betting had pulled it down to -6.5. Detroit has not been profitable when it comes to covering the spread. The Lions are 1-4 ATS over their past 5 games. Detroit returns home following two straight losses on the road, including Sunday at New England. Chicago has won two straight, which has kept the team’s hopes alive for the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas opened on sportsbook.com and betonline as a 3-point favorite at home. This is a huge game for the two NFC East rivals that are tied atop the division at 8-3 and the first game of two between them over a three-week period.

Dallas pulled out a huge win on Sunday night over NFC East rivals the New York Giants, while Philadelphia easily defeated the Tennessee Titans earlier on Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

The line on this game opened with San Francisco favored at home by 1 point.

This game is huge in the NFC West and the playoff picture in all of the NFC. San Francisco won its third consecutive game on Sunday but did not cover the points in its 17-13 win at home against Washington.

Seattle narrowed the distance between themselves and Arizona the NFC West leaders by downing the Cardinals 19-3 at home.

Arizona is now on top by just two games at 9-2, while the Seahawks and 49ers are both at 7-4. The team that loses will be in jeopardy of falling out of the playoff picture in the NFC, while the winner will hope that the Cardinals will continue to lose heading down the stretch.

Chiefs Laying -7 points on the Road Against the Raiders

NFL Thursday Night Football heads to the West Coast for a battle between two AFC West rivals when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to play the Oakland Raiders.

The current line at Bovada and sportsbook.com has Kansas City favored by 7 points. The point total on topbet and betonline is currently sitting at 43.

The Raiders are 0-10 on the season and Kansas City is 7-3.

The Chiefs were able to defeat the Seattle Seahawks last week 24-20 as a favorite at home by 1 point. Kansas City now is 5-0 SU and ATS over its past 5 games played and 7-1 SU and ATS in its past 8 games.

Oakland on the other hand has not scored over 17 points in 4 of its past 5 games. On Sunday, the Raiders lost to San Diego 13-6 but were able to cover as a 10-point road ‘dog.

In Kansas City’s last visit to Oakland, running back Jamaal Charles had 215 total yards from scrimmage while scoring 5 touchdowns in a 25-point rout by the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are 9-2 SU as well as ATS in their last 11 games in Oakland. In this rivalry, the visiting team has won 18 of the past 22 games against the spread dating back to the 2003 season.

Kansas City is allowing 17.5 points or fewer per game to lead the NFL, while Oakland is one of three teams scoring 17 points or fewer per game.

Kansas City is 6-0 against the number coming off a non-conference game the past two years. The Chiefs are also 11-3 against the spread in road games over that period.

A number of players from both teams are injured.

For the Chiefs Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Anthony Fasano, Jamell Fleming and Chris Jenkins are all questionable.

The Raiders four players questionable are Carlos Rogers, Jonathan Dowling, Gabe Jackson and David Ausberry.

Kansas City is one of the league’s hottest teams thanks to a tough defense. The Chiefs are No. 1 in passing yards allowed at 201.5 yards a game. Kansas City should have little trouble causing problems for Derek Carr the rookie quarterback for Oakland.

The Kansas City offense is not the most prolific in the NFL but Alex Smith has made very few mistakes with 11 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. Charles has rushed for 693 yards and 8 touchdowns.

The Oakland offense with Carr under center has not been able to put the ball in the end zone. Carr has 13 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions.

The Chiefs will wear down the Oakland defense with Charles rushing and receiving out of the backfield and the Kansas City defense will pressure Carr all night.

I like a lean toward the UNDER and the Chiefs.

SNF: Patriots +3 on the Road Against the Colts

NFL Sunday Night Football will feature one of the week’s best matchups when the New England Patriots, the leaders in the AFC East, visit the Indianapolis Colts the leaders in the AFC South.

New England has had Indianapolis’ number of late winning 4 straight head-to-head games with the Colts.

The current line nonetheless has the Colts favored by 3 point with the total points sitting at 58.

The OVER/UNDER of 58 is extremely high. According to Bovada and sportsbook.com, only 11 games in the NFL since 1978 have had a total that closed at 58 or higher.

Twelve games have closed their lines at 57.5 point or higher and 16 have closed at 57 points or higher, according to topbet and betonline.

For games that had a closing total of 57 points or higher the OVER has cashed in 9 of the 16.

A large amount of money has been put down on Indianapolis. The Colts are 6-3 straight up and 7-2 against the spread. However, as a favorite, the Colts have covered in 6 out 8 games and 3 out of 4 played at home.

Indianapolis has had good success defeating top competition playing at home during the three seasons Andrew Luck has been their quarterback.

In 2012, Indy defeated Green Bay and Houston at home and in 2013 defeated both Seattle and Denver at Lucas Oil Stadium.

However, Indianapolis were not the favorites in any of those four games and now Colts supporters much lay 3 to the Patriots

The Patriots at +3 could be an interesting choice. Since 2000, New England is 29-15 ATS when receiving 3 or more points. In 50% of those games, they have won outright.

New England is currently 7-2 SU and 5-4 against the number but over its past 5 games is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS.

New England is also 2-0 SU and ATS over its past two games against Luck. In those two games, the Pats have outscored Luck’s Colts 102-46. Overall, New England is 4-0 SU in its past 4 games versus Indianapolis.

 

Trends to Consider

  • Indianapolis is 17-4 SU and 16-5 ATS when playing at home since 2012.
  • New England is 14-5 SU and 12-7 ATS during the month of November since 2009.
  • The OVER has cashed in each of the past 5 games between the Pats and Colts.

 

The two teams are led by two talented quarterbacks. New England’s Tom Brady is a future Hall of Famer who has played exceptionally well the past five games and always plays well in big games.

Andrew Luck leads the league in passing yards this season and is on track to eclipse the record of Peyton Manning set last season for passing yards in one season.

Prediction: Three points is tough. The Pats have played well of late but the Colts are tough at home. The best play is taking the OVER as both team teams are 7-2 to the OVER in the past 9 games and the Patriots are 6-0 on the OVER in their past six games.

Take your pick on the spread, but the OVER is a strong play.

Bengals Put Undefeated Home Streak On the Line against Browns

If the Cleveland Browns were to win the AFC North, they likely would have to win a game against division opponents on the road, which they have not done since 2008.

Tonight the Browns travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, the last AFC North team the Browns defeated on the road six years ago.

Cleveland is 5-3 SU and 4-3-1 ATS. The Browns have thrived in games outside the division recording a mark of 4-1 thus far in non-divisional games.

However, Cleveland according to Bovada and topbet is just 1-2 in division play, which is the primary tiebreaker when it comes to the postseason.

The Browns will be facing a tough Bengals teams on its home field. This season Cincinnati overall is 5-3-1 SU and 4-2-2 ATS. However, over their past 14 home games the Bengals are 13-0-1.

Odds makers have Cincy as a 6-point favorite in the game. However, an upset by Cleveland would move the team into a tie for first with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland has found it tough going against Cincinnati since 2003 when Marvin Lewis became the coach for the Bengals. Since that time, Cincinnati is 15-7 SU versus the Browns.

However, that record does not mean Cleveland has been a push over against Cincinnati. Against the spread, tells the story. Cleveland is 11-10-1 against the spread versus Cincinnati over those 22 games since 2003. In addition, Cleveland is 6-2-1 as underdogs of 6 or more points.

The ability of the Browns to give Cincinnati a tough game should not be the question. After all, Cleveland’s two losses this season in the division were by a 3 points or less.

According to betonline and sportsbook.com, Cincinnati is 3-1-1 ATS this season at home. Last season the Bengals were 8-0 ATS at home. Teams this season are 7-1 ATS the week after they have played the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Teams playing at home that are favored by 6 or more points this season are 18-8-2 ATS. However, those teams are an impressive 31-6-1 SU.

On Thursday Night Football this season in the NFL, home teams are 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS.

Both defenses have struggled stopping the run, which could make this game a low scoring rushing game with a mistake or two providing the difference between a win and a loss.

Both offenses however have not had the best running games. Cincinnati’s starter Giovani Bernard has been hurt. His replacement Jeremy Hill has played well but is not Bernard.

The Browns rushing game is worse. Cleveland has rushed for a combined 158 yards averaging 1.9 yards per carry in its past three games.

The weather could be a factor with wind and rain forecasted. Cleveland has won four of five put has not been winning big over opponents.

I like Cincinnati laying the 6 points at home.

Brady and Manning Highlight Pats hosting Broncos

Sunday afternoon in New England is usually about seeing the foliage or picking apples at the neighborhood orchard. This Sunday however will be about the New England Patriots hosting the Denver Broncos in a matchup of two of the league’s top teams and two of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL.

On Sunday afternoon, the Broncos will take on the Patriots in what is expected to be a high scoring back and forth contest that likely will be determined by who has the ball last.

During New England’s current winning streak of four games, the Patriots are averaging just less than 40 points a game. During that stretch, New England quarterback Tom Brady has 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Nevertheless, the Patriots are home ‘dogs in this game by 3 points. Each team enters the matchup having won 4 consecutive games and something has to give today.

A number of odds makers are undecided on this matchup. One system that uses just computer calculations with trends and recent play has New England favored in the game and not the Broncos.

Thus far, Brady is averaging 292 yards passing per game. If he can throw for at least 300 yards and have at least 2 touchdowns passing then the Patriots chances of winning improve dramatically.

On the other side of the ball, Peyton Manning is having another strong season for the Broncos. The veteran is averaging just over 300 yards per game, but has thrown an impressive 22 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions.

The rivalry between the two star signal callers will be the focal point of this game.

Brady’s teams have been able to defeat Manning’s teams (Indianapolis, Denver) 10 times in 15 career head-to-head meetings.

However, the Broncos last season were able to get the win when it really mattered in the AFC Championship.

Denver will come in rested as they played on Thursday night in their last game and have not played since October 23.

On defense this season, the Broncos have improved dramatically. Von Miller their defensive end was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Month in October. Aqib Talib was a Pro Bowl cornerback for New England last season and now suits up for Denver.

New England is 5-0 SU over its past five games played at home. The Pats have won SU or ATS at home versus Denver the past four games the two teams have played and Manning played in two of those games.

I like Denver 35-24. I think their defense can get in Brady’s face and disrupt the Pats offense.

Arizona meets San Diego in Late Monday Night Matchup

Two of the teams who were most profitable down the stretch of last season clash meet on the late edition of Monday Night Football, when the Arizona Cardinals host the San Diego Chargers.

Arizona was 6-1 ATS to finish last season, while San Diego ended its season 5-1 ATS.

While San Diego’s offseason went smooth, Arizona lost three of its important defensive pieces due to suspension and injury.

The current line has Arizona favored by 3 points on Bovada and topbet. The point total on betonline and sportsbook.com is sitting on 46.

San Diego has covered the spread in each of their past four games on the road, while the UNDER is 9-4 for the past 13 games San Diego has played on grass.

Arizona was No. 1 versus the run last season, giving up only 84 yards per game. In points allowed, the Cardinals were No. 7 at 20.3.

However, Arizona lost Karlos Dansby a linebacker to free agency, Daryl Washington a linebacker to suspension and Darnell Dockett their defensive tackle to a torn ACL.

The trio combined for two touchdowns, six interceptions and 14 sacks. John Abraham a linebacker with 11.5 sacks last season reported to camp late after a DUI charge. At 36, he likely will not repeat his production from last season.

Arizona, especially Carson Palmer the quarterback, did not grasp fully the new offensive system under Bruce Arians the first year head coach last season.

However, when they finally did, the Cardinals averaged over 27 points per game during the past 8 games. Andre Ellington will be featured in the backfield this season, with John Brown a rookie speedster at wide out adding to the threats on offense.

For Monday’s game, the status of Ellington is questionable due to a foot problem. Reports have even suggested he could miss extended playing time, while others have not even ruled him out for the game.

San Diego will look to control the clock. They will look to Danny Woodhead, Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown in the backfield and quarterback Philip Rivers dumping short passes.

Tyrann Mathieu who tore both his LCL and ACL last December for Arizona could play on Monday.

Mike McCoy the head coach for San Diego brought quarterback Rivers out of the dark following two subpar seasons.

Carson Palmer experienced the same thing with Bruce Arians last season and Palmer’s career was revitalized. With the two coaches and quarterbacks relationships so similar and the results being positive for both, the OVER looks good in this matchup.

Patriots: One of the Teams to Beat in the AFC

The NFL season is only three and a half weeks away. Teams have had their first preseason games and are quickly preparing for 17 weeks of the regular season that start on September 4.

One team expected to be at or near the top at season end is the New England Patriots.

According to Bovada and sportsbook.com, the Patriots at this time are 10 to 1 to win the Super Bowl.

Last season the Patriots were 12-4 SU and 8-8 ATS. At home, New England was 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS, while on the road the Patriots were 4-4 SU and 2-6 ATS, according to data from betonline and topbet.

New England reached the AFC Championship last season but the Denver Broncos won that game and represented the AFC in the Super Bowl.

One big reason the Patriots returned to the AFC Title game was due to Rob Gronkowski the talented tight end returning to play after being out injured. When Gronkowski was hurt however, Tom Brady the Patriots quarterback was not anywhere near as effective.

Gronkowski played just seven games but had 39 receptions for 592 yards with 4 touchdowns.

He will be an important part of the team his season again and thus far remains healthy.

Even thought the tight end played just seven games, the receivers for the Patriots were No. 7 in yards per game and No. 3 in points scored.

New England wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are not the best in the league, but are talented and do the job in the complex offense for Bill Belichick.

Giving Brady more time in the pocket this season is a priority for New England as he suffered 40 sacks last season.

Three of the five interior linemen for New England are set, but a center and right guard still need to be decided upon.

The running attack for New England is usually by committee and Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley will be the two main runners but Wisconsin’s James White could a pleasant surprise for New England fans.

Last season the Patriots defense suffered two huge losses with Jerod Mayo a linebacker and Vince Wilfork a defensive tackle both suffering season ending injuries in the 5th and 6th weeks.

However, with both returning and with Donta’ Hightower, Rob Ninkovich and Jamie Collins, the front seven of the Patriots defense could be very strong.

The Patriots also signed Darrelle Revis at cornerback to help their secondary, which now is much stronger.
New England has reached the AFC title game in the past three seasons and has 10 regular season wins or more in each season since 2002.

The AFC East is weak again and New England should easily win the division. The Patriots are 34-9 over their past 43 AFC East games.

New England likely will be favored in 13 of their 16 regular season games.

Denver will be their biggest rival, but the Broncos must face the NFC West this season, which will wear them down.

New England will finish 13-3 SU and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

AFC East Preseason Trends

The AFC East has been dominated by the New England Patriots for the past decade or more. Tom Brady starts his 15th season in the NFL and hopes to direct his team to another deep run in the postseason. However, the preseason and getting remember for another season represent different things for different teams.

Bill Belichick likes to keep his cards close and not give anything away to anyone, much less his opponents. A good example of this is during preseason. All NFL teams have their starters play the third preseason game into the third quarter, with the exception of Belichick. He does not take that game seriously and that is likely why his team is 0-6 ATS in preseason game threes the past six seasons.

Last season the Patriots faced the Detroit Lions in the dress rehearsal game as a 1-point underdog. New England lost 40-9, according to Bovada and sportsbook.com. This preseason that game will be August 22 against Carolina.

The Buffalo Bills enter their second season this year under Doug Marrone their head coach.

There are not many preseason trends to watch out for the Buffalo Bills as Marrone has only been around as a head coach for 1 season.

He likely will want to make a good impression at the first home game for Buffalo in the preseason. The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their first preseason home game over the past four years.

The New York Jets have been consistent in both their first and their last games during the preseason.

The first game is meaningless to Rex Ryan and that is evidenced by a 0-4 ATS record in his four seasons with New York, according to betonline and topbet.

In the fourth game, the defense and their coaches take the day off. The OVER has cashed each of the past four seasons in the fourth game of the preseason for the Jets. Those are two things to watch out for on the Jets.

The Miami Dolphins will be starting their third season under Joe Philbin. He does not put much effort into the outcome of the games during preseason.

Over his first 9 preseason games, Miami is 1-8 ATS. The sole win was against Jacksonville and that can be accomplished by just showing up to play.

The betting trends are valuable to have for even the NFL preseason as bookmakers like to get a good start to their NFL and by knowing certain trends the bettors can better prepare themselves for the regular season.