The NFL picks are back for another week. We have been on fire the last two weeks with an incredible 9-1 stretch. We are going to look to continue that streak again, with five picks for Saturday and Sunday.
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Now to the picks:
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (Saturday)
Line: Green Bay (-8.5)
Aaron has you covered for the college football championship Saturday, and the big games in college basketball, so we might as well add one of the NFL games in what is one of the better sports betting Saturdays of the calendar. And we get great timeliness with this one, as the Panthers are one of my favorite bets of the weekend.
First off, whenever we get Teddy Covers as a touchdown road dog - it automatically makes it a good bet. Teddy Bridgewater has been unreal against the spread, going 33-13 ATS overall, 23-6 as an underdog, and he is 13-3 when getting over a field goal. In short, Bridgewater has been money.
On the other side, the Packers have had trouble putting inferior opponents away. The Panthers rush offense should be able to run the ball against Packers rush defense that ranked 22nd in DVOA.
The Packers win, but it's a lot closer than the experts think.
The pick: Panthers (+8.5)
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans
Spread: Tennessee -11
This is one of the more interesting games on the slate. We had to wait on the status of Matt Stafford's ability to play in this one. Stafford left the game early against the Packers last Sunday with rib and thumb injuries. After not practicing Wednesday and Thursday, Stafford was limited to participating on Friday- and media reports on Saturday have suggested Stafford is trending towards playing. If Stafford plays, this is a game that should feature a lot of points. We have mentioned in past articles, the Titans defense is not good. The Titans rank 26th in team DVOA, 20th in yards per play, 32nd in third down conversion rate, and 30th in red zone touchdown percentage. Stafford should be able to shred this secondary.
On the other side, there is no chance the Lions are stopping Derrick Henry. The Lions are giving up 59 percent success rate on outside zone runs. The Lions rank 29th in the NFL against the rush and have struggled tackling all year. Things aren’t going to get easier with King Henry running right at them. The Lions secondary has also been atrocious all year ranking 30th in pass DVOA. Ryan Tannehill gets a great matchup against Lions defense.
Giving over 10 is too much with the Titans defense, so just root for points and bet the over.
The pick: Over 52
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Spread: Miami -2
Que the narrative that Bill Belichick dominates rookie quarterbacks. That fact is true: Only one rookie quarterback has passed for more than two touchdowns against mastermind Bill since he became the Patriots' head coach two decades ago. Tua Tagovailoa is not lighting the world on fire, but he did stage a good comeback against the Chiefs. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores knows exactly what Belichick is going to do. I don’t think we have that big of a coaching mismatch and the Dolphins are the more talented team.
However, we should also ask how the Patriots offense is going to move the ball against this Dolphins defense. The Patriots rank 24th in offensive DVOA, and they are facing a Dolphins defense that ranks second in the NFL in scoring.
Miami has dominated inferior offensive opponents all year, and we are going to see a similar result Sunday. Miami comes through in a must win game.
The pick: Dolphins (-2)
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Spread: Kansas City (-3)
This is a game I have gone back and forth on. This is the perfect pros vs joes scenario. There is a 6-to-1 ticket count on the Chiefs, but a majority of sharp money is on the Saints. Not to brag, but this column has been a perfect 3-0 ATS betting against the Chiefs this season. Kansas City is 0-5 ATS in their last five games, and it seems Vegas is selling on them here.
I don’t think I am going to test my luck, betting against Patrick Mahomes once again so we will be square and take KC here.
I know the Saints have the No. 1 defense in the NFL, but in their last four games they have faced the Falcons twice, Broncos with a practice squad QB, and the Eagles with a rookie QB making his debut start. Also the image of Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman running vertically on the Superdome astro turf is simply a scary sight.
The Chiefs have hardly been locked in all year, but we get a premier Mahomes performance in a national spotlight game.
The Chiefs make a statement again, proving they are still the best team in the NFL.
The Pick: Chiefs (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Arizona (-6.5)
We got a matchup between two former Oklahoma quarterbacks with Jalen Hurts going up against Kyler Murray, and we are going to continue to ride the hot hand with Hurts in this spot here.
I told you the Eagles were going to beat the Saints outright last week, and we are going to get the same result here. With Hurts, the Eagles ran for over 200 yards on the second best run defense in the NFL, and as I told you a few weeks ago, the Cardinals' run defense isn't the same without Chander Jones. This is a reinvigorated offense with Hurts, and the Eagles have a chance to make a legitimate playoff push.
The Cardinals are an up and down team, and they are coming off an impressive win against a Giants team that had their worst outing of the season.
The Eagles are a different team with Hurts, and we are getting them at a valuable spot.
The pick: Eagles +6.5
Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter @AmontgomeryLive
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