Updated: Nov 8, 2020
It’s that time of the week and the picks are back. We went 5-4 on the official picks last week and lost our one bonus teaser. That is terrible for the lofty standards we have set for our picks at AarronTorresonline.com. We are hitting 61 percent of our picks with a 29-18-1 record on the year, and I would be put that up against anyone on this internet gambling streets. We took a little bit more time to get more research in and I am confident in this 8 team card.
Without further ado here are the plays, and a quick reminder: If you plan on gambling this weekend, do it with our friends at MyBookie. Readers of Aaron Torres Online receive a 100 percent sign-up bonus if you use the promo code "TORRES" - meaning you want to put $50 on the Tampa Bay Bucs this weekend, MyBookie gives you $100 to play with. It's the best deal going in sports gambling.
Now, the picks.
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans
Spread: Titans (-6.5)
We will open the article breaking down a matchup between two of the NFL’s most fraudulent teams. Both the Titans and Bears have flirted with being outside contenders this season. Both teams have fallen flat on their faces the past couple weeks dropping their last two games.
The Titans had an embarrassing showing against the Bengals in the perfect get right spot- after a falling short against the Steelers. Cincinnati played without four starting offensive lineman, and the Bengals had given up the most QB hits up to that point. Despite that, the Titans didn’t record a single sack, had less than a handful of meaningful pressures, and gave up 31 points to the pedestrian Bengals' offense. The Bengals were successful on a whopping 61 percent of their plays and Joe Burrow was able to complete 26 of 37 passes for 249 yards despite dealing with 35 mile an hour wind gusts. The Titans defensive front has failed them on passing downs ranking 32nd in adjusted sack rate, 31st in third down defense, and 27th in overall passing success rate. The Bears offense has been dreadful all year, but Nick Foles has proven he is capable of moving the football with a clean pocket. This is the one game where Nick Foles will look like the QB that led the Eagles to the Super Bowl
After a hot start, the Tennessee offense has simply not looked the same since Taylor Lewan was sidelined with a season ending injury. The Titans will go up against Khali Mack and the Bears aggressive front seven. The Bears defense has been good enough to keep Chicago competitive in every game this season, surrendering just 20.8 points per game. The Bears defense has stepped up in key moments in every game this season, ranking first in third down defense (29.8 percent) and they rank first in red zone TD percentage (40 percent). I’m going to trust a veteran QB to move the ball against a horrific defense, and we will take a strong veteran defense to get key timely stops. Taking the points with the Bears is the smart decision here.
The pick: Bears +6.5
Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
One of my favorite matchups of the entire slate. It will be a sun shining 65 degree Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, a perfect set up to watch two of the NFL’s dynamic quarterbacks. It will definitely be a dramatic change of scenery for a Bills team that had to play in a frozen, 35 mile an hour windy day against the Patriots last week. The Seahaws will be making a long flight to Buffalo after getting a big win against the 49ers at home.
Typically it isn’t smart to back West Coast teams traveling East, but Seattle has been an anomaly in the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson era. The Seahawks have won their last 10 East Coast games in the 1pm eastern time period and Carroll is 14-7-1 ATS in his last 22 away East Coast games. The early start shouldn't affect a mentally sharp Wilson. I really think Seattle will have another chance to be successful in this one too.
There’s no question Seattle offense has been sharp, as mentioned before, they rank in the top five in every category including third in DVOA, first in points per game at 34.3, first in yards per play, and first in scoring defense. The Seattle offense will likely be successful against a Bills defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA. Buffalo's defense has arguably been the most disappointing defensive unit in 2020 after carrying the Bills to a playoff berth in 2019. The Bills have had trouble pressuring the QB, ranking 23rd in adjusted sack rate, and they have been terrible stopping the run, ranking 22nd in adjusted line yards. With Chris Carson coming back for Seattle, expect a more balanced attack to take a little bit of pressure off of Wilson. I also love the matchup with Tyler Lockett and the Bills secondary. With star corner Tre’Davious White likely shadowing DK Metcalf, Lockett is in a smash spot against the Bills that have struggled to defend slot receivers all year.
On the other side of the football, the Bills should have some success moving the ball against the Seattle defense. We have talked about Seattle defense plenty of times over the past couple of weeks. They have been terrible due to their inability to defend the pass and generate pressure. The Seattle defense gets major reinforcements with the addition of defensive end Carlos Dunlap and the return of Jamal Adams from injury. Dunlap is far from a world class pass rusher, but he is a significant upgrade from what they have right now. The Bills offense has been quite inconsistent over their last few games and averaged just 18.75 points in the month of October. However, Josh Allen is still rated as the seventh overall graded passer by Pro Football Focus, and the improved running game with Zach Moss should help the offense. This is a bounce back spot for the Bills offense and Allen should make this fun and exciting.
I think we get a rare November shootout in an early game in Buffalo. We will be taking over and Seattle in this one. The addition of Adams and Dunlap will help the Seattle defense tremendously. In a back and forth game, Seattle’s defense will only need to make or two stops to secure the win. I trust Russell Wilson more than I do Josh Allen in the key moments. I’ll take Seattle to win by touchdown during this entertaining shootout.
The picks: Seattle -3 and over 55
New York Giants at Washington Football Team
Spread: Washington (-2.5)
Ah, another matchup between two NFC East teams. With both teams multiple games below .500, this game still somehow has NFC playoff implications. The Giants are coming off a dramatic Monday Night Football loss where they nearly upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but fell 25-23. The Giants really outplayed the Bucs for most of the game, but key turnovers from Daniel Jones and missed downfield passing opportunities plagued the G-Men. Washington is coming off a bye after thrashing the Cowboys in Week 7.
Despite the 1-7 record, the Giants haven’t been as horrible as the record seems. There have been a lot of bright spots with emergence of young players like Darius Slayton and James Bradberry. However, they have been simply hampered by Daniel Jones's turnover problems. Since making his first career start in 2019, Daniel Jones leads all players with 36 turnovers. Jones has 13 giveaways this year, more than four NFL teams and has the most turnover worthy throws by a country mile. Jones often makes the most mistakes when facing pressure, failing to hit open hot reads in a timely manner and holding onto the ball for way too long. We saw in the last play on Monday Night Football, where Jones had Dion Lewis open for a game tying conversion, but Jones threw the pass a half second too late giving the Bucs secondary a chance to make a play on the ball. Jones's O-line hasn’t helped matters grading out as the worst pass blocking unit according to PFF. Now the Giants will have to go up against an aggressive Washington front that features Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and Jonathon Allen.
Also remember the first time these two teams met, the Giants won on a fluke strip sack fumble. The Giants accumulated just 240 total yards in that contest. I think the Redskins still have a chance to win the NFC East while the Giants season looks dead in the water. I’ll take the Washington football team coming off a bye playing a bad Giants team coming off a disappointing loss in a short week.
The pick: Washington football team -2.5
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Line: Pick 'em
The article is coming out a little later this week since we needed to get clarification about what is happening in this game. After the Ravens loss against the Steelers, star corner Marlon Humphrey tested positive for Covid. This put a majority of the Ravens defense on the NFL reserve Covid list due to high risk contact tracing. The good news is, after Matthew Judon was officially ruled active Friday, so too were six of his teammates: Tyus Bowser, inside linebackers Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison and L.J. Fort, safety DeShon Elliott and practice squad cornerback Terrell Bonds.
Obviously, the Covid news and lack of practice is factored in this line, but I still don’t see how the Ravens are a pick em in this game. The Ravens are coming off a loss to the Steelers where they outgained them by 150 yards. The Ravens ran for 228 yards on the best run defense in the NFL. The Ravens also had two costly momentum turnovers, one where Lamar Jackson fumbled the ball on the Steelers eight yard line, and the second when Jackson threw a pick six on the first offensive possession of the game. So yes, last year's MVP Lamar Jackson was bad, but he is due for a bounce back in this one.
The main reason I love the Ravens in this spot is their defense against a Colts offense that starts Phillip Rivers at quarterback. The Colts have faced the easiest schedule of opposing defenses and Rivers has remained virtually untouched in the pocket during that time. That won’t be the case against a Ravens defense that ranks seventh in adjusted sack rate and second in pressure rate. The Ravens blitz on 44 percent of opponent drop backs and play man coverage at the highest rate in the league. With T.Y Hilton doubtful, the Colts best receiver right now is rookie Michael Pittman who has 55.7 overall grade on OFF (107 out of 120). Add that to the fact the Colts can’t run the ball on anyone, averaging 3.5 yards per attempt - last in the NFL.
The opposing argument is that the Colts have stingy defense as well, ranking third in defensive DVOA, sixth in defensive line yards, third in yards per play, and fifth in overall scoring defense. Darius Leonard is back in the lineup and that obviously makes a difference. However, the Colts have faced the 28th worst schedule of opposing offenses, and their two toughest opponents scored 27 and 31 on them respectably. Also, when the Ravens are committed to the running game no one is stopping them. As mentioned before, the Ravens ran for 227 yards against the Steelers defense.
The Colts have been good, but they are a significant downgrade in competition from the Steelers last week. I get the better team and I don’t have to give any points.
Take the Ravens to bounce back against the Colts.
The pick: Ravens Pick 'Em
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: Pick 'em
The Los Angeles Chargers did us in last week blowing, a 21-point lead with just 16 minutes left in the game. It was one of the worst bad beats I have suffered in my short gambling life. It sent us from having a very good day, to washing ourselves in mediocrity.
In the big picture, the Chargers have been one of the more puzzling teams in recent NFL memory. They have blown four consecutive 16+ point leads. They have dominated the two best teams in football for long stretches of play. In reality they are a handful of plays from being 6-2 instead of 2-6.
Now Los Angeles has to play an upstart Raiders team that has been playing really good football as of late. The Raiders have gone 4-3 against the NFL’s toughest schedule and have marquee wins against the Chiefs and Saints. The Raiders have been carried by the excellent play of Derek Carr, who has produced an MVP worthy resume throwing for 1872 yards with 14 touchdowns on 71.3 percent completion percentage. He is also averaging 7.8 yards per attempt while only throwing two interceptions.
Since both these teams are virtually even and it's hard to imagine the Chargers dropping another game we will angle for the over in this one. The Raiders go from playing in the midwestern cold and rapid winds to a friendly sunny open fast turf in Los Angeles. The Chargers defense has been pretty good ranking 15th in overall DVOA, how it has been abysmal in the second half of games this season. This, while the Raiders have been one of the most proficient offenses in the second half. LA's secondary will be banged up once again this week and the Chargers just traded top rated corner/safety Desmond King. Top pass rusher Joey Bosa is also expected to be inactive as well. This is a total smash spot for the Raiders offense that dropped 40 points on Kansas City last month. As far as trends, the Raiders have hit the over in six out of their last seven games.
Offensively for the Chargers, they should also have an easy time moving the football against a Raiders defense that ranks 31st overall in DVOA. The Chargers have officially handed the keys to their star rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert has won Offensive Rookie of the Week in five out of the last six weeks. Herbert has averaged 8.84 yards per attempt over the last four games and he will have opportunities to take deep shots against a Raiders defense that ranks 29th in adjusted sack rate, and 24th in yards per completion.
Expect the Chargers to come out fast once again and they will probably get out to an early lead. Then expect the Raiders and Derek Carr to come roaring back against this Chargers defense. This game has shootout written all over it.
The pick: Over 51.5
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cardinals (-4.5)
This may be a sign I’m watching too much of Colin Cowherd, but I am not sold on Tua as an NFL quarterback. To sort of paraphrase the Fox talk show star, Tagovailoa has been able to coast throughout his football career to this point. For example, he played poor competition in high school on the state’s most powerhouse team. While he has incredible success in college, Tua had the benefit of guiding the smooth Alabama machine. He had elite offensive line talent, he had a receiving core with four first round talents at wide receiver, and he competed against teams with significantly less talent than him. Outside of his debut appearance where he lead a legendary comeback against Georgia in the title game, Tua struggled facing defenses with similar NFL talent - Georgia in the SEC title game, and Clemson in the 2019 national title game.
Therefore, despite Miami's 28-13 win last weekend, Tua did not impress in his debut throwing for just 98 yards on 54.3 completion percentage and a fumble. Tua had only one positive graded throw on his one touchdown pass according to PFF. The Dolphins were carried by their defense and the offense's two touchdown drives combined for 24 total yards. As mentioned in the Seahawks write up two weeks ago, the Cardinals have one of the more underrated defenses in the league ranking 10th in defensive DVOA. The Cardinals defense is going to give Tua alot of fits and rookie is going to struggle in his first road start.
Like the Cardinals, the Dolphins defense has been one of the greatest surprises in the NFL, leading the league in scoring defense at 18.9 points per game, after holding the Jets and Rams to 17 combined points over the last two weeks. Yet despite leading the league in scoring, the Dolphins defense ranks 11th in DVOA facing the fifth easiest schedule of opposing offense. Dealing with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals is a galaxy level difference from defending Joe Flacco and Jared Goff. The Dolphins love to bring pressure and play man coverage, which is a recipe for disaster against a guy like Kyler Murray. Also the Cardinals will be able to run the ball down the throats of a Miami run defense that ranks 30th in defensive line yards and surrenders 4.9 yards per rush 29th in NFL. The Cardinals are going to play with tempo and the Cardinals RPO and screen game will put the Dolphins aggressive defense on edge.
The Dolphins have been a trendy underdog pick throughout the week, but I don’t think Tua can keep up with the Cardinals explosive offense.
I’ll give the points with the Cardinals at home.
The Pick: Cardinals -4.5
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: Tampa -4.5
We couldn’t post this article without featuring the most anticipated matchup of the day. We get two Hall of Fame quarterbacks matching up for the second time this season on Sunday Night Football. Every single article I’ve read and every single betting video I’ve seen have picked the Bucs in this matchup - so naturally we are going to take the Saints.
I realize the Bucs have been arguably the best team in football since their opening Week 1 loss against New Orleans, in large part because of their defense. The Buccaneers defense has carried them, ranking first in total defense DVOA, first in defensive line yards and third in adjusted sack rate. Looking at the Tampa’s defensive numbers makes me queasy picking against them in this spot. But I have confidence in a Saints offense that has been one of most efficient units in football ranking seventh in DVOA. The Saint’s offense gets major reinforcements with the addition of Michael Thomas back in the lineup.
On the other side, the Bucs offense has rolling recently, but they have faced terrible defenses with the Packers 28th in DVOA, Raiders 31st in DVOA and Giants 18th in DVOA. The Bucs are probably the most talented team in football but there is still much to be desired. The Saints defense has been sub par but I love the matchup on the outside with Marshon Lattimore against Mike Evans and the Saints pass rush against the Tampa’s O-line. I think this is a close game that comes down to the wire and I am naturally going to take the Saints getting more than field goal.
The pick: Saints +4.5
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