Thoughts after Thanksgiving
Yeah, I know I gave Dallas a ton of love early in the season when they were beating up on also-rans and trash teams, but I have to admit it was satisfying to finally be on the right side as the most talented team in football is pissed away by the shittiest coaching staff in football. Buffalo ground them into hamburger on national television and they seemingly can only beat teams on the down swing. I don’t trust them and neither should NFL bettors. They are soft.
Mitch still sucks
I don’t care if he reels off four games in a row like the one he pulled on Thanksgiving. Mitch Trubisky is still terrible. know about 89 percent of you took the Bears at -3.5 to -6. Chicago would have covered the higher numbers if Mitch hadn’t gotten picked off in the red zone. He makes bad decision, you know, like the one where instead of just running forward for the first down he decided to try and get around the corner and ended up being stopped short of the marker? I’m sure he’s a nice guy and any father would be happy if his daughter brought him home, but he’s basically a one read guy who will stare down his targeted receiver for three seconds like he did in the red zone.
On to my Sunday NFL Picks.
Sean’s top 3 NFL Picks for Week 13
All NFL Lines are from Unibet Sportsbook.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
SPREAD: Packers – 6.5 O/U: 45
Here’s another instance where you can trust your gut. The Giants are plain awful and the Packers are straight up overrated. The Pack are definitely a victim of the league’s insanely dumb salary cap that isn’t designed to breed parity, but put an artificial camp on players earnings and also lock teams into paying a franchise quarterback and no one else. Look at Green Bay’s rosters over the last few years and tell me how many wins they’d have with a replacement level quarterback.
Anyways, that bit aside, the Packers have a decent, but aging offensive line and a couple nice running backs. When Davante Adams is healthy the passing game can be great. The defense can rush the passer, but they can’s stop the run. That doesn’t mean Saquon Barkley is going to gash them for 198 yards, but it means the defense will spend more time on the field than they should in any given game regardless of who they play.
After starting the season 2-2 and switching to Danny Dimes, the Giants have lost seven in a row. This team has a lot of growing pains to go through and they have a ton of work to do with the roster in the off season.The line is telling us that Green Bay is 10 points better than them at home. Considering they are going to be without Golden Tate and Evan Ingram, I won’t blame you for probably thinking this is a gimme. It probably is.
A better idea might be to put the Pack in a teaser, but for our purposes, with the Packers coming off a humiliating loss, Rodgers is going to want to beat the stuffing out of a lesser team if no other reason then to remind everyone they are still a contender and to fool themselves into thinking that last week’s dismantling was just a bad day at the office.
THE PICK: Packers -6.5
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
SPREAD: Titans + 1.5 O/U: 43
The Titans have quietly turned into a tough out. Their defense is rugged, they have a solid running game, and Ryan Tannehill is finally playing the sort of football a lot of people thought he was always capable of. Since taking over the starting job he’s put up 1,420 yards, 10 TD, and only four picks with another 123 yards rushing and three rushing TD. His QBR is 58.9 putting him just behind Carson Wentz and Jimmy Handsome. Not too shabby for a guy who was supposedly a washed up never was.
Their defense is rugged, they have a solid running game, and Ryan Tannehill is finally playing the sort of football a lot of people thought he was always capable of. Since taking over the starting job he’s put up 1,420 yards, 10 TD, and only four picks with another 123 yards rushing and three rushing TD. His QBR is 58.9 putting him just behind Carson Wentz and Jimmy Handsome. Not too shabby for a guy who was supposedly a washed up never was.
Look, no one is going to mistake the Titans for a juggernaut and they will more than likely lose in the divisional round if they make the playoffs, but they are built to give teams fits because they run the ball really well and hit really hard. They made Jacksonville look like a train wreck last week and beat the Chiefs.
Indy is hurt and on a bad slide. Take away the injuries and we’re looking at a 10-12-win team. It’s hard to win games when impact guys like Marlon Mack, Jacoby Brissett, Hilton, and Ebron have all missed time. Frank Reich has also weirdly enough become really conservative in his play calling. The Thursday game against Houston saw him repeatedly running the ball. This was an attempt to keep Houston’s offense off the field. Not a bad strategy, but slamming the ball into the line on second and third down with zero play action? It was head scratcher. Maybe that works against Tennessee, but I doubt it. Mike Vrabel seems to trust Tannehill a lot, and he has Derrick Henry looming as a home run threat.
My basic vibe on this game is that it’s two teams headed in different directions. Colts on the down slope and Tennessee finding their footing on the way up. I’ve loved the Colts all year, but injuries and some tactical errors have cost them winnable games. Maybe they right the ship at home, but I doubt it
THE PICK: Titans +1.5
San Fransisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
SPREAD: 49ers + 5.5 O/U: 45.5
The line opened at Baltimore -4.5 and has been bet up, so we clearly know who the majority of bettors like. Sixty percent of the bets are on Balty along with 60 percent of the money. I get it, both teams are coming off massive blowout wins and every is touting this as a Super Bowl preview. Maybe it is, but there’s a couple things to think about before we jump on the Niners as a value bet.
Jimmy Garoppolo has a QBR of 56.2 ranking him 13th in the NFL. I know I used that as a compliment for Tannehill, but for a guy who was touted as the proper heir to Tom Brady, it’s not. This is also a team that practically gave away the game to Seattle three weeks ago. Then, they almost got pantsed by the Cardinals. Now you’re saying that they are going to go into Baltimore and beat the best performing team in the league? Because they blew out the Packers?
I’ve got friends who are going large on the Niners in this game and I understand why. Their defense is top notch and is capable of taking away a lot of Lamar Jackson’s weapons, but you still have to account for Jackson. Not even the Patriots, the supposedly best defense in football could handle that action. I’m not being flippant. Right now, Baltimore is playing as if they are some kid on Madden online who is pasting your ass using, like, Miami.
Put this in perspective, for all the deserved hype west coast NFL fans give the Niners for their three-headed running game, the Ravens have the best running attack in maybe 40 years. In the 18 games Jackson has started, Baltimore is averaging 217.9 YPG. That is insane. There are teams that can’t generate that sort of yardage through the air.
Now, here’s the thing, if you’ve got two relatively evenly matched teams that are peaking at the same time going head to head, getting almost a touchdown is like a god send. Every square out there is grabbing Baltimore because of recency bias. Personally, I think this one is closer to three or four and the four would be because of how they danced their way through smashing the Rams.
I want to take the Niners, but my only pause is with their passing game. It’s … not great. George Kittle is the shit, but if you don’t think Baltimore won’t be keying on him all game, you’re insane. Job one for their defense is to stop that guy downfield. Another thing that brings me pause is that while the Niners are 1st overall in the NFL against the pass allowing only 136.9 YPG, they are 19th against the run allowing 1,222 yards. You’re going to tell me that the team with a lower third tier rush defense is going to stop the best running game in a generation?
THE PICK: RAVENS – 5.5
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