Swinger returns to action with his Week 15 NFL picks and as we enter the home stretch many teams are jockeying for postseason position while others are looking for tropical destinations to forget their season of futility. Let’s peruse this week’s NFL odds and crush our bookmaker.
Swinger's 2014 NFL Record (19-22, -29.65 units)
Your old buddy Swinger just cannot crawl out of the abyss as we went 2-2 against the number with the early contests clicking seamlessly as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati soared over the posted total of 53 in NFL odds while the Texans took care of business with a thrashing of the toothless Jags. However (can you hear me sighing?) the Chiefs were my big play over the Cardinals and they were living large and in charge at halftime but were then shut down in the second frame like JJ Gold at a singles bar. To add insult to injury the 49’ers continued their abysmal play by losing outright to the Oakland freakin’ Raiders.
Keep the faith boys and girls because there’s nothing else to do but keep going and roll into the playoffs on a heater.
Total - Buccaneers (5-8 O/U) vs. Panthers (8-5 O/U)
Cam “Crash” Newton will not be suiting up in this one as he heals from a car accident which paves the way for backup Derek Anderson. The former Oregon State star is entering his tenth season in the NFL and acquitted himself nicely in his only other start this season which coincidentally came against these same Tampa Bay Bucs. Anderson went 24-of-34 with two passing touchdowns and tossed for 230 yards through the air in a 20-14 road win in Week 1.
The Bucs are an erratic team that have alternated ATS covers over their last six games. If this trend continues then they should be in for a cover after hanging with the Lions at Ford Field until ultimately dropping a 34-17 decision last week. The Bucs can’t run the ball ranking 31st of 32 teams in the league and their passing isn’t a whole lot better. They have gone under the NFL odds in six of their last seven games.
This reads like a game where the Panthers will be asking Derek Anderson to do anything except throw interceptions. He is not a read-first quarterback like Newton who can improvise with his legs, but will instead be handing the ball off or looking for short gainers to keep the chains moving and the Bucs off the field. Of course the Carolina Panthers are still in the playoff hunt by virtue of playing in the worst division in football so this game does mean something despite their 4-8 record this late in the season.
That being said, I’m not going to be seduced by their startling 41-10 dismantling of the Saints last week, but I do expect a cautious game plan without Newton driving the bus. The Cats and Bucs have the 23rd and 28th ranked offenses respectively. This should be a low scoring affair that will tranquilize the literally hundreds of TV viewers who inadvertently stumbled upon this lackluster contest.
NFL Pick: Play Under 42 ½ for 4 units at 5Dimes
Packers (10-3 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) vs. Bills (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS)
You could see the letdown in the second half of last week’s game against the Falcons where the Packers watched the Falcons score 30 – yes 30! – points in the third and fourth quarters combined. The Pack pulled out the win but failed to cover the 14-point impost in NFL odds much to the chagrin of their backers who included them in their NFL picks.
I like the Bills here because they are a gritty group who has exceeded expectations and may be catching Green Bay sleeping. The Packers have a game against Tampa Bay next week on the road and this week are facing a team with the 5th ranked passing defense and 8th ranked rushing defense. This should be closer than many expect.
NFL Pick: Buffalo +4 ½ for 3 units at Pinnacle.com
49’ers (7-6 SU, 6-7 ATS) vs. Seahawks (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS)
The Niners lost to the Seahawks 19-3 two weeks ago and followed that offensively anemic effort up with their most dreadful performance of the season last week when they were stunned by the Raiders 24-13. But here’s the thing. The Hawks don’t score in bunches and the 49’ers defense is still very good. This point spread is an overreaction to a putrid offensive performance last week by San Francisco. Let’s grab the points and make some cash in our NFL picks with the Niners.
The Woodman’s Corner (6-8 ATS, - 2.7 units)
The Woodman clicked last week with a comeback ATS cover in NFL odds by the Buffalo Bills who trailed the Broncos by a pair of touchdowns entering the fourth quarter. With that unlikely cover under his belt he is steadfastly maintaining his undying loyalty to the underdogs. The Woodman declares Minnesota +8 as his NFL pick of the week.