Game-by-Game NFL Predictions Against The Spread

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 3:17 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2016 3:17 PM UTC

In this column we rundown week 2 of the NFL betting season and serve up NFL picks for each and every game versus the spread.  Find out where we line up our NFL picks.

Weekly Game-by-Game Picks Columns SU, ATS & Total
How our game-by-game picks fared for week 1? To be fair, not so bad at all. We were  winners in each and every category. It's week 1 though and it's important not to get carried away with what happened in the first week. So thinking caps back on and let's get cracking with our week 2 NFL picks.


Nikki Adams Game-by-Game Picks Record Week 1
Week 1 SU: 13-3-0          (Season Total: 13-3-0)
Week 1 ATS: 12-4-0        (Season Total: 12-4-0)
Week 1 Total: 10-5-1      (Season Total: 10-5-1)


Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite Dalton’s seven sacks and struggles against a stout Jets defense the Bengals still managed to carve out the narrow win. Not sure if that says more about the Jets or the Bengals. In any event, it’s another week in NFL betting and these cats are 1-0 SU whether you like their opening performance or not.  Fierce divisional rivals Pittsburgh Steelers, who eliminated Marvin Lewis and the Bengals in the playoffs last year, are coming off a memorable win in the nation’s capital. A win they pulled off despite Ben Roethlisberger playing without some of his faves. It was a total and complete team effort as they laid Kirk Cousins and the Redskins to waste in a 38-16 beat down. You like that! (hehehe). Given the intensity of this rivalry, it would be a mistake to handicap it based solely on the past week’s results. It’s a benchmark for where these teams are early in the season but that could change on a dime. Steelers take a 2-1 SU mark from last season into this clash They are 7-3-0 and 6-3-1 ATS in the last ten. Bengals have the score to settle. It’s a tossup.

Free NFL Picks: Steelers -3 -115 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions won a right cracker at Lucas Oil stadium 39-34. As a result, the Lions offense along with Matthew Stafford soar high on offensive stats. On the flipside, the defense – allowing Andrew Luck to happily pass for 385 yards (450 total yards) – is hovering near the bottom of the defensive leaders list. After week 1 there are only two defenses worse than Detroit – New Orleans and Oakland (a pair the served up another doozy in week 1). Defense practically almost cancelled out what offense did and, to put it simply, the Lions can’t continue playing that kind of football and expect to have a winning season. So what does that mean for the Titans, who are searching for their first win of the season after losing to the Vikings 25-16 on Sunday? The Vikings defense is a much tougher ask, undoubtedly. Clearly, the Lions defense doesn’t stack up. Ok. So second-year quarterback is a far cry from Andrew Luck, but he might not need to be a carbon copy of the pricey football bauble. They have a better run game than the Colts did and that could pose problems for the Lions. There’s also a sense about this matchup – call it a niggling feeling – the public is going to overreact and pound the Lions after beating Luck in his much-anticipated return. Particularly those NFL bettors that didn’t have the balls to back the Lions last week.

Free NFL Picks: +7 -140
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
It’s week 1 and the Browns already have a new starting quarterback. Well, technically, a familiar one: Josh McCown who was relegated to backup role to RGIII this season. Didn’t last long, did it? McCown has had success against the Ravens in season’s past with his stints with the Bears and Browns, which makes him a bit of an X-factor in this game. To be fair, the Ravens had their fair share of problems last season so the 33-30 win by the Browns must be taken within that context as well. Still, the Browns figure to be a better team with McCown in the eyes of many NFL pundits and that could make for a rare opportunity in this column to actually shade the Browns on our NFL picks (Yikes, do we really dare?)

NFL Picks: Browns +7 -115 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
The Dallas Cowboys continue their losing ways without Tony Romo calling the shots. This time it was a narrow 20-19 defeat to the NY Giants at home marred by some poor decisions with time running out. The nation’s capital couldn’t have liked what it saw on MNF. Kirk Cousins out of sorts and the Redskins ripped apart by the Steelers. Not the long awaited start by the NFC East champions, which only makes this matchup all the more important. More so for the Cowboys as they are not only 0-1 down on the season but also 0-1 down in the division.

Free NFL Picks: Cowboys + 3
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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New Orleans Saints vs. NY Giants
Get the smelling salts ready. This could be a right cracker in week 2 to spot on your NFL picks. Last term, it served up a ridiculous 52-49 win for the Saints with both Drew Brees and Eli Manning passing for oodles of yards and hurling touchdowns like confetti in the red zone. If this game lives up to its predecessor there’s no telling which team will win but we can assume it’ll be a shootout. Our money is on the slightly better defense of the Giants to win straight up in our corresponding game-by-game SU picks piece, but that’s not a certain bet to be honest. So do we lay the 4.5 to 5 points with the G-men in a matchup with Drew Brees as well or hedge our bets? Oh, dunno about that. Given the Saints’ 35-34 loss to the Raiders the instinct is to bet the Saints to cover. However, the Raiders defense was god awful and the penalties they incurred played a big role in the game ending up so close. When all else fails, we trot out the stats: the Saints are 4-1 SU against the Giants in their last five games winning four in a row and they are 3-1-1 ATS over the Giants too.

Free NFL Picks: Saints +5 -111 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
Well, didn’t the San Francisco 49ers silence their critics in a 28-0 win on MNF, not to mention humiliate the hyped up Rams who – for some bizarre reason – were trading as the favorites. (When did the Rams go from chumps to champs? Didn’t get the memo.) In any event, let’s not get carried away with the Niners. Yes, the defense is good again. Chip Kelly underscores his winning credentials. But did Blaine Gabbert sell himself as the viable quarterback for the future? Not so sure about that when, let’s face it, he faced a team that clearly didn’t punch at its perceived weight class. Besides, one game doesn’t signal a turnaround.

The matchup with the Panthers is sure to be illuminating. We’ll know by Sunday the true measure of the Niners. Remember the Niners won impressive over the Vikings last term (20-3) in MNF, only to spectacularly implode from then onwards. Yes, different coach. A lot different. La, la la… the Panthers are still the same team that went to the Super Bowl last season smashing all and sundry In sight. Keep in mind the Panthers are simmering like a pressure cooker on the backburner since Thursday’s bitter defeat to the Broncos. Newton wants to beat up on somebody and that looks to be Blaine Gabbert and the Niners in Carolina’s home opener. Scary prospect.

Free NFL Picks: Panthers -13 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
Jimmy Garoppolo impressed in the Patriots 23-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but, a lot of the credit goes to the genius under the headset sat on the side lines wearing his trademark colorless hoodie. Bill Belichick is simply remarkable at getting the game plan right. When a team has the enviable services of such brilliant tactician at its disposal it’s not surprising they find ways to win even against so-called Super Bowl contenders Arizona, who were as high as -9.5 on the NFL odds board at closing doors. Week 2 pits the Patriots against the Dolphins for a divisional rivalry that will be pivotal for the Patriots towards their title ambitions in the AFC East. Dolphins held the Seahawks to a nominal 12-10 victory thereby covering as the + 10 (or higher depending on your choice sportsbook) underdogs. Cross-country travel takes the shine off of the Dolphins though in their second straight road game. That and they are 4-7-1 ATS when playing New England in their last 12 meetings.

Free NFL Picks: Patriots -6.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
The Chiefs have owned the Texans in recent meetings, including a 30-0 win in the playoffs last term that brought about wholesale changes in Houston. Finally, they understood the need for a viable quarterback. Enter Brock Osweiler, who got his first taste of NFL with the Broncos against the Kansas City Chiefs in week 10, replacing then starter Peyton Manning late in the game. It was too late to make an impact, defeat already imminent. But it gave Osweiler a few more starts with the Broncos and he went on to win three straight after that (four out of six) and kept the Broncos in contention. The rest is history. Osweiler and the Texans won their opener 23-14 over the Bears with relative ease after recovering from a shaky start. Similarly, the Chiefs got off to a slow start against the Chargers but turned it around and eventually won in overtime. There’s not a lot of takeaway from week 1 when both the Texans and Chiefs came up against soft targets in the NFL. This should be a more revealing matchup about these two teams. Home advantage tips it towards the Texans in our books on what is a nominal spread trading on the NFL odds board, but, admittedly, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Chiefs pull off the upset.

Free NFL Picks: Texans -2 -120 
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
 The Rams got stuffed last week at Levi Stadium. Not surprisingly, fans are clamouring for their prized NFL draft pick Jared Goff to start in week 2 against the Seahawks but Jeff Fisher is sticking with Case Keenum, who had a disastrous turnout against the Niners. The ghoulish stats aren’t even worth mentioning, but seeing as he’s the likely shot caller on Sunday it’s going to be impossible to bet the Rams to win straight up. Granted the Rams surprisingly swept the series last term and won three of the last four meetings. As well, the Seahawks aren’t the same team without Marshawn Lynch. But the Seahawks found a way to win ugly in week 1 against the Dolphins. That’s a winning mentality that is hard to ignore. On the bright side, Russell Wilson is set to start this game despite the question marks surrounding his ankle injury. As far as quarterbacks go, he can singlehandedly lift a team on his shoulder and lead them to victory.

Free NFL Picks: Seahawks -7 +105
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals look to bounce back at the expense of the Cardinals in week 2, marking their second home game of the season in as many weeks. The Cards lost a narrow one to the Patriots 23-21. Seeing as it is the Patriots – a proven champion – NFL bettors and pundits alike appear to be rather forgiving. Heck, even NFL odds makers as they install the Cards as the touchdown favorites at home to the Bucs. Clearly, the expectation is the Cards will bounce back in a big way. Now, not to ruffle too many feathers…but…how to put this delicately…hmmm…Carson Palmer wasn’t on his game and for a good portion he simply couldn’t get anything past the Patriots defense. They really gave him a lot of trouble (3 sacks). If Dirk Koetter needs a blueprint on how to beat the Cards Bill Belichick just gave it to him. Besides, Jameis Winston is coming off a 4 TD performance and 1 interception in week 1’s  31-24 win over the Falcons. A win in which they shut down Julio Jones effectively and defied the NFL odds (+3 underdogs) with plenty to spare. Might the Bucs be snubbed a bit prematurely by the NFL odds?

Free NFL Picks: +7 -120  
Best Line Offered: 
at Bookmaker

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Diego Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars showed a lot of promise even in the defeat to the Packers, proving they were worth the hype ahead of the season. The Chargers choking act was by far the  worst of the week, allowing the Chiefs to storm back and win after taking such a commanding lead inspires very little confidence. Philipp Rivers is a good quarterback but the team around him simply sucks. Sorry, no other way to put it. A field goal favorite at home? That’s too funny for words.

Free NFL Picks: Jaguars +3.5 -115 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders
Cool heads need to prevail before everybody goes clamoring onto the Black and Silver wagon. One win does not a playoff team make and certainly not a win over the Swiss cheese defense in New Orleans. Speaking of which the Raiders defense has a lot to answer for after giving up over 500 yards and four touchdowns to Drew Brees and Company. Inexcusable. Inasmuch as Derek Carr looked good in front of the Swiss cheese stood in his way so too did Brees in front of the porous Raiders defense as he finished with a stellar 131.1 passer rating. Atlanta’s defense isn’t formidable either but their offense can light up. Bet you Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will relish a crack at the Raiders defense in week 2 as they look to bounce back on the road. To put it bluntly, when the defense cancels out what the offense can do on any given it’s a tossup between winning and losing. The Raiders can’t expect a great season when they fly by the seat of their pants so.

Free NFL Picks: Falcons +5.5 -115
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes, who is offering a 50% Free Play Bonus

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Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
What do Andrew Luck and Drew Brees have in common? They are the great passers of the game contained within middling teams. Colts were brutally beaten by the Lions in a shootout that marred Lucks belated return to the game. If Luck and company can lose to the Lions one worries about their fate at Mile High. Luck might be forced to go for more and that could be detrimental against a defense that won the Super Bowl last season.

Trevor Siemian was impressive as he led the Broncos in a come from behind win over the Panthers. Initially slow out of the gates Broncos defense recovered in the second half and did their part to serve up the win. We can mull over the missed field goal attempt by the Panthers that could have turned the game on its head – Gary Kubiak’s timely timeout put off the kicker and his second attempt sailed well wide of the posts. Let’s not be churlish and take away from the rookie what was a positive debut.

Free NFL Picks: Broncos -6 -105 
Best Line Offered: 
at Heritage

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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Nobody knows who the starting quarterback for the Vikings will be – Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford. Does it matter? In week 1 it made little difference. Shaun Hill was pedestrian at best but the defense and run game found a way to beat the Titans. A matchup with the Titans is well and good. Let’s see them do it again against the Packers. In this case, who the starter is should make a difference to the outcome. The Packers defense was solid against the Jacksonville Jaguars and, well, we don’t need to wax lyrical about Aaron Rodgers. It’s Sunday Night Football and the Packers descend on the brand new U.S Bank Stadium as the 2.5 road favorites or thereabouts for good reason. The Packers easily can be the class of the NFC, never mind the likely bet to win the NFC North back this season.

Free NFL Picks: Packers -1 -120 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
Inasmuch as the Raiders “impressed” in New Orleans, so too did Carson Wentz in a 29-10 win at home to the Browns. Why the quotation marks, you may be wondering? Well, Derek Carr and the Raiders caught a break with the Swiss cheese defense. Similarly, the second overall draft pick caught a break with the Browns in his debut. Hard to get excited about either result. That said the Eagles catch another break with the Bears in week 2 – the NFL gods are smiling on Philly. Neither the Browns nor the Bears look any good this season, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the Eagles go 2-0 SU and ATS to start the season. That doesn’t mean the Eagles are going to be great this season. They’ve just caught a lucky break in the NFL schedule to ease their prized draft pick from college to pro football. For the sake of MNF, let’s hope the Bears make it at least more interesting than the Rams did. Three hours lost and that we’ll never get back. Uuff.

Free NFL Picks: Eagles +3.5 -115  
Best Line Offered: 
at 5Dimes

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Thursday, September 15th, 2016

NY Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
The Jets should have won in week 1. Should have. Would have. Could have. Tale told, they lost and pushed as the +1 home underdogs in the narrow loss. They have plenty of chances in the red zone but Ryan Fitzpatrick and the O-line fritted those away. If there were a bright spot, it was their defense. They sacked Andy Dalton seven times!!! That’s nothing to sniff at and should give Tyrod Taylor some pause, not to mention the coaching tandem of the Ryan twins. The Bills were awful in the 13-7 defeat to the Ravens on the road in week 1. Taylor props up the league in offensive stats with his unassuming impression of quarterbacking, underscored by an inability to move the ball against the Ravens defense. If the Jets defense gets up for this one, they really should get the cover. If not the outright win altogether. How the Jets could open as the +2.5 or +3 underdogs in this game beggars belief, really.

Free NFL Picks: Jets +2.5 -105 
Best Lines Offered: at 5Dimes

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