Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to October 21 inclusive:
1-1 ML (+0.71 units)
Even when you think your latest brilliant NFL bet is a deadbolt lock, there’s almost always a sweat. I had UNDER 47.5 in Monday night’s incredibly awful matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. It cashed in with room to spare when the Giants won 23-7, but the two teams kept trying to give each other points. Almost all of Minnesota’s production was on special teams, most notably that 86-yard punt return TD by Marcus Sherels.
Which brings us to our next very special episode of Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC), where the Vikings will try to get it right against their NFC North rivals, the visiting Green Bay Packers. The football lines have Minnesota getting 10 points at the Metrodome. Is there any fight in this dog? Not according to the nearly-unanimous consensus in support of the Packers.
Tune into our NFL odds page for a comprehensive list of books and lines~
I think we can all agree that Josh Freeman was not sufficiently prepared for his Vikings debut. His was the worst performance of any quarterback in Week 7 according to Football Outsiders, who clocked Freeman at minus-136 Total DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement). He was winging the ball over his intended targets all night long, completing just 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and one interception.
But how much of this can we truly blame on Freeman’s coaches for starting him underprepared? Here’s a look at Freeman’s first three games of the season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Week 1 (at New York Jets): minus-31 DYAR, 15-of-31, 210 yards, one TD, one INT
Week 2 (vs. New Orleans): minus-74 DYAR, 9-of-22, 125 yards, one TD, one INT
Week 3 (at New England): minus-13 DYAR, 19-of-41, 236 yards, zero TDs, one INT
Looks like Freeman’s performance in Week 7 was pretty much in line with what lost him his job in Tampa Bay. That doesn’t mean that Minnesota was wrong to give Freeman a shot at the starting gig, given their limited expectations with Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel. But until Freeman shows some of that 2011 Pro Bowl form (okay, he was an alternate pick), why should we put our hard-earned money on him when we bet on the NFL?
Did you see my other pick on the Patriots vs. Dolphins?
Green Bay Nights
Hey, did you know there’s an NFL team in Green Bay, Wisc.? Crazy, I know. The football betting public seems to have forgotten all about QB Aaron Rodgers – you remember, the MVP with the Super Bowl ring who isn’t Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Rodgers is quietly enjoying yet another quality season, completing 65 percent of his passes and posting a 104.5 passer rating. Ho-hum.
Wait a second… is this 2012? The Packers lost their season opener to the San Francisco 49ers, then lost in Week 3 before eventually righting the ship. Same thing this year: Green Bay has won its last three games SU and ATS to take the division lead. But it hasn’t come without a cost. WR Randall Cobb (broken leg) and TE Jermichael Finley (bruised spinal cord) are both out for extended periods of time, depriving Rodgers of two of his favorite targets.
That’s not going to stop me from fading Minnesota this week in my NFL picks. The Packers have other weapons in their arsenal, including rookie RB Eddie Lacy (4.2 yards per carry), and the Vikings had the No. 27 ranked defense in the league before losing to the Giants. Minnesota is 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS and one step away from joining the Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes. Maybe that’s been the plan all along.
NFL Pick: Take the Packers –9.5 at William Hill