Back for another edition of surveying the betting odds released by the sportsbooks, looking to determine which have the most value for making NFL picks on a week to week basis.
This is third season we delve into not only which teams look like solid plays, but the equally (and some feel more) important number, which can provide the best value for your NFL Picks and have you thinking like a true NFL handicapper.
Bears at +7 Worth a Look Despite the History
In the Midwest, anyone who is a Bears fan in Illinois or a Packers fan from Wisconsin can tell you Chicago is 5-19 and 6-18 ATS at Soldier Field against Green Bay since Brett Favre's first year in green and yellow.
The Bears are picked universally to finish last in the NFC North and I agree with that assessment, but with Chicago catching seven points at home, you have to think about them. Both teams are banged up at wide receiver, thus, each quarterback will have limitations. Look for Matt Forte to have at least 25 touches and TE Martellus Bennett to be a big part of the passing offense.
Defensively, new coach John Fox knows how to scheme and he's junked the soft recent Chicago defenses and the Bears will be more aggressive. Green Bay wins, just by three or four points.
Free NFL Pick: Bears +7 at 5Dimes
Indianapolis at -2.5 is Too Good To Pass Up
When looking at NFL odds, the very first aspect anyone should consider is the quarterback matchup. As has been widely discussed, the NFL has evolved into a quarterback league and if you have a good one, you have an excellent chance for the postseason and if you do not, your team is watching the playoffs.
Consider Andrew Luck against Tyrod Taylor for this game. Yes, Buffalo has a fine defense, some weapons on offense and an argument can be made the Bills are stronger at several individual positions. Nonetheless, the NFL is about making plays and Luck is the far superior field general and has more weapons than the inexperienced Taylor.
Certainly in a one-game scenario anything is possible, but the Colts as this price too good to pass up.
Free NFL Pick: Colts -2.5
Philadelphia Right Side, Could Become Even Greater Value at Atlanta
Coach Chip Kelly has no excuses in his third season for Philadelphia not winning their division and making a legitimate run to the NFC championship, assembling the kind of players he wanted.
Philadelphia mauled the opposition in first three NFLX games, leaving one to wonder are the Eagles a mirage or being the aggressor like Sean Payton and New Orleans was in 2009 when they did the same thing in Super Bowl season. The Eagles will need an injury-free season from QB Sam Bradford, which iffy at best, but the presences of DeMarco Murray and a strong offensive line makes Philly a good choice.
While I have read and heard many handicappers are high on Atlanta, I still see below average talent on both lines, which the Eagles can take advantage off. Kelly's crew has gone from a -1 to -3 point road favorites and I would look around all week to see if you find a -2.5 which could pop up and add value. Amazingly, this will be the 12th consecutive time the Falcons will be underdogs to the Eagles and they are 4-7 ATS. Give the points.
Free NFL Pick: Eagles -2.5