The regular season might be winding down, but the playoff races are really heating up. Those setting the betting odds have to consider key matchups, mismatches and games duller than another Country Christmas television show. Off a stretch of 11-2-2 with my NFL picks (22-13-3 ATS for the season, let see what value I can uncover this week.
After awhile, you cannot ignore it, no matter the outcome. For three straight games the New England offense has been a virtual no-show in the first half and watching them play, it falls on the shoulders of Tom Brady and the Patriots offensive line. Brady continues to toss passes which are missing the mark and his protection has also caused him to be off target. Now add the loss of Rob Gronkowski and the situation becomes more convoluted.
With a defense conceding 28.6 points a game since their bye week, it is becoming increasing more difficult to back the Pats with one of your sports picks.
After losing to then winless Tampa Bay, Miami was unraveling on and off the field. The outcry which was not the loudest, but is proving to be the most important, was taking the harness off quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Since the second-year signal caller has been called upon to make more plays, the Dolphins are 3-1 and 4-0 ATS and parked seventh in the AFC playoff choice.
Miami led at New England 17-0 earlier this season before crumbling in a 27-17 loss and knows they can win. The Fins have not beaten the Patriots at home since 2009, but that streak ends this week.
NFL Football Free Pick- Miami +3
San Francisco in a Close One at Tampa Bay
The 49ers found a way to knock off Seattle in a very hard fought contest. San Francisco had to use a lot of energy and having to make a cross-country trip to face a 4-9 team and more than one NFL handicapper might spend time looking over this NFC matchup.
Sportsbooks sent the Buccaneers out as five-point home underdogs, but Tampa is 5-1 ATS (4-2 SU) in their past six outings and the defense has forced 19 turnovers in five games.
No doubt the San Francisco defense could make life miserable for rookie QB Mike Glennon, but I believe the Bucs defense and crowd can keep them in this contest and if San Fran is off their game, all the sudden we have ourselves a field goal outcome.
NFL Football Free Pick- Tampa Bay +5
Kansas City Rules Over the Raiders
When the Chiefs and Raiders collide, I immediately think of one of those college rivalries where unthinkable outcomes trump the talent and skill on the field. Kansas City is 10-3 and even when they had far less talents teams, they always have made life miserable for the Raiders, owning a 14-7 and 15-6 ATS mark when in the visitor’s role in the past 21 skirmishes.
The NFL odds have the Chiefs as a road favorite, but given the history and the talent disparity, Kansas City should be able to contain Oakland’s offense. Also, while the Raiders play harder, they still make more than enough mistakes and Alex Smith and Jamal Charles will be able to generate big plays.
With Da Raiders having lost 24-7 to the Chiefs two months ago and having a 3-12 ATS record at home revenging a loss against an opponent by 14 points or more, I have no problem handing out the digits.
NFL Football Free Pick- Kansas City -3.5