Follow me on twitter for updates and Q&A @JorelPetree
Its week 8 in the NFL and it looks like a few upsets are in place. A few teams are in must win situations and need to get back on track.
– The Star* rating is how much I like that team against the spread. 14* is my favorite pick.
– The bold team indicates the team I like against the spread. (ATS)
– The CAPITAL team is the home team.
O/U – Over/Under
ATS – Against the Spread
DOG – Underdog
FAV – Favorite
CON – Conference
DIV – Division
SU – Strait Up
**LOCK** 14 ************** (UPSET ALERT)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 over MINNESOTA VIKINGS by 3
Coach Greg Schiano had gone into his bye week with a 1-4 record. He has made some great offensive adjustments since. Last week they fell short of the Saints after posting 500 yards and 28 points. They averaged 33 points in their last two contest and are moving the ball very well through the air. Tampa Bay has been able to get Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams a lot of balls in situations to make big plays. They also have now established a running game, making them very balanced on offense. Seven points in a match-up like this is way to many. Minnesota has been playing great defense this year, but they are not a high-powered offense. They are up against a team who has proven they can put points up on the board and also do very well stopping the run. I am not expecting a big day out of Adrian Peterson, which will cause the Vikings to struggle. Tampa Bay and points on this Thursday Night Match-up
- Tampa Bay is 5-0 SUATS in their last 5 verse Minnesota
- Minnesota is 1-7 SU against the NFC South in the regular season
**LOCK** 13 *************
New England Patriots -6 1/2 over ST. LOUIS RAMS by 13
The Rams are playing solid defense this year, but were exposed by the Green Bay Packers. It looks as if they finally got Steven Jackson going, with two double digit fantasy weeks back to back. The Rams defense averages 17.7 rushing points against and 18.9 passing points against in fantasy football. Not a good formula when facing one of the most balanced offenses in the league. New England can line up in any formation and hit you with a run or pass. It’s a long trip out to Europe as both teams will be suffering from jet lag. Obviously coaching is going to play a huge role. New England gets 436 yards and 31.0 points per game when playing out side of the United States. They are definitely going to put a show on this week, especially coming off of an overtime game verse the Jets.
- New England is 14-4 SU in its last 18 games
- St. Louis is 5-19 SU in its last 24 games
- St. Louis is 8-15-1 ATS in its last 24 games
**LOCK** 12 ************
San Diego Chargers – 2 1/2 over CLEVELAND BROWNS by 10
San Diego Chargers are the better team across the board, 3 points should be easy for them to cover. The only category that the Browns have is passing yards per game, as they are beating the Chargers by 15 yards per game. The Chargers are hungry they need a win and cannot afford to lose to a 1-6 Cleveland Brown team. I am usually weary when west coast teams travel to the east coast, but these teams do not match-up very well. The Chargers have 3 losses all to very good opponents. (Atlanta, Denver and New Orleans) They handled the weak teams they have faced very well this year. Trent Richardson is a game time decision not to mention the Chargers host the #2 overall defense in rushing yards against. The Browns will not be able to establish a run in this game and they will fall far behind. San Diego is in a must win and will coast to 4-3 on Sunday
- San Diego is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games at home
- Browns are 1-7 ATS when playing off a non division loss verse the AFC West
- Cleveland is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Diego
- Cleveland is 1-12 SU in its last 13 games
11 *********** (UPSET ALERT)
Indianapolis Colts + 3 1/2 over Tennessee Titans by 3
This is a game that can go either way. The Colts have been very inconsistent stopping the run. Tennessee has finally found the running game and Chris Johnson has blown up. Indianapolis has been a solid passing team and consistent throwing the ball. Tennessee is not very good at stopping the pass and Andrew Luck will be able to have his way verse the Titans. The Titans have been playing poor football and are not ranked in one category higher than 17th. Not to mention battled last week with average Buffalo. The Colts have the better ranked offense and defense in this contest and should win the game out right.
- Tennessee is 2-9 SU coming off of a game when scoring 35 or more points
- Mike Munchak is 1-5 ATS in games off of a SU DOG win
- Indianapolis is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Tennessee
- Tennessee is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games
CHICAGO BEARS over Carolina Panthers +9 by 3
The Panthers fell short the last match-ups against two great defensive teams. (Cowboys and Seattle) You can see the frustration when watching interviews of Cam Newton. Carolina declared Jonathan Stewart as the starting running back this weekend. Look for Carolina to get back to the basics and pound out the football. The Bears have been out gained in 3 of their last 4 games on the stats sheet. Carolina may not be very successful against the leagues best rush defense but they will be able to move the ball and control some clock. The Bears are 16th in the league in pass yards against. Carolina will try work their play action pass and take advantage of Chicago’s secondary. Cam Newton should have a big day with his tight end Greg Olsen as the Bears are 21st in the league verses tight ends. These two will have to connect early and often and move the sticks. Carolina is hungry and wants a win badly, they will be ready for the Bears off Monday Night football and try to get a win in Chicago. In this match-up 9 points is much to many for the Bears to handle.
- Cam Newton is 4-0 SU off of a loss verse an opponent off a win.
9 ********* (UPSET ALERT)
DALLAS COWBOYS +3 over New York Giants by 4
Every year as the season plays out, I circle games on the calendar that I can’t wait to watch. I love these division rival games, especially off a heated battle the first time around. This game will get physical real quick and be a classic. The Cowboys have been amazing this year at stopping the pass, which is the New York Giants strength. This is a huge game for Dallas as they can pull within 1 game of the Giants, and also take a 2-0 lead on them in the division. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are going to have a big day this time around, as they should be able to march the ball on New York’s weak pass defense. Anytime the team looks good on paper and they are a home dog I am in! Cowboys will make this division a little more interesting this weekend.
- Dallas is 38-19-1 ATS in division games after scoring less than 20 points in its last game.
- Eli Manning is 0-3 SU off of three consecutive wins
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -2 1/2 over Atlanta Falcons by 7
The Eagles have been a great team this year at home. They beat two quality opponents in Philly and are looking to get their third at home this week. The Falcons have allowed more yards this year then they have gained. Atlanta’s undefeated season ends here in Philly. The Eagles look on paper as if they are a terrible team offensively, as they are ranked 30th in scoring. They have done a great job this year at moving the ball they just have not found the end-zone. Philadelphia is 7th in the league in total yards for on offense, and 11th in yards against. The Eagles have struggled running the ball this year and they are still ranked 10th in rushing yards. This is a big week for LeSean McCoy, and the Eagles will establish a running game verse the NFL’s 28th defense in rushing yards against. This is a must win for Philly at home so they can be above .500 and tighten up the division.
- Andy Reid is 14-0 SU during the regular season off of rest
- Atlanta is 2-10-1 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Philadelphia
- Atlanta is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
7 ******* (UPSET ALERT)
Washington +4 1/2 over Pittsburgh Steelers by 3
The Steelers are banged up and are going to have to rely on the arm of Big Ben. Washington has been so difficult to defend this year as Griffin can run and throw. Pittsburgh has done nothing but battle with mediocre teams this year as Washington has battled with a difficult schedule. With injuries haunting the Steelers Washington should be able to run with this game and pull a road upset. Washington is ranked 1st in the NFL in average rushing yards and 5th in the NFL in total yards for. Pittsburgh is hosting one of the leagues best defenses but this team is not the same with out their captain Troy Polamalu. Washington has the squad to come into Pittsburgh and upset them, regardless 4 1/2 points is to many in this match-up.
- Washington is 5-0 ATS off of back to back FAV wins
- Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Washington
6****** (UPSET ALERT)
New Orleans Saints +6 over Denver Broncos by 1
The Saints are hungry and they are looking to improve, Drew Brees has been lights out this year, but they have had no support from their defense. This is a match-up I cannot wait to watch, two of the best Quarterbacks of my time going at it. This is going to be a battle and 6 points is to many in this match-up. Now that Jonathan Vilma has had some time to get his rhythm on defense, this will be the week that the Saints step up. They are 2-4 but know they can make the playoffs behind the arm of Brees. This is a big game for them to get back on track to improve to .500 on the season. Denver is off rest but the Saints need this game very badly, as a loss could really put a damper on their playoff hopes. Brees and the points in this battle of the best QB’s.
- Broncos are 1-8 ATS in game 7
- New Orleans is 16-7 SU in its last 23 games
- Denver is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home
5 ***** (UPSET ALERT)
Miami Dolphins + 1 1/2 over New York Jets by 3
There are some high emotions going in this game, as the Jets are looking to hurt Reggie Bush. The Jets have played decent football when they can establish a run and get Shonn Green going. Not going to happen this weekend as the Jets host the #3 defense in rushing yards against. I am not sold on Sanchez at all and Miami will get after him on defense. The Dolphins do have the 28th ranked defense in passing yards against, but Mark is no threat. Reggie Bush is a great running back and runs hard, the Jets host the 30th ranked rush defense in average yards against. This game has disaster all over it for the Jets, as Miami improves to 4-3 on the year.
- Miami is 20-7 ATS as a road DOG
- Miami is 13-3 against teams off of a loss
- Rex Ryan is 4-8-1 ATS when playing off a loss
GREEN BAY PACKERS -15 1/2 over Jacksonville Jaguars by 21
ESPN needs to redo the old Albert Pujols commercial when he says “I am not a machine” and just put the Packers offense in with that quote, because this offense is a machine. Green Bay is back and rolling, and have had an emergence of good wide receivers this year. With Greg Jennings going down, they really needed James Jones and Randall Cobb to step up. Not only have they stepped up they exceeded expectations. This is the Packers team we are used to seeing the past few years. The Jaguars 24th defense in passing yards against is not a good rank to travel to Green Bay with.
- Jacksonville is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- Green Bay is 16-2 SU in its last 18 games at home
DETROIT LIONS -2 over Seattle Seahawks by 6
Seattle has not been a very good team on the road, but they play great defense anywhere. The Lions did struggle last week verse the Bears defense which is very good. The Lions are hungry and desperate to get a win. They have a lot of talent and are starting to play good defense, Louis Delmas has been a huge addition since they got him back from injury. This should be a close game, but the Lions have the talent on offense to bust this game open. They will be able to get pressure on Russell Wilson and disrupt the Seahawks slow offense. The Lions are notorious for giving up the big play, and that has been how Seattle has made their money this year. If they can limit the long passes they should be able to hang around long enough to finish in the 4th quarter. Detroit is 2-4 but their offense is +84 in average yards per game differential.
- Seattle is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
San Francisco 49ers over ARIZONA CARDINALS +6 1/2 by 4
San Francisco really struggled last week offensively against the Seahawks. Arizona this year has survived on their defensive play. This is a primetime game on Monday Night football and a touchdown is to many verse the 49ers slow offense. Arizona should be able to keep it a close game as both offenses are going to have a hard time moving the ball.
- NFL teams that win Thursday Night football and play on Monday night are 0-6 ATS
- San Francisco is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
- Arizona is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -1 1/2 over Oakland Raiders by 4
This is the division toilet bowl challenge as these teams have been terrible this year. The Chiefs are banged up, and starting their back up Quarterback. The Chiefs have had more success this year running the ball than the Raiders have had. The Chiefs will look to get Charles going early and he should have a big game. Oakland has been very generous to opposing Quarterbacks. Which will allow Brady Quinn to relax and hit his targets. This game looks as if the Chiefs will win and tie the Raiders in the division.
- Oakland is 8-15 SU in its last 23 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
Currently have 155* out of 309*
Against the Spread Record 25-21-1
Strait Up Picks are 32-15
Lock Picks are 7-4-1