NFL Thursday Night Football Predictions, Chiefs vs. Raiders Against the Spread Picks

Opening NFL Week 7 Odds

Chiefs vs. Raiders ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

If anyone plans on catching the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, there’s going to have to be a team in the West that steps up and beats them. The Oakland Raiders have a grand chance of doing just that on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7 of the season.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Opening NFL Week 7 Odds: Chiefs -3, O/U 47.5
Chiefs vs. Raiders TV Coverage: CBS

The 1972 Miami Dolphins popped their corks last weekend when the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the year. Now, we’ll see whether Kansas City is going to stick around as one of the top contenders in the AFC or not.

The hope for the Chiefs is that their first half last week against the Steelers was an aberration. Alex Smith and company had -21 yards in the first half versus the team that ended their season. For a team that still ranks No. 2 in the NFL in total offense at 387.0 yards per game and is No. 3 in scoring, you have to think that this was a flash in the pan.

Then again, it’s also worth remembering that the Chiefs had an average-at-best offense a year ago, and there isn’t any more talent on this team now than there was last season. The only difference is that Kareem Hunt, a running back who may or may not have more talent than anyone who was on the roster last year, is racking up insane statistics.

The Raiders dropped to just 2-4 on the year. A loss in this game, and the likelihood of getting into the playoffs is slim at best. Oakland won’t be back at home after this game until November 26 after playing at Buffalo and Miami, having a bye week, then playing in Mexico City against New England.

Derek Carr rushed back from his back injury in Week 6 after missing just one game. After watching him throw for just 171 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers last week, we wonder if there’s still a lot wrong with him.

But even before he was hurt, the Raiders were struggling. They scored 71 points in their first two games combined; they’ve scored a total of just 53 since that point.

Heck, E.J. Manuel’s 17-point effort against Baltimore was the best this team has had since Week 2 of the season.

Key Player

It should be rather obvious that your best players have to make big plays to win games in the NFL. It should also be rather obvious that Oakland’s struggles run parallel to Amari Cooper’s.

In the first two games of the season, Cooper had nine receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. In his last four, he has nine receptions for 51 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1 and hasn’t had a catch that covered more than eight yards since Week 2.

Simply put, the Raiders aren’t moving the ball without No. 89 making some big plays. Cooper’s frustration has to boil over at some point. Maybe the fact that he had five receptions against L.A. last week will help him out. This has to be his breakout game, but it comes against one of the stingier pass defenses in the NFL.

Chiefs vs. Raiders Free Picks

Last year, Cooper had 15 catches in two games against the Chiefs, and we have to think that he’s going to finally snap out of his funk this week.

We’re not sold on this Kansas City outfit. The team has massively overachieved offensively, and for as great as this pass rush is, the raw defensive stats aren’t great. There’s no way this team should be allowing just 21.7 points per game after allowing 378.2 yards per game.

The Oakland defense played a huge game last week against the Chargers, yet it ran out of gas at the end after so many bad offensive possessions left the ‘D’ in bad spots. If Carr and the offense get their acts together, this is a winnable game against an overrated team.

NFL ATS Pick: Raiders +3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 20

NFL Week 5 Picks, New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds

Patriots vs. Buccaneers ATS Picks

Patriots vs. Buccaneers ATS Picks

By Mike Rose

Through four weeks of play, it’s become painfully apparent that the New England Patriots are nowhere near as good as the team that came back against the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl. After falling to the Panthers at home on Sunday a week removed from surviving against the Texans, the Pats head into this Week 5 kick-off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on shaky ground. The Bucs would love nothing more than to land another body blow on the defending champs.

New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date and Time: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium
Week 5 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Patriots -4, O/U 54
Patriots vs. Buccaneers TV Coverage: CBS

A 2-2 record was something many envisioned the Patriots to have at the start of last season with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games. With him under center and New England playing three of its first four games in front of the hometown faithful, it’s not exactly what was expected. Be that as it may, the Patriots enter Week 5 a .500 team and it has everything to do with a defense that can’t stop anything right now.

The maligned stop unit just allowed a Carolina offense that combined for just 45 points in its first three games to drop 33 points on the Gillette Stadium scoreboard to hand the heavily favored Patriots a shocking defeat. Brady is still playing out of his mind having thrown for just under 1,400 yards and a stellar 10:0 TD/INT ratio, but unfortunately, his team has needed every single one of those points just to split their first four games.

Tampa Bay burst onto the scene in Week 4 by scoring the game’s first 13 points. Unfortunately, it was forced to kick a game-winning field goal at the end of the game due to the defense being unable to stop New York’s offense from the second quarter forward. Still, you can’t help but come away a bit impressed with the job Dirk Koetter’s squad did to protect its house and remain undefeated when in front of the hometown faithful.

The Buccaneers logged an impressive 434 total yards against the Giants defense with Jameis Winston having yet another 300-plus yard passing performance. Though he threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings last week, the only thing being talked about the performance was his three interceptions. Well, the third year field general went out and threw for another 332 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, but this time, he didn’t toss a single errant pass. He must mimic that effort tonight for Tampa Bay to put an end to its current 0-3 straight up and against the spread streaks versus New England.

Matchup to Watch

The Patriots possess the league’s No. 1 ranked total offense to go along with the No. 2 ranked scoring offense. As already stated, it’s needed the offense to be that dominant due to the defense simply being unable to prevent the opposition from scoring. New England is currently the not so proud owner of the worst total ( 456.8 YPG ) and scoring defense ( 32.0 PPG ). Tampa Bay must continue to pepper its opponent with points if it’s to hold serve at home. The Bucs also have a bevy of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so it becomes even more necessary that Winston and company are on top of their game. Mike Evans is yet to truly go off this season. If ever there was a stage for him to erupt, this is it!

Patriots vs. Buccaneers Picks

A short week won’t do either of these teams any good with each hurting on the defensive side of the ball. New England opened as 4-point road chalk at the top NFL sportsbooks for this Thursday Night Football tilt, and already the betting public has pushed it up to -4.5 with over 71 percent of the handle moving the line a half point. The total is the highest of the Week 5 slate, but it’s warranted. New England just allowed Cam Newton to torch them for 316 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Winston should eat, but so should Brady. I don’t foresee either defense coming up with many stops.

Patriots vs. Buccaneers Week 5 ATS Pick: Bet Over 54 at BookMaker.eu
Patriots vs. Buccaneers Score Prediction: Patriots 35 – Buccaneers 32

NFL Week 2 Picks, Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds

Cardinals vs. Colts ATS Picks

 Week 2 Opening NFL Odds

By Mike Rose

So the Indianapolis Colts got their tails whipped so badly last week that head coach Chuck Pagano forgot who they actually played in his postgame presser. Talk about getting your bell rung! The Arizona Cardinals looked to be well on their way towards winning their season opener in Detroit, but then Matthew Stafford once again rose up from the ashes with another brilliant fourth quarter performance. Each of these teams are still licking their wounds heading into Sunday’s Week 2 clash.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts
Date and Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
Week 2 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Cardinals -7, O/U 44.5
Cardinals vs. Colts TV Coverage: FOX

You can’t help but feel for the Cardinals right now. David Johnson was pretty much the unanimous No. 1 draft pick in fantasy league across the globe. Unfortunately, the multifaceted running back is going to miss a bulk of the season due to a dislocated left wrist suffered late in the third quarter at Detroit. His absence is detrimental to a Cardinals attack that’s gotten much longer in the tooth over the last few seasons.

Once he departed the game, the Cardinals offense went back into its shell. It took 26 unanswered points by the Lions offense and defense before Arizona found the end zone again. By then, the game was well in hand. Detroit went on to win 35-23 and covered the 2.5-point spread much to the dismay of those with Arizona tickets in hand. The defeat moved Bruce Arians’ squad to 2-5 straight up and against the spread in its last seven road games.

How bad is it in Indianapolis right now? So bad that the Colts just got their clocks cleaned by a Los Angeles Rams team that won a grand total of four games a short season ago. I mean seriously, what the heck was that?! Jared Goff picked Indy’s defense apart to the tune of 306 passing yards by way of completing 21 of 29 passes. The second-year signal caller enters Week 2 with a 117.9 QB rating because of it. Hey, at least the defense was able to keep fantasy owners of Todd Gurley depressed after limiting him to 40 yards and a score on 19 carries.

In all seriousness, it’s ugly in Indianapolis right now. The injury to Andrew Luck has sent shockwaves through the franchise. How upper management didn’t bring a viable back-up to replace him in the offseason is beyond me. Only recently was Jacoby Brissett brought in, and he still has a ton of studying to do to fully comprehend the playbook. It looks like it’s only going to get much worse before it gets any better for this franchise.

Injuries

David Johnson The absence of Johnson completely changes the way in which opposing defenses will look to defend the Cardinals’ offense. That bodes terribly for an aging Carson Palmer who did nothing to silence his critics last week after throwing three picks and only one touchdown with the latter coming in garbage time. Replacing Johnson in the backfield will be Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington with the recently cut Chris Johnson only a phone call away.

Andrew Luck How would you like to make your first start of the season and have your very first pass picked off and taken to the house? That’s the harsh reality Scott Tolzien dealt with last week when he got in under center to lead the Colts offense against the Rams. Then it happened again in the third quarter when a pass intended for T.Y. Hilton was pick-sixed. Having seen enough, Pagano called upon newly acquired Brissett. His first hand-off to Marlon Mack was fumbled. He pounced on it, but it was in the end zone. Safety. It’s nothing but a comedy of errors under center with Luck nursing yet another injury.

Cardinals vs. Colts Picks

As bad as the Cardinals looked in the second half last week, they’re still the much better of these two teams. Even with David Johnson out of commission. The Colts defense was a flat out joke last week. It failed to get any pressure on Goff ultimately allowing him to tally the best performance of his young NFL career. When Palmer has time to sit back in the pocket and survey the field, he’s deadly. That’s likely to occur on Sunday with Indianapolis registering just one sack against the Rams in its season debut.

When you pair the advantage Arizona has offensively with the fact that the Colts will be marching either Tolzien or the unprepared Brissett under center, there’s really only one way I can go in this matchup when placing a wager at a top rated sportsbook. Lay the chalk and look for the Cards to vent some frustration. The boo birds will be out in full force at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Cardinals vs. Colts Week 2 ATS Pick: Cardinals -7.5 at BookMaker.eu
Cardinals vs. Colts Score Prediction: Cardinals 33 – Colts 10

2017 San Francisco 49ers Season Betting Odds, NFL Picks

San Francisco 49ers 2017 Betting Preview

San Francisco 49ers Season Betting Odds

While the Cleveland Browns get the ridicule as the worst team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers could once again give them a run for that title in 2017. After several years of competing for a Super Bowl under coach Jim Harbaugh, it has been a swift descension for San Francisco, which is now in the midst of a major rebuild.

The team hired Kyle Shanahan as its coach and John Lynch as the general manager to right the ship. Brian Hoyer was added to play quarterback, but he is nothing more than a journeyman. Unless the 49ers get a ton of unexpected performances, they will likely only win a few games once again this season.

2016 Record: 2-14
2016 ATS Record: 4-11-1
Over/Under Total Record: 10-6
Current Super Bowl Odds: 300/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 125/1
Current Odds To Win NFC North: 40/1

 

2017 San Francisco 49ers Season Preview

The 49ers finished the 2016 season 27th in the NFL in points scored and last in points allowed. Quarterback was an issue, as neither Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert could consistently lead the team.

Hoyer may not be much better unless the offensive line improves and some weapons emerge. Pierre Garcon was signed in free agency and he should be a reliable wide receiver, but the team is still short on impact skill players.

The defensive front has the potential to be good, headlined by DeForest Buckner and No. 3 overall draft pick Solomon Thomas. Lynch traded back in the draft from No. 2 knowing that it’s important to stockpile draft picks as the team continues to rebuild.

However, in doing so, it leaves the 49ers without a quarterback with high upside. San Francisco may be able to slowly turn it around but this season is expected to be another struggle. It would be a surprise if the 49ers win more than a handful of games in 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Preview Odds, 2017 Super Bowl Futures

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Betting Preview

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been trending up the past couple of years, but didn’t do quite enough near the end of 2016 to make it to the postseason. They added some key pieces in free agency to help out star quarterback Jameis Winston and are feeling good about their chances in 2017.

While there is a lot of optimism, this is a team that plays in the tough NFC South and still hasn’t totally proven itself. Tampa Bay had a negative point-differential last season despite a winning record and it’s not a done deal that they will take another step forward. It will certainly be an intriguing year for the Buccaneers who hope to push for the playoffs.

2016 Record: 9-7
2016 ATS Record: 9-7
Over/Under Total Record: 7-8-1
Current Super Bowl Odds: 33/1
Current Odds To Win NFC: 16/1
Current Odds To Win NFC South: 13/4

 

2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Preview

Much of the Buccaneers’ fate will be on the right arm of Winston. He threw for 4,090 yards with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions a season ago and figures to improve on those numbers as he gets another season of experience under his belt.

Winston still has his main target in Mike Evans and the team made a big signing with the addition of speedster DeSean Jackson, who will take the top off defenses. Doug Martin had a bumpy year in 2016 but if he can return to form he should be a solid running back. The Bucs drafted star tight end O.J. Howard in the first round and he should be a nice addition both as a run blocker and receiver.

The defense was in the middle of the pack a season ago, giving up 23.2 points per game. The team has some standouts, led by Gerald McCoy, but it doesn’t seem likely to be dominant. However, if the offense can improve and the defense can play similarly to last year, this is a team that can get to 10 wins.

While everything has been trending up for Tampa Bay the past three seasons, it’s not an automatic that the playoffs will happen. Six games within the division against the Falcons, Saints and Panthers is tough, as are non-divisional games with the Patriots, Packers, Cardinals and Vikings.

Tampa Bay will only take the next step forward if Winston elevates his game to another level.