Saturday, December 26, 2015

Win or Lose Saturday Night, The Future is Bright in Ashburn #RedskinsTalk

By. Mike Baxter

A loss on Saturday night in the city of Brotherly Love will certainly take on the affect of a direct punch to the gut. And although the Redskins' season and playoff hopes wouldn't be officially over, the Redskins would no longer control their own destiny, would no longer have the option to rest starters against Dallas AND would have to beat Dallas in Dallas, and Redskins Nation would become huge New York Giants fans in Week 17.

And its not a far cry to envision the Redskins losing Saturday night. For starters, they're 3 point dogs according to Vegas. Not to mention, they're on the road versus a team who got absolutely humiliated last week (on National TV, no less), and they'll be trying to beat a team that they've already beat once this season, which by NFL standards, is not the easiest thing to do.

So if they do lose Saturday, and eventually miss the playoffs by either losing to Dallas and/or by Philly then beating the G-Men in Week 17, Redskins Nation is going to be devastated. But from those emotional ashes, which will be spewed all over the DMV and on sports talk radio and Twitter feeds, you'll need to pull out some perspective. Because your Washington Redskins made some huge strides in the 2015 campaign, and the future- to include next season- is looking brighter than it has in decades.

(1) So if they do happen to lose Saturday night and let's say they do go down to Dallas and beat a Kellen Moore led Dallas Cowboys team, that will bring their record to a respectable 8-8, and certainly trending much higher after a dreadful 4-12 campaign in 2014. That alone is a call for a mini-celebration.

(2) Regardless of how it's played out since the 2012 NFL Draft, the Redskins seem to have found their Quarterback in Kirk Cousins. Over the last month or so of the season, he's played like a Top 10 NFL Quarterback, and most of the important QB statistics will reflect as much. He's progressively gotten better with running Jay Gruden (more on him in a minute) and Sean McVay's offense, and the players around him seem to be feeding off of it. The Redskins next step with Cousins will be negotiating a contract extension, or slapping the franchise tag on him. And although the Redskins are trending up, they still have some holes to fill on both sides of the ball. And in light of both a weak 2016 college QB draft class and very limited options in Free Agency, using either option to ensure Cousins is in Ashburn next season, is a must at this point.

(3) Jay Gruden seems to be finding his groove. And although Jon's brother had a rough rookie campaign, and some of his second half adjustments have left little to be desired, there are some things he should be recognized for. For one, regardless of how much of it was his input and how much of it was Scot McCloughan's, the right guy has been under center all season. "It's Kirk's team."  Secondly, Gruden is- on the surface- a lot looser than stone faced Mike Shanahan ever was. From someone who is not at Redskins Park everyday, I just get the sense that his personality keeps the players more loose, which has translated into a more positive approach and winning ball games. Lastly, who wants to go thru a divorce every two or three years? Nobody, unless your name is Liz Taylor or Larry King. Something can be said for some stability at the head coaching position, and Jay Gruden has certainly earned a third year.

Franchise Savior?
(4) More Scot McCloughan and less Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen. The circus certainly seemed to have left town with Mr. McCloughan's arrival. There essentially has been zero in-season drama, and we haven't heard a peep from Dan Snyder or Bruce Allen all season. Also, McCloughan's first draft class has been better than average. Brandon Scherff, Matt Jones, Jamison Crowder, and Preston Smith have all either started and/or have contributed significantly in their rookie campaigns. Not to mention some of McCloughan's FA pick ups who've contributed, i.e. Will Blackmon and Mason Foster.  And although McCloughan came to town with some personal baggage, he's seemed to have brought a calm to a franchise that's been in an absolute S-storm for the good part of two decades.

(5) Kicking and special teams. Although Kicker Dustin Hopkins had a pretty big miss against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, his overall record and his ability to consistently kick off out of the opposing team's end zone is a real asset. He's made 22 of 25 FG attempts, with two of those misses being north of 50 yards, and he's only one of seven kickers who has been perfect (32/32) in extra point attempts. His kick offs have the Redskins with the 3rd lowest returned yards against average (18.6). Punter Tress Way and the punt team do have room for improvement, statistically average or below average in most categories. But short of one big blemish all the way back in Week 1, they've been adequate, especially for a franchise who it seems hasn't had an adequate kicking game in decades.

(6) Jordan Reed joins DeSean Jackson as the first Redskins' offensive threats in years, who create legitimate match up problems for opposing defenses from week to week. Although both players were hampered with injuries early on, they've become monsters over the second half of the season. If Jordan Reed can work on his blocking and eliminate some of the penalties, he will become the best Tight End in the league, overtaking Gronk. And as far as DeSean Jackson goes, I've been in his corner for two seasons now. As far as I'm concerned, he's been an angel in light of the horror stories we heard from those fine folks up in Philly. And athletically, he joins Bryce Harper as the only legitimate home run hitter in DC. If the Redskins don't resign him, I think they're absolutely crazy.

(7) The Redskins should enter the off season with "substantial salary cap space", according to CSN's Rich Tandler. This will give McCloughan more money to work with, bringing in (hopefully) more productive talent like Blackmon and Foster to fill some much needed holes.

(8) The NFC East could see quite the turnover in coaches. In fact, Jay Gruden might be the only NFC East coach who survives the off season coaching carousel. There have been whispers in all of the other 3 teams' camps, that their respective head coach could be unemployed after this season. Not to mention the uncertainty of the Quarterback situation in Philadelphia, a sometimes inconsistent Quarterback in East Rutherford, and an oft injured Quarterback in Dallas. In fact, don't look now Cowboy fan, but Tony Romo will be on the wrong side of 35 by next summer, he's essentially a china doll at this point in his career, and the dude probably has $50m in the bank. Or in other words, he's a short timer. So this division could be ripe for the picking over the next few years.

Bottom-line, don't kill yourself if the Redskins lose Saturday night and eventually miss the playoffs. Going into this very same week just a year ago- against Philly, no less- the Redskins were 3-11 and going nowhere fast. And now, as they say in Vegas, the Redskins are a team on the come.There are a lot of important parts in place, both on and off the field. Maintain course, maintain patience, and good things will come for the Burgundy and Gold and their fans.

Friday, December 11, 2015

NFL Week 14: Kissing Your Sister Thru 3/4 of The Season

Pittsburgh at Cincy (-2.5)
Only One More Week Until These Two Reunite
The Bengals took care of business against their divisional foe in Pittsburgh back in Week 8. Now they get them at home laying less than a field goal. This is the over-reaction line of the week, as fresh in the mind of the bettor is Antonio Brown trying to castrate himself, enroute to the ass kicking he and the Steelers delivered the Colts on national TV. Don't lose your nuts here, people. The Pittsburgh pass defense sucks, the Bengals have scored 30 or more in three straight games, and the Red Rifle will be shooting ducks in a pond in this one. The Bung-holes have covered 7 straight at home against teams with winning records. Load up on Iron City stock, because Big H.A.T. Nation will be drowning their sorrows away Sunday night.  27-17 Bengals.

Buffalo at Philly (+1)
I don't care how many hands aren't going to be shook this weekend in the city of Brotherly Love, because this game is easy. Desean Jackson and the Washington Red Storms didn't take care of business on Monday night, and now four teams plus the Little Sisters of The Poor have a chance to win the NFC East. Expect Chip Kelly and his racist game planning to take advantage of this opportunity. Buffalo is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six following an ATS win. Howard Eskin will nominate Chip Kelly as the new Mayor of Philly, by about 4:15 pm Eastern Sunday afternoon. 31-22 Eagles.

Atlanta (+7.5) at Carolina
I'm not sure what I'm doing here taking Matt Ryan. He's got the body language of a life loser, and his team's record has been reflective of that. After winning their first 5 games of the season, that nerd Matty Ice and the Dirty Birds have lost 6 of their last 7. And now they get undefeated Carolina on the road. I'm betting that those knuckleheads pride it up, sort of like 10 point dog Minnesota did on Thursday night. Atlanta is 0-8 ATS in their last 8 overall, due....Atlanta is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 divisional games, due....This is the "Flat Ronnie" 5 Star barking dog of the weekend game, due....27-24 Panthers.

Tennessee at NY Jets (-7)
I like what I've seen out of the rookie in Tennessee. And on Monday of this week, the Titans getting slightly more than a touchdown was looking pretty good to me. But then on Tuesday night I had bad sleep apnea, and a dream that the Jets absolutely pollaxed the Titans. So I'm taking the Jets here, essentially because of a dream I had. I never said this was rocket science, folks. My rationale is that its the league's 5th ranked defense, versus a rookie QB in the Meadowlands. The Titans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 on the road vs a team with a winning record. Boring, ugly game, but just enough to anchor your ship in Cover Harbor, Jet fan.  26-6 Jets.

Dallas (+7) at Green Bay
Jerr-ah made it perfectly clear this week that he's not been impressed with Jason Garrett's coaching in Tony Romo's absence. And although I think Dallas does the unthinkable this Sunday, relative to gambling trends (goes on the road for the second week in a row, on a short week and covers), I do think the Jason Garrett era in Big D is coming to an end. But first things first. Dallas' defense is respectable, and the Green Bay Packers are three pieces of cheddar cheese short of a dumpster fire. Let's just pretend that the Detroit Lions aren't the Detroit Lions for once in their miserable existence, and the Packers don't complete that Hail Mary last Thursday night. In that case, the Packers would be in a 5 of last 6 tail spin. Dallas hasn't been as awful as their record indicates during Romo's boo-boos, and they'll cover here against a team who shouldn't be laying 7 points to anybody. 24-20 Packers.

Last Week                           2-3 ATS
YTD                            31-31-3 ATS

*lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 12-10-2015. Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack*

Sunday, December 6, 2015

NFL Week 13: Stone (Cold) Temple (Lead Pipe) Pilots (Locks)

Houston at Buffalo (-3.5)
Godspeed, Mr. Weiland
I've not been high on the Texans all year. And although they are riding a 4 game heater, they have some games on their resume this year that are simply head scratching, notably road blowout losses to both garbage Miami and what is proving to be garbage Atlanta.

When handicapping Buffalo this week, and eventually loading up on them like you should, you should relate this to a horse race, Valdez. The Bills are that horse that just ran in two big Stakes races (at New England, at Kansas City), and although they did not prevail, they placed/showed extremely well. And now their trainer is bringing them back down for a $35,000, 6 furlong race at Aqueduct in which they'll be "much the best".

The Bills are back in upstate New York following three straight roadies. And I like them in this spot to keep their Wildcard chances alive. The Foot Lover's Bills are 6-1 ATS following an ATS loss. The Bills defense, who has given up 17 points or less in three of their last four, now faces Brian Hoyer who is averaging a pedestrian 203 yards thru the air over his last 3 starts. Pump the brakes on this "Houston is surging" nonsense. Houston is never in this one. 31-13 Bills.

Seattle at Minnesota (PK)
The Seahawks are not who you think they are. And 2/3 of the way into the season, the loss of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has finally caught up to them. Their defense has given up over 500 total yards in two of their last three games, and was put on full display in last weekend's up and down the field, "whomever scores last wins" game against equally defensively incompetent, Pittsburgh.

The Vikings, on the other hand, are playing good sound football. They sport a Top 10 defense, and the league's premier (and statistically #1) running back. They've won 6 of their last 7, and following Thursday night's miracle win by the Packers, Minnesota needs to keep the pedal to the metal in the NFC Norris Division. Seattle is a dismal 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 following a SU win, and 1-5-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. I honestly think this could be a complete ass kicking, and I'm surprised (since we bet it) the money is moving on Seattle. But WTF do I know? 27-14 Vikings. 

Arizona at St. Louis (+5.5)
Get out your leashes, dog biscuits, poop bags, whatever else it is that goes along with having a happy, healthy (barking) dog, because this dog in St. Louis is going to be barking loudly on Sunday. 9-2 Arizona takes their talents into the Edward Snowden Dome against a Rams team who is on a four game cooler. Hence the week that the Cardinals have a misstep- which they will today and probably one more time down the stretch- and hence a Rams team that is due and who plays their divisional games very tough.

In fact, the Los Angeles Rams are 3-0 against their division this year, including a Week 4 win at Arizona. And the Cardinals aren't exactly blowing people out when they're away from Glendale. In their last 4 roadies, they lost to the Steelers, were dead to rights to Seattle, before winning last minute. They were getting blown out at Cleveland, before racing back in the second half. And then last week they squeaked past dreadful Frisco. That's last week, as in they're now on the back end of back to back roadies (trend drop).  

Try this one on for size;  Jeff "Smoke and Mirrors" Fisher and the Rams are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 at home versus teams with winning records. Pound the Rams getting points, and get down on the money line. 24-20 Rams, ruff-ruff.

Philadelphia at New England (-9.5)
Wow. Talk about a line movement since we bet it. When The Legend rolled down to The Westgate Thursday morning, this line was what I've posted here, (9.5). It's currently (Sunday morning) New England (-7.5). I'm not sure if that's due to the amount of injury that New England is dealing with, but some schmuck(s) from Philly have dropped some serious cash on the 'Gals over the last 48 hours.

Never fear, pissed off, pretty Tom Brady is here. The Pats win this game going away, and will certainly cover 7.5 or 9.5 or 13.5 for that matter. Philly is a mess, their coach is more than halfway out the door, and their team has essentially punted. Their last two games have been an absolute shit show of incompetence and lack of effort. 31 and 28 point losses to garbage Detroit and almost equally garbage Tampa Bay, will have this bettor (me) jumping all in on the Patriots at home, laying less than 10, and coming off a loss. The Patriots might score 50, and I think Cliff Clavin is their starting slot receiver today. 44-14 Patriots.

Dallas (+4.5) at Washington
Don't get caught up in the "but Matt Cassel is their Quarterback" aspect of this game. I couldn't care less. The fact that Dallas- who I do believe has better than average talent on their roster- lost 7 straight games in Tony Romo's absence, is nothing short of an anomaly. Their is a ton of value in this game with the points.

For one, Dallas will be on 11 days rest by the time they tee this one up Monday night, having not played since their Turkey Day loss when Tony Romo went down again. Secondly, the Redskins are awful when playing in Prime Time, just 4-18 since Joe Gibbs 2.0 left. Lastly, Dallas hasn't been awful the last month, even when Cassel was playing.

Throw out the Thanksgiving Day loss;  Romo goes down, and it was undefeated Carolina. Prior to that, a win at Miami, a tough 4 point loss at Tampa, and then consecutive games that Dallas not only could've, but should've won- Seattle and Philly.

The Redskins haven't won consecutive games since Weeks 7 and 8 of last year. They're 3-14 ATS in their last 17 following an ATS cover. This divisional game, against a team who still has some pride left, will not be a walk in the park. My hope, as a fan of the burgundy and gold, is that the rest of the country finds out what the DMV has known for 11 weeks now. That this Dustin Hopkins dude is a pretty damn good kicker. 23-21 Redskins.

Last Week             4-1 ATS
YTD              29-28-3 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 12-3-2015. Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack**

Thursday, November 26, 2015

NFL Week 12: Someone, Please...Stop The Pain

Don't Judge Me, I'm Trying My Best Over Here
Its been a brutal two weeks. Actually, its been a brutal three weeks. And to throw an "actually" on top of that, its been a brutal three years. With so much promise for the 2015 campaign, as yours truly was 6 games north of .500 going into the midway part of the season, the month of November has treated me like a baby treats a diaper. And by that, I mean a baby who has just eaten Gerber's new Prunes and Baked Beans Dinner For Toddlers.

3-11-1 ATS for the month, heading into my Tyrptophan coma, has me avoiding The Legend's email ridicule like its going out of style. The only thing that is preventing me from getting a well deserved beat down from the coke bottle wearing, bald headed bastard, is the 2,500 miles or so between Las Vegas and the friendly confines of my abode in Loudoun County.

But like Bluto Blutarsky once said, there is no time for this lying around shit, and "nothing is over until we decide it is!" So The Legend and Dean Wormer can kiss my lily white ass, as I will continue to move onward and upwards towards respectability.

Carolina (+1.5) at Dallas
To quote Jack Torrence from The Shining when Wendy runs down to the hotel bar to tell him that there is a woman in room 237 who tried to strangle Danny, "Are you out of your f**king mind?!?"  So you're telling me I get 10-0 Carolina- a team who has won 14 straight regular season games in a row- against a 3-7 team- Tony Romo or no Tony Romo (I don't care)- and I'm getting points???... So again, Mr. Vegas, I ask you, "Are you out of your f**king mind?!?"....The last (and only) time an NFL team entered Week 11 at 10-0 as a Vegas underdog, was in 1985 when 10-0 Chicago went to Dallas as a road dog. Ron Riveria and the future 1985 Super Bowl Champion Bears emerged from that game as 44-0 winners (thanks, Bleacher Report). Also, Carolina has rushed for 100 yards or more in like a million straight games. Good luck with that, Cowboy fan. 27-21 Panthers.

A-Rod with Title Town's Public Enemy #1 
Chicago at Green Bay (-8.5)
The Packers snapped a three game losing streak last week, with an impressive road win against divisional foe Minnesota. The Packers, seemingly, have righted the ship heading down the stretch of the 2015 campaign, and Aaron Rodgers can get back to banging girlfriend Olivia Munn without much scrutiny from those cheesehead wearing slobs that live in Wisconsin. Da Bears have played descent as of late, and have pretty much kept games close all season long. But they've lost 9 of the last 10 they've played against the Pack, and this is just not the spot for them on a short week, as they've dropped 4 straight games against the number when playing on the day in between Wednesday and Friday. Green Bay gets the Big W and cover, and Olivia gets the Big O later Thursday night. 30-14 Packers.

Miami at NY Jets (-3.5)
After starting off 4-1, the New York Football Jets reversed fortune, and have lost 4 of their last 5. I know the feeling. Word has it that the normally calm, cool, and collected Todd Bowles lost his shit behind closed doors, following last week's loss at Houston. Here is an amazing stat: the road team in this series has won 7 straight. But nevermind that. The Fins have failed to cover 4 straight against the Jets, and their meat head interim coach is no match against Bowles and the Jets (still) Top 5 defense. This is my 10,000 Star Game of The Month, and if it makes you feel any better before you bet the mortgage here, my 10,000 Star Barking Dog of The Month last week was San Diego! 26-20 Jets.

NY Giants at Washington (+3)
"This Is The Finger I Use To Shove Up Washington's Ass."
I'm not sure what the hell is going on with Red Faced Coughlin this season, as some of his in game coaching decisions leave little to be desired. Clock and down management issues all year, and now they're on the road laying points against divisional foe Washington, who are coming off a ream job from the zebras in Carolina. Here's what you need to know: the Redskins are descent at home (4-1), the Giants defense still sucks (31st), and the Giants have beaten Washington 5 straight games (due factor). Interesting note, to put the cherry on top of Jerome Booger Eater and Crew's game changing officiating last week, and to give some merit to Jason Hatcher's post game remarks: this will mark the 4th time in just 11 games, that the Redskins will face a team who is either coming off their Bye or a Thursday Night game (10 days rest). Hummmm....33-21 Redskins.

Pittsburgh at Seattle (-3.5)
The Seahawks are on kind of a mini heater. They've won 3 out of 4, and if not for three blown 4th quarter leads against three very good teams (Arizona, Carolina, and Cincy), they just might be on a 6 game heater. But they're not, and that's fine, but I'll quickly dismiss the "well, who have they beat?" crowd, because its a dumb argument here. Trust me. Seattle takes care of business here against an under the radar average Pittsburgh team, and that midget Russell Wilson has a big day against a Pittsburgh pass Defense that's abysmal. The NFC Wildcard race will officially be "game on" after this Sunday, and Seattle will be right in the mix. 29-17 Seahawks.

Last Week                     0-4-1 ATS
YTD                         25-27-3 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 11-26-15**Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

The Legend Chronicles, Part 4: The Yack Has a New Name, According to IHJ (The Legend)

Herewith westgate five numbers…panthers plus 1 ½….packers minus 8 ½….skins plus 3….jets minus 3 ½….seahawks minus 3 ½……

On a side note the following tirade are ihj’s true feelings……


   And I did not misspell ur new name…u sir disgust me……u have recorded a number of 1 ½ out of the last 10 picks…..ur picks are a disgrace……u have proved to indeed be the nephew of the infamous uncle ‘’dummy’’… fact over the past fortnight u have surpassed the ‘’dumb’’ one… ‘’fat’’ terms u are about the XXXL of ur daddy…….the difference is that u can make a comeback by going 25 up and 5 down over the next 30 games…. This wud reclaim ur true name of the ‘’yack’’…whereas ur uncle and ur daddy are stuck forever in their respective ‘’dumbness’’ and fatness’’…..


Sunday, November 15, 2015

NFL Week 10: Let's Fill Our Pockets With a Knot of Dollar Bills

We Will Be Eating All Our Oreo Cookies This Week
I spent a day and a half driving up and back to the JPO at the Borgata, so I don't have much insight-errrrrrr, time to tell my readers why I picked said(s) game. The trip itself, for what its worth, was somewhat successful considering I came back with about what I brought, and I bought in and did not cash in two different poker tournaments.

The Borgata did not disappoint, as usual, with their top of the line rooms, the best poker room in the country- in my humble opinion, and the usual chatter at the table from some random from Staten Island or Cape May, who gives you his insight in his Chris Russo like accent, about why the Mets lost the World Series, or how the Giants can stick around and make it a game this weekend with the Patriots.

In any case, good times.

The Legend and I are batting 56% thru 9 Weeks (24-19-2, 25 points) and its go time. The leader, "rounding again", is an unbelievable 84% (36-7-2, 37 points). There are over 1,700 entrants and only the Top 50 get paid. Realistically, with 8 weeks (40 picks) to go, Yours Truly probably needs to go somewhere in the 29-11 or 30-10 range to have a chance to cash. That would put us at about 65% for the year. First place money this year is estimated to be about $800,000.

Carolina at Tennessee (+5.5)
Marcus Mariota is pretty good for a rookie. And Tennessee's defense is better than advertised. The Panthers aren't one of the teams that will go undefeated, as they won't even represent the NFC in the Super Bowl (see my buddy Tony and I's $1,500 Arizona Cardinals 8/1 futures ticket to win the Super Bowl). Bet 5 units on the Titans getting the points, and bet half of that on the money line. Barking dog, straight up winner. 24-19 Titans, ruff-ruff.

New Orleans (PK) at Washington
Kirk Cousins is having a pretty good rookie season, all things considered. Just ask JP Flaim from the Sports Junkies. But Drew Brees is better, both defenses are suspect, and Sean Payton has access to better prescription drugs than Jay Gruden. Check mark Saints, Larry. 33-24 Saints

Jacksonville (+5.5) at Baltimore
I'm not sure how the Ravens are laying anyone points at this juncture in the season. They're lucky they're not 0-8 thru the halfway point in the season, and they're more beat up than Freddie Gray after a BPD joy ride. This is the easiest game on the board today. Consider borrowing money on top of the money you already have to bet on the Jags here. 27-20 Jags, ruff-ruff.

New England (-7) at New York Giants
Expect Tom Brady to continue his "middle finger tour" (as Mad Dog Radio's Adam Schein calls it), as he rolls into the Meadowlands to face the hated Giants, who statistically have the worst defense in the entire league. The Giants only success has come from their league leading (+11) give away/take away stat. Only problem is, the Patriots don't turn the ball over. Tom Brady might throw for 800 yards today. 47-23 Patriots.

Arizona at Seattle (-3)
This is Seattle's season, in a nutshell, Alice In Chains fan. Lose here to my Cardinals, and you can stick a fork in the Seahawks and their 12th man tree hugger fans. All of Larry's check marks would literally go to Arizona here, but this is just a feeler game for me, based on the before mentioned importance of it. Some dude named Thomas Rawls is going to have himself a game. 20-14 Seahawks.

Last Week               2-3 ATS
YTD                 24-19-2 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 11-12-15**follow this blog on twitter @sportsyack

Thursday, November 5, 2015

NFL Week 9: Happy Hump Week, Boys and Girls

Oakland at Pittsburgh (-4)
The Big Hairs Start'em Young
When the Raiduzz traveled to Cleveland in Week 3 and emerged with a 27-20 victory, it was their first win in the Eastern Time Zone in 16 tries, a streak that spanned 6 seasons. When the Steelers lost last week in Big Ben's return from injury, it was the first time in 16 games that Heinz Field had more fans in attendance with head lice than with mouth sores.

Big Hair, Big Ass, Big Truck Nation has had a rough go of it with the injury bug. The before mentioned Roethlisberger went down in Week 3 at St. Louis, with an injury that looked like it could've been season ending. Unfortunately for the Big Hairs, last week's injury to Le'Vean Bell was season ending. Fortunately for them, they have a reliable and productive back up in DeAngelo Williams (102 yards/game in Bell's drug suspension absence), who last week picked up 71 yards on just 9 carries after Bell went down.

Props to Oakland. Last week's home win against a good NY Jets team was their "coming out" party of sorts, maybe letting the rest of the league know that they're for real. However, I don't like them based on the travel and their historic lack of success playing on the East Coast, and I don't like them coming off the high of beating the Jets.

Big Ben struggled in his debut last week, throwing 3 picks against undefeated and divisional foe Cincinnati. Expect him to rebound nicely against an Oakland defense that is 31st in the league against the pass. The home team in this series is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 played. Heinz Field and all its fat and ugliness, will not be kind to Derek Carr and the upstart Raiduzz. 26-16 Steelers.

Jacksonville at NY Jets (-6.5)
The 747s enter this contest with a lot of uncertainty at the Quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick tore a ligament in his non throwing thumb, and as of Wednesday, Geno Smith was listed on the NY Jets injury report with "he's Geno Smith". Don't get caught up in the uncertainty of who will be under center for them this Sunday, as I truly believe Joe Namath's formerly alcohol soaked, fatty liver could get the job done in this spot.

The J-Men are coming off a rough two weeks in which they took the undefeated Patriots to the brink, in a game New York should've probably won, and then last week's trip out west to NoCal was an embarrassing display, for a team who had played good, sound football all season up until that point.

The Jets defense is still 3rd overall in yards allowed/per game. And a good defense will go a long way (see last week's Barking Dog winner we gave out with Denver, absolutely shutting down A-Rod and Green Bay), especially versus an offense that has struggled (Jax, 23rd overall).  Expect Chris Ivory to return to form after Oakland shut him down last week, and expect a Jets team to show up who will be looking to shake off last week's humiliation. The Jets are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 versus the AFC, and are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 following an ATS loss. "I wanna kiss you. I couldn't care less about the Jets stru-guh-ling last week." 27-9 Jets.

St. Louis at Minnesota (-1.5)
Expect AP to Punish The Rams Defense on Sunday
If all goes as planned this weekend for the Purple People Eaters, they could be tied for first place in the NFC North by weekend's end; assuming of course, the Carolina Panthers win their 12th consecutive regular season game in a row.

Todd Gurley is definitely a factor in this one, leading the league in both rushing yards per attempt (6.1) and yards per game (115). But the Vikings' run D has saddled up recently against the run, yielding just 93 yards per game over their last 4 games, and Nick Foles and the Rams' air attack (my apologies to the phrase "air attack") has been pathetic... like beyond pathetic. Napoleon Foles has gone 6 straight games in which he has failed to throw for more than 200 yards. Not sweeeeeet.

The Vikings have covered 5 straight following an ATS win. Conversely, the Rams are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 following a SU win. AP has a monster day, and the Vikings lock this up by the start of the 4th quarter. 27-13 Vikings.

NYG at Tampa (+2.5)
Jameis Winston is finding his comfort zone at the NFL level. He hasn't turned the ball over in 4 weeks, and the Bucs are actually playing good, sound football. In fact, if that Three Mile Island type meltdown had not occurred at Fed Ex Field two weeks ago, the Buccos would be riding a 3 game heater.

As a "alcohol swilling and pill popping to cope" Redskins fan, I pay particularly close attention to the NFC East. And I'm here to tell you that the New York Football Giants are not very good. Eli Manning, tho with his two Super Bowl rings, is a capable quarterback and displayed it last week in the shootout with the Saints. But he still does have his Eli moments, and unfortunately for him and Giant Nation, the G-Men's defense is putrid.

In their last 4 games, the Giants have given up at least 27 points per, including last week's 52 point massacre they yielded to Who Dat Nation.  Overall, they're DFL for the season in yards allowed, giving up 427 yards per contest. That will not bode well against a Bucs' offense that has scored at least 23 points in their last 4 games, including 30 and 31 in two of those games.

The Giants are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 following a game in which they allowed 30 points or more, and Tom Coughlin and crew are 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last 5 on the back end of consecutive roadies.  Does your man take Lightning Bets? Consider it here. This game is trending towards a Giants' weekend in Beat Down City. 33-19 Bucs.

Philadelphia (--2.5) at Dallas
These two teams like to beat each other up in the other team's building. Over the last three seasons- including Week 2 of this year's campaign- these two teams have exchanged Ws, with the visiting team winning all 5 games played over that span. In fact, the road team in this series, is 7-1 ATS over the last 8.

Dallas has just sucked since Tony Romo went down. They've lost 5 in row since his injury, and have failed to cover the number in 4 of the 5. I think Philadelphia is the best team in just a dreadful division, and this is the week they begin to separate themselves from the sludge of the NFC East.

Considering Dallas has lost 5 in a row, look at what Philly has done over the same span. They went to the Meadowlands and beat an at the time undefeated, and pretty good Jets team, and then they absolutely pummeled the Giants and the Saints. Their only losses were a last minute loss on the road to divisional foe Washington, and last week's loss at undefeated Carolina. All and all, a respectable 5 weeks.

And for an Eagle team that struggled to run the ball earlier in the season, Holy Flucking Schmidt, Batman, for what they've done over the last 3 weeks. 177, 158, and 186 yards are their rushing totals over the past 3 games. That's not a good trend for a Dallas run D that has yielded 100 rushing yards or more 5 weeks in a row. NBC's Al Michaels might be able to speak in code regarding the total (44.5) late in the game, if the circumstances permit, but you won't have to worry about him chiming in on any Eagle bettors getting whored in the last few minutes. 30-17 Eagles. 

Last Week                 3-1-1 ATS
YTD                     22-16-2 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 11-5-2015**follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

Thursday, October 29, 2015

NFL Week 8: "Heeeeeeeere's, Winners!"

Miami at New England (-8)
Its been a tough go of it for 'The Yack' on our attempt to secure a W in the Thursday night tilt (0-2 ATS) this season. But I can't turn this offer down, and I hope the only aspect of the "Things Happen in Threes" Rule here, are the number of pickles Ryan Tannehill throws Thursday night in Foxboro.

Please excuse me while I vomit after hearing another talking head tell me about the Culture Change that has happened in Miami since that Meathead Dan Campbell took over the helm. The Dolphins beat a horseshit Tennessee team, and an even horseshittier team in the Houston Texans (disregard my advice last week, to hop on the Texans ATS bandwagon.....sorry.....).

Tannehill and the Dolphins had the benefit of very poor tackling (three of Tannehill's TD completions included 40+ yards YAC), an 85 yard touchdown scamper by Lamar Miller, and a pick six by Miami's defense. By the end of the first half (41-0 Miami), I was wondering if the Sunday morning report was really meant to read, "Houston's entire team misses the team flight to Miami."

The Fins are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 versus the AFC East, and they've failed to cover 6 straight in Foxboro. As far as handicapping goes, you should always lay heavy 'capping consideration with regard to the Head Coach/QB matchup. Hoodie/Pretty boy (greater than) Meathead/Tanneshill. 33-17 Patriots. 

Detroit (+5) at Kansas City
Two more huuuuurting teams make the trip across the pond to visit our former tax collectors in London. And if Roger Goodell and the NFL continue scheduling these types of games overseas, "horseshit NFL matchups" are going to become more common in England than yellow, crooked teeth.

Yeah, I really don't care if the Lions just fired half their coaching staff. It actually might be a good thing (see Miami's last two games vs bad teams following a coaching change). Alls I know is that the Kansas City Chefs are not very good, and regardless of how bad you may think the Lions are, neither one of these losers should be laying more than a field goal.

Andy Reid's Chefs are yielding 368 yards/per game (20th) and almost 25 points/per game (18th). They're also 25th in the league in passing yards allowed, which is a stat that a gun slinger like Matthew Stafford can exploit (can I use the term "gun slinger", MSNBC? If not, please send all complaints to The Chefs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 overall. Its a last minute field goal game either way. I'll throw my boy @cublion a bone here, to help erase the misery of the Cubs sweep. 24-21 Lions.

NY Giants at New Orleans (-3)
Ride the heater, Saint fan. After the former bag wearers dropped their first three games of the 2015 campaign (two of which were to future playoff participants Arizona and Carolina), the Pope's favorite team has rattled off 3 wins in their last 4 contests. And I like them in this spot, on that heater, laying a smallish number to a team who is doing it with smoke and mirrors.

Congrats to Tom Coughlin and the G-Men. They finally beat the hated Dallas Cowboys after 5 straight losses to their divisional foe. But take a look at that game for a minute, and look at what the Giants are doing, or not doing over their last few. Dallas handed the G-Men 14 of their 27 points off of a pick 6 and a 100 yard kick off return. And the G-Men are getting absolutely gashed by their opponents' run game.

Dallas, unbelievably enough in a loss, had 233 yards on the ground. The week before, the G-Men gave up 158 on the ground to Philly, and the week before that, they gave up 124 to a very bad San Francisco team. And the Saints are running it. They've rushed for 463 yards over their last 4 games (115/per), including 183 on the ground last week at Indy. Consider Mark Ingram in all your Fan Duel and Draft King games.  The G-Men are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 trips to N'Orleans. Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat....? Dat's Dem Saints. 29-20 Saints.

Seattle at Dallas (+6)
I'm going back to the "Seattle has some issues, and is NOT the Seattle team from the last few years" card. Although, I picked the wrong week to give up sniffing glue, or to bet against Seattle the Thursday night they visited awful San Francisco, I'm going to focus on the same points when betting against them here.

For starters, I don't think Dallas is nearly as bad. Yes, Romo is out and they're on their second back up Quarterback, but they can still run the ball (7th) and they're better than average on the defensive side of the ball (8th). And I think they're due. Yes, I'm playing the due factor. Dallas has lost 4 straight since Tony Romo went down, but I think they stick around in this spot.

That maniac Greg Hardy will lead a Dallas defense that leads the league in knocking clipboards out of assistant coach's hands, as they face a Seattle offensive line that has allowed their QB to be sacked a league leading 31 times. Expect Dallas to go run heavy, on the heels of the before mentioned 233 yard performance in The Meadowlands. The S'Hawks are just 2-4-1 ATS on the year, and they've lost 3 straight in Dallas. If Matt Cassel doesn't throw pick sixes like its going out of style, Dallas sticks around and this game goes under the posted (41) total. The underdog in this match-up is 7-2 ATS over the last 9 head to heads.  Like Ronnie The Limo Driver says, "Due". 19-17 Seahawks.

Green Bay at Denver (+3)
Peyton Manning continues to shine brighter in his Direct TV and Papa John's commercials, than he does on the football field. Thru 6 games of the 2015 campaign, he's the leader of team who is 6-0, but his stat line reads like Trent Dilfer 2000. He's thrown just 7 TDs to 10 INTs, and his poor play has kept inferior teams around. But coming out of his bye week, I'm giving Quarterback Forehead a chance to resemble something close to what we've seen out of Manning in years past.

If there was ever a value play in ATS betting, this is the game. I get an undefeated team, with the league's #1 defense (allowing the fewest yards AND points per game), as a home dog on National TV, and my Quarterback is Peyton Manning. I've considered the caveat of Aaron Rodgers and his undefeated Packers being the opponent, but seriously, where do I sign up?

Like comparing two thoroughbreds in a Breeder's Cup Stakes Race, lets consider these teams last few opponents. I think its valid to state that Denver has had a tougher last few games against opponents who in the least are surging and/or have been competitive- Cleveland, Oakland, and Minnesota. The Packers last three contests were against San Diego, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Denver is 5-0 ATS following an ATS loss. Here's to NBC's Michele Tafoya interviewing a victorious Peyton Manning post game, as she tries to not look at that Mikhail Gorbachev on his noggin. 22-20 Broncos. 

Last Week            2-3 ATS
YTD             19-15-1 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10-29-2015** Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NFL Week 7: A Symphony of ATS Winners

Our first pick for Week 7 was San Francisco (+6.5), a big fat loser in the Thursday night game. This loss will be reflected in next week's results.

Expect Nick Foles To Be Sweeeet This Weekend
Cleveland at St. Louis (-5.5)
The Rams are coming off their bye. The Browns are coming off a heartbreaking home loss against Peyton Manning and a Broncos offense that continues to let inferior teams stick around. At some point, the porous Browns defense against the run (a league worst 149 yards/game) is going be the straw that breaks the camel's back. And the Rams, who have gone for 164 and 191 on the ground in their last two tilts, will be that straw this Sunday.

Josh McCown has looked pretty good over the last month, but was just average this past weekend (50% comp/2 INTs) against Denver's top defense. St. Louis' defense enters the contest 10th overall, and will help Jeff Fisher and the Rams cover their 4th straight game coming off their bye week. Blowout alert, Nancy Allen. 37-13 Rams.

Atlanta (-4.5) at Tennessee
Speaking of running the ball (and not being able to run the ball), the numbers in this one are UG-UG-ly for the Titans. Atlanta is the stingiest in the league, yielding a league best 78 yards/game on the ground, while the Titans are 28th giving up almost 130. And the Falcons, besides spreading the field with the likes of Jones, White, and Hankerson- can run the ball. Devonta Freeman is an absolutely beast, picking up almost 5 yards/carry, and as a team they're 4th best in the league at a 130 yard/game pace.

Tennessee is middle of the pack (16th) when it comes to running the ball, but I'd expect them to have problems up against the league's best front 7 against the run, with a rookie QB who is apparently hobbling and might not even play. Throw out Atlanta's short week loss at New Orleans, and the Falcons are averaging 32 points/per game. I like those numbers, and I like the Falcons on 10 days rest coming into this one laying a smallish number. Tennessee is 0-6-2 ATS following a SU loss in which they yielded 30 points or more. 34-19 Falcons. 

Houston (+4) at Miami
I Have This Fat Head On The Ceiling Above My Bed
The Texans were poo-poo the first month of the season, but as I've mentioned in prior posts, that was with the God awful Ryan Mallette as starting quarterback. But he's no longer under center and they are a completely different team with Brian Hoyer at the helm, and of course, with a healthy Arian Foster (see last week).

I've never been impressed with Ryan Tannehill. He's near the bottom- league wide, in QB rating (80.1), yards per attempt (6.7), and completion percentage (59.5). And that shouldn't scare a pretty descent Houston defense (11th overall). 

Back to Hoyer. I told you he should still be in Cleveland and would be starting over that midget Manziel if he was. Hoyer throws the ball downfield (8.19 yard/per attempt), he's completing almost 65% of his passes, and his TD to INT ratio isn't Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck- cough,cough- but its still pretty damn good, 8-2. Hop on the Houston ATS train now, people. The right guy is under center, and they're about to start their AFC South divisional run. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two. Ruff-ruff, beeeotches. 28-24 Texans.

NY Football Jets (+9) at New England
Not rocket science in this one. The Jets run the ball well (1st), defend the ball well (1st), and maybe surprisingly to the uninformed, the Patriots haven't exactly beat the dog piss out of the Jets over the last couple years. In fact, the margin of victory between these two over their last four tilts (Jets 1-3 SU, 4-0 ATS) were 1,2,3, and 3.

Last week in a possible look ahead frame of mind, the Jets yielded a 13-10 halftime deficit to the battered Washington Red Clouds. But unlike Jay Gruden's halftime frat party, or whatever is going on during that 15 minutes, Todd Bowles and company made adjustments, and came out and pummeled Kurt Cousins and crew. The Jets front 7 is dominating, and they have two of the best corners in football. Look for New York to exploit New England's 22nd ranked run defense, with a lot of Chris Ivory (115 yards/per game, 5.5 yards/per carry).

I gave you a 9 point dog SU winner two weeks ago with Chicago at Kansas City (humble brag). The Jets have covered 7 straight vs the AFC.  Pound the Jets with the points, and consider a M/L play here too. "I love this game, Skippy!" 27-24 Jets, ruff-ruff. 

Last Week            2-3 ATS
YTD              17-12-1 ATS

*The Yack is in 339th place out of 1,700+, 7 points behind the leader*

*lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10-22-2015* Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

Saturday, October 17, 2015

NFL Week 6: This Picking ATS Winners Thing is Becoming So Easy

Coming off my first Westgate Contest (three years running) undefeated week, and a weekend in Vegas with The Legend, Beaver from Sterling, Bernie Sanders, and others, we're looking to continue the springboard with five more winners this Sunday.

After three rounds of golf and a couple afternoons at The Legend's abode, located in an "affluent, gated community" 20 minutes off the Vegas Strip, I am safe and sound back in the DMV, rested and refreshed for more climbing up the leaderboard. Going into this past weekend, "The Yack" was in about 700th place out of the 1,700 or so that entered the contest. The 4-0-1 weekend propelled us almost 400 spots up to 313th place, which is in the Top 20%. Our 15-9-1 record thru 5 weeks (including an impressive 6-1 ATS on our barking dogs-ruff-ruff!) gives us 15.5 points, 5.5 points behind the leader who has 21 points, after his sick 21-4 ATS opening 5 weeks. Onward and upward, beeeotches....

Washington (+6) at NY Jets
The Jets are coming off their bye week, after dismantling the Dolphins in the country of crooked teeth and wrong way driving. The Redskins are coming off a heart breaking loss to the possibly fraudulent Atlanta Falcons. Both teams have been very stingy defensively; the Jets (2nd) and the Redskins (6th) are playing it pretty tight to the vest.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Not a Member of The Dollar Shave Club
The Redskins- other than their short week trip up to this same stadium a few weeks ago- have been in virtually every game. Other than that Thursday night loss to the G-Men, they've been tied or held the lead in the fourth quarter of the other four games they've played.

The Jets are pretty one dimensional. Granted, their one dimension is in the form of Chris Ivory, who is posting a league leading 104 yards/game rushing, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is no Broadway Joe. He's 27th in the league in yards passing per (231), and like his counter part Mr. Cousins, tends to throw some picks (7 TDs, 6 INTs). On paper, this game is pretty even. See the QBs, the young coaches, each team's running game, and their before mentioned defenses. The series between these two franchises is 8 wins Washington, 2 wins NY Jets, and the Jets have never beaten the Redskins in the Meadowlands. 23-20 Redskins in OT, ruff-ruff.

Kansas City at Minnesota (-4)
The Chiefs are coming off their second fourth quarter collapse in the last four weeks, which led them to losing their 4th game in a row. To compound this debacle, was the fact that they've also lost Jamal Charles for the year. Rumor has it that Andy Reid is looking into getting gastric bypass surgery that can remove excess horseshit coaching genes/cells, while allowing him to continue pounding cream filled chocolate donuts during film sessions.

Other than their head scratching Week 1 loss to the nubby 49ers, the Purple People Eaters have been pretty solid this season. They took care of business against both Detroit and San Diego, and hung around and covered at Denver prior to going on bye this past weekend. And now they get a team who can't get out of its own way.

The Chiefs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 overall, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Adrian Peterson's 5.0 yards/per carry, coupled with the Chiefs 27th ranked defense against the pass, should allow for usual game manager Teddy Bridgewater to look like Fran Tarkenton in this one. The Chiefs debacle will continue, and Andy Reid will start hearing the whispers. In between bites of his Philly cheese steak, of course. 31-13 Vikings.

Denver (-4.5) at Cleveland
Josh McCown has been on a bit of a heater lately. He put up 356 yards and 2 touchdowns two weeks ago at San Diego in a tough 3 point loss, and then last week he set a Browns franchise record when he threw for 457 yards in Cleveland's overtime win at Baltimore. Those numbers are all fine and dandy against San Diego's 15th ranked defense and Baltimore's 24th, but McCown will be in all sorts facing Denver's #1 ranked defense this Sunday.

Everyone (including this guy) is just waiting for Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense to explode. Considering their miracle comeback against the Chefs in week 1 was capped off by a defensive fumble return for a touchdown, the Bronocs offense has yet to clip the 30 point mark in any of their first five games. In fact, they're averaging a pedestrian 22 points/per contest.

I think this is the week, tho. McCown is playing over his head, and is due to start playing like Josh McCown, and the Brownies are yielding a league's worst 5.05 yards/per carry, giving up 149 yards/per game on the ground. This should help both a struggling Denver run game, and their senior citizen future HOF quarterback, whose looking for his first big game of the 2015 campaign.

The Broncos are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in October, and have covered 4 straight against the Browns. This might not be a blowout, but I think the Browns will never be in this game. 27-14 Broncos.

Houston (Pick'em) at Jacksonville
Fantasy Owners Will Be Pleased With This Guy on Sunday
The Texans are not very good. And you should never bet on not very good teams on the road, especially when they're close to almost laying points. But I'm laying out a caveat here, as the Texans will turn to who I think is a better than average Quarterback in Brian Hoyer, and they'll have Arian Foster back for the second consecutive week. And I think this is a HUGE under the radar element of this game.

For one, Brian Hoyer moves the ball. He did so when in Cleveland, and if not for some homeless guy who told the Browns' owner who to draft, Hoyer would still be in Cleveland and would be starting. And Foster is just a horse. He lines up as a back, he lines up in the slot, he's literally all over the field when the Texans are on offense, and he's hard to defend.

The Jags are giving up 29 points/per game, second worst in the league only to Tampa's 29.6. This, coupled with their below average overall defense (19th), will yield yards and points to a Houston team, who has yo-yo'ed between Ryan Mallett and Hoyer, putting up over 300 yards/game in the air (4th overall in the entire league). The road team is 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 match ups between these two. Maybe the worst game on the card this weekend, from a fan's/viewing point of view, but I don't discriminate against pigs when it comes to big fat ATS winners. 24-20 Texans.

Carolina at Seattle (-7)
I like betting on teams the week after heartbreaking, sometimes meltdown losses. Unless, of course, they're named the Kansas City Chiefs. I'm not sure what happened to the Seahawks last weekend in Cincinnati during the 4th quarter, but it kept my Week 5 record blemish free (got the push), and it will provide the fire that lights their asses this weekend.

Carolina is the same Carolina team that they've been for the last few years. Good, but not great. And Newton is a good game manager, whose stats reflect as much. So when it comes to big boy games, they fold like cheap suits (See the Panthers, last year in the playoffs at Seattle). I realize that you can only play your schedule, but the Panthers 4-0 record is a bit deceiving. None of their first four opponents have winning records, and they were one play away from a home loss against 2-4 New Orleans. (Yes, the Seahawks were one play away from losing to (at the time) 0-3 Detroit, but don't let this fact get in the way of my argument. Spoken like a true liberal, right?)

Give me the Seattle home field advantage, mix in the league's #1 ranked rushing offense (142 yards/per game), and complete that trifecta with Seattle's Top 5 ranked defense. Generally speaking, that's a recipe for an ATS winner. Carolina is 1-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings with the S'Hawks. 23-10 Seahawks. 

Last Week                   4-0-1 ATS
YTD                         15-9-1 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10-15-2015**Follow this blog on Twitter, @sportsyack

Thursday, October 8, 2015

NFL Week 5: Keeping It North of The Mendoza Line

Seattle at Cincinnati (-3)
The Bengals, at home, are Scoring TDs on 75% of Their Red Zone Opps.
The Bungholes' offense is only second to Tom Brady's New England Patriots Juggernaut. They're scoring over 30 points/per game, while gaining 422 yards/per game. The Seahawks are below average (19th) offensively, and have not been all that impressive in their 2-2 start. In fact, they're a blown call/Calvin Johnson fumble away from being 1-3, coming off a home loss to team who was 0-3 going in.

The Seahawks do have some issues, especially on their offensive line. But they're still the defending NFC Champions, and as Calvin Johnson could tell you, they have their "Captain" Kam Chancellor back. I just don't like them in this spot, outside of their friendly confines, on a short week with travel.

The Seahawks are not the same team outside of Seattle. Even last year during their NFC title run, they were just 5-3 SU and 4-4 ATS. This year they have yet to win or cover when on the road, and are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.

That ginger, Andy Dalton, has thrown 10 TDs to 3 PICKs, while sporting a 106.4 QB rating. And while Dalton and the Bungholes' offense is in high gear, don't sleep on their defense. They're allowing just 19 points per, and they're top 5 against the run. There is a bit of a leap of faith here in betting on Dalton and Marvin Lewis in their first big game of the year, but I'm ready for my Bunghole Baptismal. 27-17 Bengals.

New Orleans at Philadelphia (-4.5)
There are games on the docket that come up from time to time, where circumstances from the past game or two will prevent a bettor from even considering a team, and the next thing you know that team wins in an absolute boat race. Well, this is one of those games.

Remember when the Eagles were predicted to win 10 games or more, on their way to winning the NFC East? Four weeks in they're 1-3, and Chip Kelly's head is on a platter on Howard Eskin's dinner table. Pump the brakes, MMQBs. This is a game where Chip Kelly and Sam Bradford get healthy.

Its not like the Eagles are getting blowed out, Emmitt. They spotted the Falcons a 20-3 halftime lead in week 1, and then stormed back before losing 26-24. Week 2 was a head scratching disaster, no doubt. Sam Bradford looked completely lost, and they failed to beat a Dallas team who ended up having Brandon "Jerry Jones' boy" Weeden under center for the entire second half. But they then turned around and beat what appears to be a better than average Jets team, on the road. And they were a Kirk Cousins' 90 yard game winning drive (and a missed FG and extra point miss) away from beating divisional foe Washington on the road last weekend.

I've never been a fan of Brees and the Saints outside of the Superdome (0-2 this year, 4-6 SU since 2014). And they're on the road against a defense whose only rushing TD allowed was by the before mentioned Cousins, on a play in which Cousins fumbled (if you didn't see the play, don't ask me to explain). Sam Bradford might've found his why in the second half last week (3 TDs thrown). Expect Howard Eskin to be eating humble pie for dessert, specially prepared by Chip "The Help" Kelly. 34-17 Eagles.

Chicago (+9) at Kansas City
The 1-3 Chiefs Have Andy Reid Binge Eating Humble Pie
This line is fishy, as I think the Chiefs should only be about a 6.5 point favorite here. So I apologize in advance if this game sh*ts all over itself. But here's the deal, some of which I've mentioned in prior posts. The Bears aren't nearly as bad as their 1-3 record. They started the season on murderer's row, and got right last week (as one of my winning barking dogs, no less) with their home, underdog win against the upstart Raiders.

Both of these teams' defenses are not very good. In fact, they're both giving up a league worst 31.3 points/per game- reason #1 I'm taking the points here. Secondly, the Chiefs have given up a league worst 18 sacks- reason #2 I'm taking the points here. And lastly, Jay Cutler is back under center for da Bears, and he should be able to score points vs a Chiefs defense that is yielding 296 yards/per game thru the air (28th)- reason #3 I'm taking the points here.

Alex Smith, when not getting up off the ground to dust himself off, is Alex Smithing his away along thru the first month. He's middle of the pack in both completion percentage (65%) and Quarterback rating (89.2) while only throwing 4 TDs thru 4 games. I think there is a ton of value in taking the points here, and I'd even consider a small money line play. 24-21 Bears, ruff-ruff!

Denver (-4.5) at Oakland
Peyton Manning and the Broncos were a late Peyton Manning INT last week from allowing yours truly from going an impressive 4-1 against the number. The big difference this week, is that Manning won't be facing the Vikings' pass defense again (a respectable 12th), and he will be facing the Rai-duzz pass defense (a not so respectable 31st).

Also, can we take a look at recent match ups between these two teams? Lets just say, Eli's older brother is in licking his chops mode when these two AFC West teams tee it up versus one another.

In his last 4 games vs the Silver and Black, Manning has thrown 12 TDs to just 2 INTs. And the Broncos have covered their last 4 in Oakland, and are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 vs Oakland overall. Throw in the fact that Denver thru 4 games is sporting the league's best defense, and the before mentioned upstart Rai-duzz will get a much needed dose of reality this Sunday. 37-17 Broncos.

San Francisco (+7) at NY Giants
Nice Body, but He's No Russell Wilson
Can the 49ers actually be this bad? Can Colin Kaepernick start looking like the old Colin Kaepernick and less like Colin Cowherd? The answers are "no" and "yes", and I'm praying the answers are in that order.

After winning their week 1 contest against Minnesota, and yielding just 3 points to the Purple People Eaters, the Niners then got absolutely pummeled on the road in back to back weeks. Big Ben and Big Hair, Big Ass, Big Truck Nation hung 43 on them, and then Carson Palmer and the Cardinals hung 47 on them the very next week. If you give up 90 points over the course of two weeks, and you're not playing in the Big 12, you might want to check yourself.

However, they contained Aaron Rodgers and the Pack to just 17 points last week, even after Kapernick's on the field performance was highlighted by the Packers' Clay Matthews reminding him of who he is not. Unbelievably enough, the Niners have only scored one touchdown on their last 23 drives, and that was a 19 yard drive. Yikes...what the f**k am I thinking on this game????

Here's the deal- for the most part- I hate this week's card of NFL games. Yeah, I waited until the very last paragraph of this week's post to tell you poor bastards. Sorry. Predicting NFL games is tough enough as it is, and this week's games, in my opinion, highlight that fact. I just think this is one of those games where everyone sees the Giants as a stone cold lock, at home on Sunday Night Football who has righted their ship, and I think Kaepernick and the Niners pride it up and somehow stick around. Is there a trend that caters to gut feelings? Cause that's all I got here. 23-19 Giants.

Last Week            3-2   ATS
YTD                   11-9  ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10/8/2015**Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

Friday, October 2, 2015

NFL Week 4: Death, Taxes, Matt Williams Getting Fired, ATS Winners

Zero Picks For This Guy Thru 3 Weeks
NY Giants (+5) at Buffalo
The Bills are on a major heater, and Tyrod Taylor looks like the second coming of Jim Kelly. After going down to Miami and spanking a fraudulent Dolphins team, the Billies return to the friendly confines of whatever stadium they play in, sporting a 2-1 record while averaging 33 points/game.

Pump the brakes, Buffalo fan.You're about 2 seconds away from going all Thurman Thomas on us and forgetting where you left your helmet. The Giants are the best 1-2 team in football (besides the Colts, Chiefs, Eagles, and Seahawks....), and they're on 10 days rest.

We can play the could've, should've, would've game until the cows come home, so I'll moooo-ve along quickly with my "the Giants could be 3-0" point. But the facts are, that they could be. And I do think this Buffalo Bills buzz saw is going to (in the least) slow down some.

The Giants are not too shabby offensively either, averaging 26 points/per in their three games played. They're also 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 on artificial turf. I don't like Buffalo in this spot, off their huge divisional road win, but I do LOVE the G-Men and Red Faced Coughlin, with the extra days to prepare. Consider the money line. 26-21 Giants. 

Oakland at Chicago (+3)
As with the Buffalo train, I'm going to play the Bears here in a spot in which the Silver and Black Nation will need to pump the brakes for a minute, and reflect on who they really are. Yes, they might've found a quarterback in Derek Carr, and Amari Cooper might be the next great wide receiver, but they're not traveling (essentially) across country for the second consecutive week and winning again. It ain't happening, Bevis.

Chicago has had a BRU-tal start to the 2015 campaign, in terms of their first three opponents. In order, they've played Green Bay (most likely NFC Championship game participant), Arizona (also, most likely NFC Championship game participant), and Seattle (last year's NFC Champions, in a building in which most visitors don't walk away victorious). Even Washington Nationals' soon to be ex-closer, Jonathan Papelbon- from the top two steps- said, "that's a tough f**king first few weeks to start a season, man. Now lets go kick some puppies for the f**k of it...."

Matt Forte is looking for a payday at the end of this year, and has not much to show for it so far this season. And Tight End Martellus Bennett is going to break out this week, so be sure to play him in all your Fan Duel and Draft Kings leagues (You've heard of these websites, right?). I think the travel will catch up to the Rai-duzz, and I expect their DFL ranked defense catches up with them here as well. 27-20 Chicago.

Houston at Atlanta (-6)
Is A "Matty Ice" Tattoo In This Guy's Future?
Kyle Shanahan made RG3 the rookie of the year in 2012, I think time has essentially proven that point. The guy gets tagged with the nepotism label probably a little too much, as he's created a pretty impressive resume of his own. And what he inherited in Atlanta with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and others, most likely has Kyle walking around like a kid in a candy store.

Thru three weeks in the 2015 campaign, Shanahan's offense in Atlanta is scorching hot. They're 3rd overall, putting up over 400 yards/game of total offense and almost 30 points per/game. And they're back home following two impressive road wins vs better than average NFC East teams.

Houston, in my opinion, is teetering on just God awful. They got off the 'L' train last week in ugly fashion, after dropping games to both KC and Carolina. They were fortunate to get out of last week's game with the 'W', after Tampa's soon to be unemployed kicker missed 3 field goals. Ryan Mallett is awful, and Arian Foster is still injured. (early reports are that he will NOT play this Sunday)

The Falcons are a perfect 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS. Houston is averaging a putrid 18 points per/game, and they don't have anything close to the fire power that Atlanta does. Beat Down City, USA. 34-13 Falcons.

Minnesota at Denver (-6.5)
The Broncos enter this contest sporting the league's #1 defense, coming back home after two big road wins. The Vikings enter this contest having won their last two games, both at home, after opening the season losing to what appears to be a horrible San Francisco team.

Adrian Peterson is averaging almost 5 yards/carry, while the Broncos defense is only allowing 3.5 yards/carry. Something has got to give, and in this game, it will be the Broncos defense honing in on AP and making Teddy Bridgewater duel with Peyton Manning. Call me crazy, but I like the "less than 7" value in this situation.

The Broncos defense is 2nd in the league in sacks (11), and they've forced the 2nd most turnovers (10)Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings are 2-7 SU on the road, and neither of their road wins were against teams with winning records. Manning hasn't been lights out thru 3 weeks, but will likely start heating up, as Denver is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 October tilts. 33-13 Broncos. 

Cleveland at San Diego (-7.5)
I like this game primarily because of the flaws I'm seeing in Cleveland, versus anything substantial I'm seeing out of the Bolts. The Browns seem to have some real issues. They fired their offensive line coach, after he allegedly assaulted a woman. And there seems to already be some discontent in the Browns locker room over who should be under center.

A TMZ report this week claimed 3 Browns Offensive players are dissatisfied with 36 year old, stop gap Quarterback Josh McCown, and would prefer the Browns jump all in on starting 2nd year, part time knucklehead, Johnny Manziel. McCown (0-2 as their starter), who is also nursing a hand injury, is scheduled to start again in sunny and 72 SoCal.

I'm bucking some pretty strong trends here, as the Chargers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs a team with a losing record, and the underdog in this series is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. I just think Phillip Rivers and the Bolts get healthy in this spot, versus a team with both internal and external problems. 30-20 Bolts.

Last Week           3-2 ATS
YTD                   8-7 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10/1/2015**Follow this blog on Twitter @sportsyack

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Legend Chronicles, Part 3: The Legend Questions My Week 4 ATS Selections

The Westgate Five

8:59 AM (5 hours ago)
to Legend 
Re: The Westgate Five

10:23 AM (4 hours ago)
to Yack    
Is this some kind of fuckin joke ?? just keep in mind ‘’good’’ teams win….
.....’’great’’ teams cover………

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