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

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