2016 NFL Week 17 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Embedded)


2016 NFL Week 17 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Embedded)
M.D. Wright
12.31.2016

Absolutely brutal week. Several teams “shit the bed” straight up, and even several winners failed to cover spreads. A lot of surprises in Week 16, and we could be in store for several more in Week 17 with starters resting, a plethora of guys placed on IR for protection heading into 2017 and desperate teams clinging to playoff hopes. Week 17 is usually a bad week for handicapping games, but we’ll do our best to rebound and finish the regular season in strong fashion.

Last Week:
SU: 6-10
ATS: 5-11

Season:
SU: 154-84-2
ATS: 125-109-7


Week 17 Analysis Here: 
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee
My Call: HOU +4
Over/Under: Under 40.5

Analysis:
Houston has clinched their division title and the #4 seed, and, as such, will be resting their key players for the most part. Tennessee lost Marcus Mariota to a broken leg, and have Matt Cassel at QB. This will be ugly.

Call:
Houston                        17
Tennessee                    13
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: BUF -3.5
Over/Under: Under 42.5

Analysis:
Games like this are impossible to handicap. Buffalo is holding out Tyrod Taylor for contractual reasons, starting EJ Manuel, who has barely seen the field in any capacity all season, while the Jets spit in the face of the few season ticket holders they still have by trotting out Ryan Fitzpatrick in this game. How can one possibly know how this game will turn out with two unmotivated teams playing out the string behind two QBs that could turn the ball over several times?

Stay away.

Call:
Buffalo                       16
NY Jets                       10
FINAL
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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, Ohio
My Call: CIN +1.5
Over/Under: Under 41.5

Analysis:
The same goes for this game. Plus there are several players injured and on the reserve list for both teams. Steve Smith claims this will be his final game in the NFL and he may try to go out with a bang.

Call:
Baltimore                     17
Cincinnati                    19
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
My Call: JAX +4.5
Over/Under: Over 47

Analysis:
Jacksonville appeared to be semi-competent on offense for the first time in months last week, not surprisingly the first game after Gus Bradley was fired. Their defense has been plenty good enough — just on the field far too frequently every game due to ineptitude on offense — and if they can follow up their Week 16 performance with another good one in Week 17, it will be a good springboard upon which Tom Coughlin can build to start the 2017 season with the Jags.

Call:
Jacksonville                   27
Indianapolis                  23
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My Call: PHI -5.5
Over/Under: Under 43

Analysis:
Tony Romo will play, and some expect that if he plays well, it will spark a ton of speculation and talk during Dallas’ bye week next week. The Eagles would have been in position to play spoilers had there been different outcomes in Week 16, but they are known to be cheap shot artists, so Dallas is smart to rest certain players.

Call:
Dallas                      16
Philadelphia          22
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota
My Call: CHI +6.5
Over/Under: Under 43

Analysis:
No one cares about this game beyond fantasy football implications (if you are actually playing championships this week).

Call:
Chicago                      24
Minnesota                 17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida
My Call: TB -3.5
Over/Under: Over 46

Analysis:
However improbable and faint the Bucs’ playoff hopes remain, expect Jameis Winston to play the game the same as a national championship or how he did in the Pro Bowl. If the Redskins and Giants don’t tie, no other outcome even matters, however.

Call:
Carolina                          20
Tampa Bay                     30
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
My Call: CLE +5.5
Over/Under: Under 42.5

Analysis:
The Browns are playing to win and the Steelers are resting starters (specifically on offense). These are the types of games to avoid for wagering purposes.

Call:
Cleveland                        20
Pittsburgh                       17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
My Call: MIA +9
Over/Under: Over 44.5

Analysis:
Miami catching 9? Sure about that? Patriots have melted in the warmth of south Florida of late, while they thrive in their icebox in Foxborough this time of year. One of the few games featuring two teams with “something to play for”, the Dolphins have every incentive to win this game and go to Houston (if Kansas City loses to San Diego) instead of Pittsburgh, and despite the narrative that “New England doesn’t care where or when they play someone” they will want homefield advantage. The thing is, they will have it regardless, because Oakland is unlikely to get beyond their first playoff game, even if it isn’t until the divisional playoff.

Call:
New England                      23
Miami                                  27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New York Football Giants vs. Washington Redskins
FedEx Field
Landover, Maryland
My Call: NYG +7.5
Over/Under: Under 46

Analysis:
The Giants may have cemented the #5 seed as a wild card, but they are playing their regulars and need all the reps they can get as their offense has never once gotten out of second gear all season. Washington is desperate and all, but they have a ton of key injuries and have been unable to run the football for weeks now. Jordan Reed may try to play, but he is clearly limited in his effectiveness, and he is the only real threat to the Giants defense that only has one weakness: it has struggled against tight ends that can run like wide receivers after the catch, as Reed can do. The Giants owe Washington after blowing a 21-9 lead and losing due to a dubious roughing the passer call against Olivier Vernon, leading to the game winning points in Week 3.

The Giants can also eliminate the Redskins with a win.

Call:
NY Giants                         23
Washington                     17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
My Call: NO +8
Over/Under: Over 57

Analysis:
Let’s see here: the Falcons are aiming to nail down the #2 seed and  a first round bye (among other reasons, to allow for Julio Jones to rest his toe injury) while the Saints are playing spoilers the past few weeks; eliminating the Cards and (virtually) Bucs in back to back games.

Call:
New Orleans                             34
Atlanta                                       30
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, California
My Call: ARZ -6.5
Over/Under: Under 40.5

Analysis:
Besides fantasy implications, no one cares. Just take the under.

Call:
Arizona                      19
Los Angeles               9
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
My Call: KC -4
Over/Under: Under 45

Analysis:
Likely the last game for the Bolts at the “Q” but that’s about where the storylines end. They have 19 guys on IR and the Chiefs have every motivation to win this game and potentially win the AFC West and secure a #2 seed.

Call:
Kansas City                    26
San Diego                       17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, California
My Call: SF +9
Over/Under: Under 43

Analysis:
The 49ers would like nothing more than to force Seattle to have to play on Wild Card weekend. They don’t quite have the horses to exploit the obvious new issues with the Seahawks defense, but they will cover this spread.

Call:
Seattle                        19
San Francisco           17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Denver, Colorado
My Call: OAK +1.5
Over/Under: Under 40.5

Analysis:
The Raiders have enough to beat Denver in this game, but beyond that? Who knows…

Call:
Oakland                20
Denver                  10
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Ford Field
Detroit, Michigan
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: DET +3
Over/Under: Under 49.5

Analysis:
The spread (home team gives 3 by default, so the Lions are actually touchdown home dogs here) tells you all you need to know about how this game will be officiated. But never underestimate a team coming off a loss in which they feel like they were reamed by the officials the previous week.

Call:
Green Bay                  23
Detroit                        24
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

2016 NFL Week 17 Powre Rankings/Playoff Scenarios


2016 NFL Week 17 Powre Rankings/Playoff Scenarios
M.D. Wright
12.28.2016

1. New England Patriots (13-2).
They’re not good enough defensively for people to be putting them in the Super Bowl before the playoffs even begin.

2. Dallas Cowboys (13-2).
Same. And, like New England, get to play with the refs aiding them virtually every game.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4).
The Chiefs play too much in spurts offensively and it should not be. It could be their downfall come playoff time.

4. Oakland Raiders (12-3).
Do you trust Matt McGloin (!!!) with the Raiders’ playoff hopes?

5. New York Football Giants (10-5).
The Giants have been stuck in second gear all season offensively and, as such, should not be “resting starters” with so many offensive kinks to work out before they enter the playoffs. The way they’ve played offensively all year is not sustainable, and is conducive to a quick playoff exit.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5).
The Steelers got hot at the right time, going from 4-5 to winning six in a row and clinching the division vs. Baltimore in Week 16. With their #3 seed cemented, they will rest Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell during Week 17.

7. Atlanta Falcons (10-5).
Much is made about the Falcons’ offense, and justifiably so, but the right defense against it has stifled Matt Ryan and their passing game to their running backs (which is particularly destructive to opponents), but their defense comes up with timely plays often enough that they can win in the long run. You can’t depend on it, but they don’t have to be a Top 5 defense to win, either.

8. Miami Dolphins (10-5).
“The Miami Dolphins” (John Facenda Voice).

9. Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1).
Between injuries, offensive line play and fireable play calling by Darrell Bevell, this team has a lot of issues at the worst possible time.

10. Detroit Lions (9-6).
The Lions got robbed in royal fashion in Dallas, all to set up a winner-take-all scenario in Week 17 vs. Green Bay.

11. Houston Texans (9-6).
The Texans have clinched the AFC South, not a major accomplishment, and not one to be enthralled with, as the consolation is LIKELY to be the Chiefs, Dolphins or Raiders (who can still beat them without Derek Carr).

12. Green Bay Packers (9-6).
Gotta love the way the refs have aided the Packers’ run ever since Aaron Rodgers said they could win out.

13. Washington Redskins (8-6-1).
They need a win and help to make the playoffs, and the Giants aren’t giving them that help.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7).
The Bucs were in prime position to make the playoffs heading into Week 15 and blew it with shoddy play (more so due to key injuries to important players) in back to back weeks.

15. Tennessee Titans (8-7).
They made strides this season, but they were always going to be at least one year away with their subpar receiving corps and secondary.

16. Baltimore Ravens (8-7).
They have the same issues as Tennessee. Basically chased Steve Smith into retirement.

17. Denver Broncos (8-7).
How this team’s offense went into a complete shell just boggles the mind.

18. Indianapolis Colts (7-8).
Too bad.

19. New Orleans Saints (7-8).
Once again, the refs help the Saints to win another game at home.

20. Minnesota Vikings (7-8).
Mutiny?

21. Philadelphia Eagles (6-9).
Easily some of the worst/slanted officiating seen in years in their game vs. New York Giants last week.

22. Buffalo Bills (7-8).
Rex Ryan has finally been put out of his misery.

23. Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1).
Where has that kind of performance been all season? At least more than one game at a time, that is?

24. Carolina Panthers (6-9).
The Panthers laid down for the Falcons.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12).
Naturally, once Gus Bradley is fired, the Jags open up offensively and Blake Bortles looks semi-competent as a quarterback again.

26. Cincinnati Bengals (5-9-1).
Shutting down AJ Green is understandable, so is the decision to (ostensibly) keep Marvin Lewis. At least for one more season.

27. Chicago Bears (3-12).
John Fox is right, considering the plethora of major injuries to key players and how many close games they’ve played, most people don’t realize how close they are to being good. That said, you cannot depend on this team’s front office to make the proper personnel moves in the offseason. They haven’t in a long time, although the 2015 offseason’s grades are incomplete for now.

28. San Diego Chargers (5-10).
They shouldn’t even move this team, they should FOLD it.

29. San Francisco 49ers (2-13).
They finally won a game. They can’t even tank properly.

30. Los Angeles Rams (4-11).
It is baffling how bad this team is offensively.

31. New York Jets (4-11).
The Jets didn’t quit on Todd Bowles as much as they quit playing hard because Ryan Fitzpatrick threw away their season before it was even halfway over.

32. Cleveland Browns (1-14).
You know it’s an agenda-driven league when the refs were clearly instructed to do everything in their power to get the Browns off the schneid and a win against San Diego. Holy Mother the 4th quarter alone.
_________________________________________________________________

Week 17 Playoff Scenarios
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
AFC East
New England Patriots.
Can clinch #1 seed in AFC playoffs with win. Can also clinch #1 seed with Raiders loss. With loss and Raiders win, New England will still have at minimum, a first-round bye and the #2 seed.

Miami Dolphins.
Miami needs a win vs. New England and a Kansas City loss to San Diego to clinch the #5 seed to face Houston in Houston. Any other scenario resigns the Fins to the #6 seed.

Buffalo Bills.
Officially eliminated during their game with Miami in Week 16.

New York Jets.
Yet again, Just End The Season.

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers.
Clinched AFC North with win vs. Baltimore in Week 16. Solidified #3 seed as a result of the remaining games in Week 16.

Baltimore Ravens.
Officially eliminated following loss to Pittsburgh, and as a result of games on Saturday preceding their Sunday afternoon game in Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati Bengals.
Officially eliminated.

Cleveland Browns.
Can clinch no worse than #2 seed in Week 17.

AFC South
Houston Texans.
Texans clinched AFC South with Tennessee loss to Jacksonville  and their own win vs. Cincinnati.

Tennessee Titans.
Officially eliminated as a result of loss and Houston win in Week 16.

Indianapolis Colts.
Officially eliminated as a result of loss to Oakland.

Jacksonville Jaguars.
They should be much better next year, but we’ve heard this for years. Maybe Tom Coughlin will spearhead that resurgence.

AFC West
Oakland Raiders.
Raiders can clinch the AFC West with win in Denver in Week 17. Can clinch overall #1 seed with win and New England loss to Miami. Would be #5 seed with loss and Kansas City win vs. San Diego. Would be #2 seed and a much-needed first-round bye with win and New England win.

Kansas City Chiefs.
Can clinch AFC West with win and Oakland loss to Denver. Can clinch #2 seed as a result. Would slip to #5 seed with Oakland win, coupled with Kansas City loss and Miami loss. Chiefs would fall to #6 seed with loss and Miami win.

Denver Broncos.
Officially eliminated with loss to Kansas City in Week 16.

San Diego Chargers.
They should fold this team.

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
NFC East
Dallas Cowboys.
Clinched #1 seed and first-round playoff bye.

New York Football Giants.
Solidified #5 seed in NFC playoffs. Would play either Atlanta, Green Bay, Detroit or Seattle, depending on Week 17 outcomes; each scenario would land Giants on the road.

Washington Redskins.
Need win vs. New York Giants and anything but a tie between Green Bay and Detroit in Week 17 to clinch playoff berth. If Washington ties New York, Green Bay and Tampa Bay must lose to Detroit and Carolina, respectively, or the Bucs must tie the Panthers in this scenario.

Philadelphia Eagles.
1960.

NFC North
Detroit Lions.
Can clinch NFC North with win in Week 17 vs. Green Bay. Can clinch #2 seed and first-round bye with win and losses by Seattle (vs. San Francisco) and Atlanta (vs. New Orleans). Would be #4 seed with win and wins by the aforementioned, while with a loss, the Lions would be the #6 seed with loss by Washington.

Green Bay Packers.
Clinch NFC North with win in Week 17 in Detroit. Scenarios are similar for Detroit, minus any ties.

Minnesota Vikings.
Officially eliminated following loss to Green Bay.

Chicago Bears.
On to the 2017 Draft.

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons.
Clinched NFC South with win and Tampa Bay loss in Week 16. Currently #2 seed, and would solidify that seeding and a first-round playoff bye with win and losses by Seattle and Green Bay. Would own strength of victory tiebreaker over Detroit with wins by both. Would be #4 seed with loss and wins by Green Bay and Seattle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay would be officially eliminated with loss in every possible scenario.

With win vs. Carolina, they would need wins by Detroit (Green Bay), Tennessee (Houston; resting starters), Indianapolis (Jacksonville), Dallas (Philadelphia), San Francisco (Seattle), and Washington (Giants) to tie in order to make the playoffs. Most of these are plausible. Washington and New York playing to a tie is the most implausible of them all.

New Orleans Saints.
Officially eliminated as a result of 1 pm games on Saturday.

Carolina Panthers.
Officially eliminated in Week 16.

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks.
After losing in Week 16, they must win vs. San Francisco and have a loss (or tie) by Atlanta in order to reclaim the #2 seed and a first-round playoff bye. If both Seattle and Atlanta win, Atlanta would own the head-to-head tiebreaker despite having one fewer win (one of the scenarios when a tie hampers you in the end) and Seattle would be the #3 seed and host the #6 seed in the Wild Card round.

Everyone else in the NFC West has been officially eliminated for weeks.

2016 NFL Week 16 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Analysis Embedded)


2016 NFL Week 16 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Analysis Embedded)
M.D. Wright
12.23.2016

Last week was more on par with the historical norms, and we hope to finish the season strongly in Week 16 and 17.

Last Week:
SU: 11-5
ATS: 10-5-1

Season
SU: 148-74-2
ATS: 120-98-7
_________________________________________________________________

Audio: Week 16 Bettor’s Guide

NYG (-2.5, Did Not Cover, Money Line, Did Not Cover)

Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: CHI +3
Over/Under: Over 47.5

Analysis:
The Redskins put themselves in a precarious position, needing to win out and requiring tons of help to make the playoffs as the second wild card. The Bears nearly knocked off the Packers despite an awful first half by Matt Barkley. The Bears did come back in the 2nd half, and the Redskins have a spate of injuries — including to Kirk Cousins’ favorite target, Jordan Reed; questionable for this game. That changes the way the Skins move the football. They were unable to run the ball against Carolina, and the Bears, save for the Green Bay game, have been solid against the run. Do not be surprised if Chicago wins.

Call:
Washington                    26
Chicago                            29
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
New Era Field
Orchard Park, New York
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: MIA +4.5
Over/Under: Under 42

Analysis:
Just can’t trust the Bills in this situation, even if it is believed that everyone loves Rex and wants to do whatever they can to save his job. The Fins know they can win (with a Denver loss) and clinch a playoff berth. Even with Matt Moore at the helm, Miami can make plays against a Bills defense that loves to blitz and take chances.

Call:
Miami                        21
Buffalo                       17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: TB +3.5
Over/Under: Over 52

Analysis:
Tampa can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a couple of other scenarios taking place in Week 16. We know the Saints are a high flying offense at home, but their defense has massive issues, and now with Kenny Vaccaro out, they are even more vulnerable against the pass. Jameis Winston can only hope that Gosder Cherilus can actually block someone this week, as it is appears that Demar Dotson is in line to miss another game, having not cleared concussion protocol.

Call:
Tampa Bay                  31
New Orleans               27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, North Carolina
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: CAR +3
Over/Under: Under 51

Analysis:
The Falcons are a different team on the road, and the Panthers are in full spoiler mode. They’ve got one down and hope to hinder both the Falcons and Buccaneers’ hopes in back to back weeks. The Panthers defense has been better the past couple of games, but make no mistake, they miss Luke Kuechly. Julio Jones will be back for this game, but unless the Falcons can stop the run, which Carolina will feature plenty of, they’re going to find it hard to exploit Jones against the Panthers’ secondary (which has been better in the second half of the season).

Call:
Atlanta                         23
Carolina                       27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: MIN +6.5
Over/Under: Under 43

Analysis:
Believe it or not, this is a tough call. We just watched the Bears nearly knock off Green Bay last week (and a crooked call against the Bears in a goal to go situation had a hand in that not occurring). Adrian Peterson will not play, and may have played his final game for Minnesota last week. Yes, we know the Packers have found something with Ty Montgomery in the backfield and Aaron Rodgers has been able to hit his receivers with more efficacy downfield in recent weeks, but the Vikes will stuff the run and make that passing attack a bit more of a struggle. We know the Vikes don’t have much offensively, but a low scoring, close game favors Minnesota, and that’s what this will be.

Call:
Minnesota                  19
Green Bay                   17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: NE -16.5
Over/Under: Over 43.5

Analysis:
Does anyone care? For what it’s worth, this line is probably pushing it a bit too far. The Jets defense has matched up well with New England, despite not doing so against most everyone else. We do believe the Patriots will run away with it late (with help) as the #1 seed is hanging in the balance.

Call:
NY Jets                           16
New England               34
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
EverBank Field
Jacksonville, Florida
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: TEN -5
Over/Under: Under 43.5

Analysis:
We believe in the Titans. You expect the Jags to be a bit better offensively with Doug Marrone as interim head coach, but the defense may take a hit as a result.

Call:
Tennessee               24
Jacksonville            17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
FirstEnergy Stadium
Cleveland, Ohio
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: SD -4
Over/Under: Over 43.5

Analysis:
Come on fam.

Call:
San Diego                          27
Cleveland                          20
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Indianapolis Colts vs. Oakland Raiders
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Oakland, California
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: OAK -3.5
Over/Under: Over 53

Analysis:
Tough call. The Raiders offense has sloughed through the past few games since Derek Carr injured his finger. Additionally, Amari Cooper (whether it is his back or the coverages he is facing) has been shut out of the offense almost completely during the time since that injury. The Colts are coming off an impressive and important win, as they remain alive in the wild card hunt (and, potentially, the division — although that goes away with a Houston win). Andrew Luck is a strange guy. He plays his best games against the best defenses in the league and has some of his worst games against pedestrian-to-bad defenses. The Raiders should be getting Mario Edwards, Jr. back for this game, and should have had Aldon Smith back a month ago, but alas, the Raiders defensive play belies their statistical ranking.

Side Note: We’re talking the difference in 10-20 yards per game and 2-4 points per game separating about a dozen teams or so when we talk about these defensive rankings. Granted, the Raiders are in the bottom third in most categories, but stats don’t show how Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin continually close out games for them defensively.

Call:
Indianapolis                         24
Oakland                                 30
FINAL


San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, California
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: LA -4.5
Over/Under: Under 39.5

Analysis:
You’d be a sucker to go anywhere near that spread. No need to analyze what will be such a putridly played game.

Call:
San Francisco                         16
Los Angeles                            23
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field
Seattle, Washington
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: SEA -7.5
Over/Under: Over 43

Analysis:
The Cards are shutting down Tyrann Mathieu and Seattle is a completely different team at home on offense. The Cards have been eliminated, the Seahawks are looking to sew up the #2 seed and a first round bye. You decide.

Call:
Arizona                  13
Seattle                   31
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SPECIAL
Saturday, December 24, 2016
My Call: Pick ’em (Houston)
Over/Under: Under 42

Analysis:
The Texans have the division on the line, and can clinch with a win. AJ Green will play, but the Bengals have not shown that they can play a full 60 minute game all season. The Texans are markedly better with Tom Savage at the helm, and with the division title hanging in the balance, Bill O’Brien correctly made the decision to start Savage before Brock Osweiler threw away the division to the Titans.

Call:
Cincinnati                   15
Houston                      19
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 25, 2016
4:25 PM EST
My Call: PIT -6
Over/Under: Over 44

Analysis:
The Steelers are infinitely more efficient offensively at home, and it will show in this game. Baltimore stifled Le’Veon Bell in their first meeting, before he had yet to unleash and get untracked this season. They still may slow him on the ground, but he will affect the Ravens defense in the passing game, and Jimmy Smith’s ostensible absence will allow Antonio Brown and others to stress the Baltimore secondary that much more. The Ravens just don’t have enough bullets (not a pun, really just caught myself on that, for those who are NBA historians) on offense to do enough to win this game.

Call:
Baltimore                        17
Pittsburgh                      31
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: KC -3
Over/Under: Over 37

Analysis:
We haven’t seen much of anything from Denver’s offense of late, and that won’t change in this one. Considering the mediocre defenses they’ve faced (Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England) do you really expect a repeat of the game in Denver? This is Arrowhead, where it is loud and feverish, and the Chiefs have a chance to still win the division. Yes, Denver is still alive for the playoffs, but their offense just seems like a lost cause this year.

Call:
Denver                      13
Kansas City             27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: DET +6.5
Over/Under: Over 44

Analysis:
Thanks to criminal officiating in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Dallas clinched the #1 seed in the NFC, which could portend to be a nightmare scenario for them for a plethora of reasons. You can expect to see Tony Romo at some point, which in and of itself opens another Pandora’s Box for Dallas, and the team will play its starters, but with caution, while the Lions are looking to solidify their grasp on the NFC North. If Romo plays in either or both of Dallas’ final two games, with a bye week in the first round of the playoffs, Jerry Jones will be even more compelled to force Jason Garrett’s hand and disrupt Dallas’ run. We all know Dallas will lose in the divisional playoff anyway, but this couldn’t be more hilarious. Detroit will win this game.

Call:
Detroit                          26
Dallas                            20
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

2016 NFL Week 16 Powre Rankings/Playoff Scenarios


2016 NFL Week 16 Powre Rankings/Playoff Scenarios
M.D. Wright

12.20.2016

It is officially crunch time now. You are what your record says you are. The rankings, however, are a gauge of how hot, cold or mediocre a team is playing, not a top-to-bottom ledger of win-loss records.

1. New England Patriots (12-2).
They are far from unstoppable, and their defensive statistics are built upon facing the dregs of the NFL among QBs. You saw what happened the last time they faced a good (great) QB, Russell Wilson. They haven’t faced even an average QB since. And that includes Joe Flacco.

2. New York Football Giants (10-4).
The Giants have won 8 of 9, and thanks to dubious officiating in Pittsburgh, is the only reason they haven’t won their last nine. With Earl Thomas out for season in Seattle, the Giants arguably have the best defense in the NFL and do enough offensively (with room to spare) to make a deep playoff run.

3. Oakland Raiders (11-3).
Derek Carr not playing under center has drastically altered the Raiders’ offensive attack. Coincidental with his finger injury? The dramatic dropoff in production from Amari Cooper. Carr seems to exclusively lock onto Michael Crabtree, his tight ends and running backs ever since the injury occurred.

4. Dallas Cowboys (12-2).
This is the flimsiest 12-2 team of all time. They needed criminal officiating to eke by a Minnesota team that is bereft of offense and just got shut down by a putrid Colts defense. At home. They were a blown coverage by Andrew Adams away from being shut out at Giants Stadium, and needed four turnovers (three unforced by Dallas) and God awful play by Gosder Cherilus to beat Tampa. Barely.

5. Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1).
Seattle has to get their offense going on the road, although if win Sunday, they likely won’t play another game there throughout the playoffs.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4).
The Chiefs love those close games with heart-stopping moments late. This time, it did not go in their favor.

7. Atlanta Falcons (9-5).
Sometimes you watch the Falcons and wonder how they lose games. Ever. But that defense can be exposed, and when they’ve lost, it has been a combination of that and their offense being stifled by good defenses. They’re a major wild card (and potentially be one literally if they don’t win out from here) when it comes to the playoffs.

8. Detroit Lions (9-5).
Packers fans can R-E-L-A-X, they’re not winning the NFC North nor making the playoffs. Losing to the best defense in the NFL on the road is not cause for concern for the Lions.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5).
The Steelers have quietly (as possibly “quiet” the Steelers can do anything) won five straight and it couldn’t have come at a better time. They can clinch the AFC North with a win vs. Baltimore Sunday.

10. Miami Dolphins (9-5).
The Fins are still alive, since the Broncos lost. How far can Noodle Arm Matt Moore take them, though? Beating the Jets is the farthest thing from an accomplishment or an accurate barometer, but a win is a win, and it was a win the Fins desperately needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. In fact, if they defeat Buffalo and Denver loses to Kansas City, the Miami Dolphins will officially be playoff bound.

11. Tennessee Titans (8-6).
A huge win in Kansas City for the Titans for a multitude of reasons. They gain confidence from winning in a tough stadium in comeback fashion, they keep their division and playoff wild card hopes (should they not win the division) alive, and their defense has played better, which was timely, as Marcus Mariota has struggled of late.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6).
Tampa is a year ahead of schedule, largely due to the moxie of Jameis Winston, but their massive flaws along the offensive line and their relative lack of receiving targets outside of Mike Evans and Cameron Brate was exposed on Sunday night. Despite three of the four turnovers they committed on Sunday being unforced, one was the result of the thing that doomed the Bucs in the end: Demar Dotson’s absence and the inability of Gosder Cherilus to block anyone.

13. Baltimore Ravens (8-6).
The Ravens tried to blow it vs. Philadelphia, and a loss would have put them on the brink. As it stands, they still sit there, because the Steelers are rolling. Defeating the Steelers gives the Ravens the season sweep, tiebreaker and puts them in a win-and-win (the division) scenario in Week 17. If they lose, they are already behind the Dolphins in the hunt, despite the head-to-head, and now they’re jockeying with Denver and Tennessee.

14. Denver Broncos (8-6).
Trevor Siemian is not the answer, and arguably, Paxton Lynch isn’t, either. It would help either quarterback if Demaryius Thomas wasn’t one of the softest WRs in the league — at 6’3″ 230 lbs.

15. Houston Texans (8-6).
After the shutout trashing in Foxborough earlier this year, the Texans should have arguably gone to Tom Savage at that point. The team won four of the five games they’ve won since that game despite Brock Osweiler, not because of him.

16. Green Bay Packers (8-6).
Yes, the Packers are putting up pretty stats offensively of late, but they’re still not good, and they allowed the Bears to outscore them 20-3 in the 2nd half.

The BEARS.

And needed a miracle play/awfully blown coverage just to avoid potentially losing that game and any hopes of making the playoffs. It would have been 4th and 11 with a little over a minute left for the Bears to get a game-winning field goal had that play not been converted.

In short? They’re not good enough. R-E-L-A-X.

17. Indianapolis Colts (7-7).
Games like Sunday send the Andrew Luck worship into overdrive, but the biggest oddity to Luck’s career thus far is his proclivity for putting together his best games against the best defenses in the league and struggling with some of the worst. It is uncanny.

18. Buffalo Bills (7-7).
Nine wins won’t get anyone in on the AFC side this year, we don’t think, but the Bills can keep any hopes they have alive, and play spoilers against Miami in the process. At least they did not allow the Browns off the schneid.

19. Carolina Panthers (6-8).
Credit to them for not lying down despite their season pretty much being over since their 40-7 blowout loss in Seattle.

20. Minnesota Vikings (7-7).
We said here when the Vikings were 5-0 that they would miss the playoffs. Lo and behold.

21. Washington Redskins (7-6-1).
Imagine having your playoff hopes on the line. At home. In primetime. And you lay probably your biggest egg of the season?

22. New Orleans Saints (6-8).
They’re just spinning their wheels, but they have a large hand in deciding who wins the NFC South, with their remaining games against the two teams atop the division.

By the way, have the Saints won a game (their non-blowout wins) without the refs making criminal calls in the Saints’ favor?

23. Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1).
They got robbed by Saints refs, but their season was all but over anyway.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1).
In typical Bengals fashion, Cincinnati went from dominating the game, up multiple scores, only to blow it in the 4th quarter.

25. San Diego Chargers (5-9).
That “security guard” though.

26. Philadelphia Eagles (5-9).
We went from hearing Carson Wentz was already a Hall of Famer to the Eagles being reduced to attempting to spoil Dallas and the Giants’ playoff seeding aspirations to finish the season.

27. Chicago Bears (3-11).
The Bears have been in most games, and had come back to potentially win this one before dubious officiating stalled a potential game-winning drive, and then blown coverage late, resulting in a game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby.

28. Los Angeles Rams (4-10).
If I’m Jared Goff, I’m sitting out in protest until they give me an offensive line and receivers worth a damn.

29. New York Jets (4-10).
The Jets were in a bad position entering the 2016 season. Do you try to load up and make a run for it with a veteran roster with good talent on both sides of the football, or do you let your young QB play? The thing is, only a fool would think that Ryan Fitzpatrick would commandeer the ship of a real playoff contender. Darrelle Revis aged 7 years overnight in the past 18 months and then the customary injuries and here we are.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12).
If the Jags had even a semi-competent quarterback who didn’t spend all offseason partying and developing mechanical bad habits, they would be leading the AFC South. Their defense is plenty good enough. Blake Bortles is the worst starting QB in the NFL.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-13).
Who survives this mess in terms of coaching and front office? The general manager certainly won’t. But will Chip Kelly and his staff?

32. Cleveland Browns (0-14).
Even in an 0-16 the Browns won’t be lucky enough to find a franchise quarterback in the 2017 Draft, with the guaranteed #1 pick.
_________________________________________________________________

Week 16 Playoff Scenarios
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
AFC East
New England
The Patriots have clinched the AFC East and a first-round bye. They can clinch the #1 seed in the AFC with a win and an Oakland loss.

Miami
Can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Denver loss.

Buffalo
The Bills are mathematically alive for a wild card, but let’s face it, they’re done. But for consistency’s sake, they would need to win out (beginning with Miami in Week 16), and would need Miami to lose again in Week 17, Tennessee to lose out, Denver to lose out, Indianapolis to lose out, and even then, there may not be a tiebreaker in their favor.

NY Jets
Officially eliminated.
_________________________________________________________________

AFC North
Pittsburgh
Can clinch AFC North with win vs. Baltimore in Week 16.

Baltimore
Can pull into a 9-6 tie (with head-to-head tiebreaker vs. Pittsburgh) with win vs. Pittsburgh in Week 16, and would be in position to win the AFC North with win vs. Cincinnati in Week 17.

Cincinnati
Officially eliminated.

Cleveland
Don’t think this needs explanation.
_________________________________________________________________

AFC South
Houston
Can clinch AFC South with win and Tennessee loss.

Tennessee
Need to win to maintain pace with Houston for the division lead (Houston owns tiebreaker).

Indianapolis
The Colts need a ton of help, even if they win out. They are still mathematically alive.

Jacksonville
They finally fired Gus Bradley, their first win in weeks.
_________________________________________________________________

AFC West
Oakland
Raiders can clinch the AFC West with win vs. Indianapolis and Kansas City loss to Denver. Can potentially move into #1 seed with two wins and two New England losses.

Kansas City
Chiefs can clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie vs. Denver. A Baltimore loss or tie would clinch a Chiefs playoff berth, as well.

Denver
Denver is in massive trouble. They must win out to have any chance to have tiebreakers in their favor. They get Kansas City in Week 16 on Sunday Night.

San Diego
Just a matter of time before we know where the team is moving, while their “security” detail tosses off while gawking at Bolts’ cheerleaders in the interim.
_________________________________________________________________

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
NFC East
Dallas
Can clinch NFC East with win. Can also clinch NFC East with loss, but New York loss. Can clinch #1 seed with win and New York loss.

New York
Can clinch playoff berth with win vs. Philadelphia in Week 16. They can also clinch a berth with a loss or tie by Green Bay OR Detroit OR Tampa Bay, or a loss by Atlanta. They can win the NFC East and clinch the #1 seed with a combination of two wins and two losses by Dallas.

Washington
The Skins put themselves in deep turmoil with their virtual no-show in Week 15 on Monday Night Football. They own a tiebreaker against Minnesota (head-to-head), but lost to Green Bay, which currently sits in the #6 seed, and the tie vs. Cincinnati is currently costing them in the tiebreaker department with Tampa Bay.

Philadelphia
Wentzylvania, huh?
_________________________________________________________________

NFC North
Detroit
Lions can clinch the NFC North with win and Green Bay loss or tie, or if Detroit ties Dallas with a Green Bay loss.

Green Bay
The Packers actually have their destiny in their own hands. If they win out, they win the NFC North. For now, Week 16, the Packers can actually clinch a playoff berth by virtue of a win, ownership of the strength of victory tiebreaker over Tampa Bay, coupled with losses or ties by Washington and Atlanta.

Minnesota
The Vikes are all but done. They have the two teams ahead of them in the division, as well as the loss head-to-head to Washington. They are not officially eliminated, but anyone who has watched them play of late knows they’re done.

Chicago
They’ve tried hard, and will continue to attempt to serve as spoilers (they can end the Redskins’ playoff hopes with a win on Sunday).
_________________________________________________________________

NFC South
Atlanta
Falcons can clinch the NFC South with a win and Tampa Bay tie or loss, or a tie of their own and a Tampa Bay loss.

They can also clinch a playoff berth with a win and either a loss or tie by Green Bay or Detroit. They would clinch a berth with a tie and a Detroit tie, a Green Bay loss, and Washington loss or tie, thereby claiming the strength of victory tiebreaker over Detroit.

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay must win and needs losses by Green Bay, Detroit and Washington in Week 16 in order to clinch at least a playoff berth. If Detroit and Green Bay lose and Washington ties Chicago in Week 16, would clinch the strength of victory tiebreaker over Detroit.

New Orleans
New Orleans is all but done, there are about nine scenarios that must occur for them to make the playoffs. If they win in Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay, we will revisit.

Carolina
Same for Carolina, including a second tie by Washington vs. Chicago in Week 16. They’re all but done.
_________________________________________________________________

NFC West
Seattle
Clinched NFC West in Week 15. Can clinch a first-round playoff bye with win vs. Arizona, and a loss by Detroit and a loss or tie by Atlanta. Can not go any higher than #2 seed. The #1 seed in the NFC will either be Dallas or New York.

Arizona
Officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Los Angeles
Officially eliminated from playoff contention.

San Francisco
Officially eliminated from playoff contention.

2016 NFL Week 15 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Embedded)


2016 NFL Week 15 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Embedded)
M.D. Wright
12.16.2016

Last week was brutal from every standpoint. Teams blew leads, which in turn, blew covers and money lines, and some spreads were screwed at the very end of four games. Let’s just move onto Week 15 with alacrity.

Last Week:
SU: 8-8
ATS: 6-9-1

Season
SU: 137-69-2
ATS: 110-93-6
_________________________________________________________________

Week 15: SEA -15 (Covered), SEA Money Line (Covered)

Week 15 Bettor’s Guide Analysis

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SPECIAL
My Call: MIA -2.5
Over/Under: Under 37.5

Analysis:
Ugly football, low-scoring, and bad QB play will be the name of this game. The Dolphins must win this game to maintain pace in the AFC Wild Card, but without Ryan Tannehill, it is difficult to predict where the Fins’ passing attack will go while led by Matt Moore. Miami SHOULD be able to get most of what they want against a porous/packed-in-for-the-winter Jets defense; at least enough to win, but don’t expect any blowouts here.

Call:
Miami                    22
NY Jets                   13
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Detroit Lions vs. New York Football Giants
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: NYG -4
Over/Under: Under 40.5

Analysis:
The Lions will be without Theo Riddick, while both teams have a plethora of players out. The only definite for the Giants is that Jason Pierre-Paul remains out for the next month or so with sports hernia surgery.

Regarding Matthew Stafford’s hand, he is preparing as best as possible to be prepared for this game. The Lions need it, as the Packers are surging in the NFC North. The Lions pass defense is questionable here. The Giants still may not be able to run the ball with efficacy in this game, but outside of Darius Slay, Detroit does not have much in the way of playmakers on their back end. Ezekiel Ansah has no sacks on the season, and will certainly be looking to get off that schneid against midtown turnstile Ereck Flowers.

The Giants have the ability to make a couple of big plays against the Lions defense, whereas the Giants defense does not give up much when they are rolling. The Lions execute a quick passing scheme and work underneath, but as is the case every week, the Giants need to be alert for the tight end — in this game, Eric Ebron and others — and they will be in position to cover this spread.

Call:
Detroit                  13
NY Giants            24
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland
My Call: BAL -6
Over/Under: Under 41

Analysis:
Jimmy Smith’s absence will be felt to a degree, but the Eagles’ receiving corps isn’t all that equipped to take advantage of what will be a mediocre Ravens’ secondary as a result. The Baltimore pass rush will give Carson Wentz fits to the point where he will be running for his life for most of the game.

Which Joe Flacco shows up for this game, though? That’s the determining factor in wagering on this spread.

Call:
Philadelphia                   12
Baltimore                        19
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
My Call: CHI +5.5
Over/Under: Under 39

Analysis:
This  is the ultimate go-with-your-gut game. Don’t overanalyze it. Aaron Rodgers is not 100% and it will be hovering around 0 degrees all game.

Call:
Green Bay            13
Chicago                17
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota
My Call: IND +5
Over/Under: Under 46

Analysis:
Why are the Colts getting 5? At least they have some semblance of an offense. We’ll see how it goes with the Vikes against the Colts’ bend-and-often-break defense that does not force many turnovers. Andrew Luck can be frivolous with the football, but he can at least push it downfield. The Vikes can’t pass protect well enough to consistently do so. We’ll even go so far as to take the Colts and the points straight up here. We know Adrian Peterson is planning to play, but even HE isn’t coming back into the lineup after missing three months and busting out the type of impactful that the Vikes would need in order to win/cover the spread.

Call:
Indianapolis                    24
Minnesota                        16
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills
New Era Field
Orchard Park, New York
My Call: BUF -10
Over/Under: Under 41

Analysis:
No, not even the Bills will lose to the Browns.

Call:
Cleveland                        13
Buffalo                            27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
My Call: KC -4.5
Over/Under: Over 42

Analysis:
This is a tough game to call. The Chiefs pass rush will give the Titans fits, but the Titans can run the ball pretty decently. Do the Titans have enough to slow Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill? We don’t think so.

Call:
Tennessee               17
Kansas City            26
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
My Call: HOU -5
Over/Under: Under 39.5

Analysis:
If Gus Bradley had any dignity, he’d retire now.

Call:
Jacksonville                          13
Houston                                23
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, Ohio
My Call: PIT -3
Over/Under: Over 44

Analysis:
Bengals’ WR AJ Green teased a return from his hamstring injury this week, but it is not looking likely. If he does play, it is doubtful that he will be very effective or see his normal allotment of snaps and targets.

Pittsburgh is seeking to finish the season strongly, and build their lead in the AFC North. The Bengals are playing out the string and hoping to serve as spoilers for both the Steelers and Ravens from here. We will see how good the Steelers’ defense really is once this game is over. The past two games aren’t really convincing; given the circumstances.

Call:
Pittsburgh                             27
Cincinnati                             20
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona
My Call: ARZ -3
Over/Under: Under 50.5

Analysis:
Sucker bet, at least with the game totals. The Saints aren’t a good road team in any facet. They showed that yet again in Tampa by getting shut out of the end zone all game. The Cards defense is generally better at home (as is their offense, for that matter), and as they have released Michael Floyd — who signed with New England later in the week — that creates a void that will be filled by JJ Nelson, who will have a more expanded role in the Cards’ offense. Carson Palmer will have his chances against the sieve that is the Saints defense. Expect a big game from David Johnson in the all-purpose capacity.

Call:
New Orleans                            16
Arizona                                    24
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
My Call: ATL -13
Over/Under: Over 50

Analysis:
Once again, Julio Jones will not play against a bad team, and the Falcons won’t miss him.

Call:
San Francisco                         20
Atlanta                                     37
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Denver, Colorado
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK
My Call: DEN +3
Over/Under: Over 43.5

Analysis:
That hook will be interesting, because this game will hover in that 43-45 area, we feel. The Denver offense has been stuck in neutral for the past couple of weeks, and facing a relatively weak defense (we know their points per game against stat), they look to perk up a bit. Without much of a pass rush (although Denver’s right tackle situation bears watching) New England will opt to play coverage and dare Denver to finally run the ball; something they have not done consistently this year. New England will be able to do a few things underneath in the pass, and they will have to, because Denver’s pass rush will be all over Tom Brady all game, and eventually close out the game late.

Call:
New England                           17
Denver                                      27
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
My Call: OAK -3
Over/Under: Over 49

Analysis:
The Chargers cannot overcome the loss of Melvin Gordon.

Call:
Oakland                       34
San Diego                   24
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: TB +7
Over/Under: Over 46.5

Analysis:
Lavonte David’s status bears watching.  His absence would be huge in this game; particularly in defending the intermediate routes which Dallas works frequently with Cole Beasley and Jason Witten. However, with Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes playing well on the back end with Alterraun Verner, Chris Conte, Keith Tandy and Bradley McDougald, coupled with a refueled pass rush, Tampa’s defense is still plenty equipped to slow Dallas’ offense, which has been neutralized in recent weeks.

The X-factor in this game is the play of Jameis Winston and Doug Martin. Tampa will need to be able to run the football to keep Dallas’ secondary honest; as Dallas loves to play a base shell two-deep with their safeties. If Tampa can get Dallas out of that look — and they will, at times, but at what frequency? — Winston will carve up Dallas’ smoke and mirrors defense, whose statistical performance makes them appear to be better than they actually are. The past two weeks Dallas has faced offenses that do not consistently push the football down the field.

Jameis Winston does not dink and dunk.

Call:
Tampa Bay                          27
Dallas                                   20
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________

Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins
FedEx Field
Landover, Maryland
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: CAR +6.5
Over/Under: Over 51

Analysis:
Much talk will be made about the Cam Newton/Josh Norman, Josh Norman/Dave Gettleman/Panthers storyline, but as far as the game goes, none of that really matters. The Redskins are not the same team when Jordan Reed is out or not playing at close to 100% physically. Thomas Davis may wreck this game.

Call:
Carolina                        28
Washington                 24
FINAL
_________________________________________________________________