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Giants vs. Lions Odds, Spread Picks & Score Prediction Week 1

giants-lions-monday-night-picks
A pair of new offensive styles will be on display in the first of two Monday Night Football games in Week 1. The New York Giants will be displaying a new West Coast offense against the Detroit Lions and their new look with a bunch of new weapons for QB Matthew Stafford and new Head Coach Jim Caldwell.

With this game being played at Ford Field, the Lions are understandably 4.5-point favorites, though the oddsmakers are insinuating that these two teams are really close to one another. The ‘total’ is the higher of the two on Monday Night Football in Week 1 at 46.5.


NY GIANTS – LIONS MONDAY NIGHT WEEK 1 ODDS:

OPEN: LIONS -4 | CURRENT: LIONS -5 | O/U: 47



1. Why the NY GIANTS will cover the spread: This really isn’t a matter of what the Giants can do, rather instead what the Lions can’t do. We really haven’t seen all that much out the Lions yet this preseason, and it is worrying the heck out of us. Granted, Caldwell has a history of really tanking it in the preseason, but penalties continue to be the thorn in this club’s side. Detroit is one of the most undisciplined teams in the league, and that isn’t going to stop here in Week 1 of the season.


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2. Why the LIONS will cover the spread: If we’re going to pick on the Lions for what they can’t do, we may as well pick on the Giants for what they can’t do either. You would have thought that Head Coach Tom Coughlin would have his new West Coast offense installed comfortably in five preseason games this year when most only get four, but that just hasn’t been the case.

QB Eli Manning has consistently looked uncomfortable in the pocket, and coming off of the worst year of his career isn’t going to help matters any either. The Giants were a disaster at the start of last season, and they have made a history out of struggling early on. This may play right into that rule.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: Perception is there that men like Stafford and Manning should be able to put points up on the board, but we just aren’t so sure. Stafford has looked good, but we know that it is going to take some time to get a good rapport down with his new targets. Manning’s struggles have already been highlighted; it took him four games to throw his first TD pass in the preseason. Both of these teams finished the 2013 season with three straight ‘under’ performances.


4. Betting Trends for GIANTS/LIONS: The Giants were much better at the end of last year, going 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games after going 0-5 ATS in their first five. The Lions went the other direction. They went 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four games, and they were just 2-8 ATS and 3-7 SU in their last 10. That’s why former coach Jim Schwartz was fired.

In respect to the series between these two, the Giants have won all three games SU dating back to 2007, and they are 2-1 ATS in those clashes.



NY GIANTS – LIONS WEEK 1 SCORE PREDICTION:

Giants 20 – Lions 17






Packers vs. Seahawks Week 1 Odds, Spread Picks & Score Prediction

packers-seahawks-betting-picks
The Super Bowl banner will be raised for the first time ever at CenturyLink Field, where the Seattle Seahawks will open up the 2014 NFL season against the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers, who are amongst the favorites in the NFC in their own right on the NFL betting lines, are 5.5-point dogs in the opening game of the season; the ‘total’ chimes in at 45.


PACKERS-SEAHAWKS THURSDAY NIGHT WEEK 1 ODDS:

OPEN: SEAHAWKS -5.5 | CURRENT: SEAHAWKS -5.5 | O/U: 45



1. Why the PACKERS will cover the spread: Green Bay very well could be one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. Remember, when this whole run of the Seahawks being unbeatable at home started, scab officials ended up ruining what should have been a Packers’ victory in primetime. QB Aaron Rodgers has the chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this year, and though he doesn’t quite have the same quantity of weapons to choose from, there isn’t a duo of receivers that can blow a game open quite like WR Jordy Nelson and WR Randall Cobb.

The Packers are hurting defensively after losing DT BJ Raji for the rest of the season with an arm injury, but there is enough here to hold off the Seahawks if it turns out to be a tight game.


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2. Why the SEAHAWKS will cover the spread: It’s tough to argue with the champs. The team has been beaten exactly one time at home in the QB Russell Wilson era, and there is no doubt whatsoever that he has been the best quarterback in the league in the preseason. Granted, it’s tough to put all that much stock in these exhibition games, but Wilson has been dominating, leading the Seahawks to nine straight scoring drives he has run, seven of which have gotten all the way to the end zone.

This defense is at the top of its game, and it is only going to continue to get better as the season wears on. Simply put, this is the best team in the NFL, and any time the spread is even relatively close to a pick ‘em, it’s tough to think that the Seahawks can’t win and cover.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: With the new and improved Seahawks offense, there is a real chance that we could see them get into the 30s quite a bit this year. That said, thanks to this defense, Seattle went through a seven-game stretch from the end of the regular season through the team’s first two playoff games without exceeding a ‘total’, and it’s tough to go the other direction from there.

However, the Packers scored at least 20 points in each of their last five games of the season last year, and much of that was done without Rodgers calling the shots. The potential is there to do better than that, even against this defense.


4. Betting Trends for PACKERS/SEAHAWKS: The Seahawks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games including going 2-1 ATS in the postseason and closing out the regular season with covers in six out of seven. That said, the Packers have had their way in this series. Green Bay is 3-1-2 ATS in the last six games, and as we started before, if not for the joke in primetime with the scab refs in 2012, the Pack would be 4-0-2 ATS in the last six instead.



PACKERS-SEAHAWKS WEEK 1 SCORE PREDICTION:

Seahawks 27 – Packers 24






Broncos vs. Colts Odds, Point Spread Picks & Score Prediction

broncos-colts-betting-picks
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are going to have all sorts of problems trying to slow down Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Week 1 edition of Sunday Night Football from Invesco Field at Mile High.

With the Broncos clearly being one of the two easy choices to win the AFC this year, they’re understandably 7-point favorites at home against what, for our money, is definitively the third best team in the AFC. The ‘total’ is the highest of Week 1 at 55.5.


BRONCOS-COLTS SNF WEEK 1 ODDS:

OPEN: BRONCOS -6.5 | CURRENT: BRONCOS -7 | O/U: 55.5



1. Why the COLTS will cover the spread: If you’re a believer that the Broncos were exposed in the Super Bowl, you could certainly make the argument that Head Coach Chuck Pagano will figure out how to lead his team in this one to slowing down Manning. QB Andrew Luck could be set to come into his own this year, as he is a sneaky pick to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

On top of that, this is a heck of a lot of points to be giving what, for our money, is one of the best 10 teams in the NFL, especially after having basically the whole offseason to prepare. There is also no doubt that the Colts are going to be incredibly sharp getting the points in a Sunday Night Football game.


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2. Why the BRONCOS will cover the spread: How can you argue with Manning and this offense after the ridiculous numbers this team put up last year? The Colts don’t nearly have the same defense that the Seattle Seahawks did in the Super Bowl last year, and they are going to be playing without suspended DE Robert Mathis, who will sit for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. That’s a massive loss that probably won’t be overcome.

Denver’s defense could have a big hole that won’t be filled by the absence of LB Danny Trevathan, but we know that picking up DB Aqib Talib is going to help in a big time way.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: Any time Manning is on the field, the ‘over’ is certainly in play. The Broncos though, were a big time ‘under’ team at the end of last season, as surprising as that is. The Super Bowl only went past the ‘total’ because of the efforts of the Seahawks offensively, but the previous five games had all stayed beneath the number. That said, seven of the last eight games in this series have all surpassed the closing number.

4. Betting Trends for COLTS/BRONCOS: We know that the Luck version of the Colts has only played against the Manning version of the Broncos once, and on that day in 2013, it was Luck who was the better man. He beat Manning in his return to Lucas Oil Field last year 39-33 to improve Indianapolis to 6-0 SU and ATS against Denver since the 2005 playoffs. However, remember that Manning is still 5-1 SU and ATS in this series in that stretch, too.



BRONCOS – COLTS WEEK 1 SCORE PREDICTION:

Broncos 27 – Colts 24






NFL Upset Picks Week 1 2014

NFL Upset Picks 2014

There are a few big underdogs every week who seem to bark in the NFL, and Week 1 certainly won’t be an exception. There will be a few pups at the start of the season who look like ridiculous steals by the end of the year, and we’re going to highlight a few of those in on the NFL betting odds in Week 1.
 

Oakland Raiders (+180) @ New York Jets – The Jets are a trendy team this year with their defense, but they have some major problems at the cornerback position. We are wondering if QB Derek Carr is going to end up starting this game when push comes to shove for the Raiders, but regardless of whether he does or doesn’t, this is a nice spot for an upset. Head Coach Rex Ryan will probably overcommit his defense to try to get after the quarterback, and that’s going to leave suspect corners out on islands all over the field.

Oakland traveling on the road to the East Coast for a 1:00 ET game is bothersome, but I think there is a real chance here for an upset, especially with QB Geno Smith being committed to as the starting quarterback for Gang Green.


All Week 1 Expert Picks | Odds To Win 2015 Super Bowl



Cleveland Browns (+225) @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Take all of the names off of all of the uniforms in this game and tell us that the Steelers should really be favored over the Browns by any substantial number. We dare you. QB Brian Hoyer isn’t good, but he is 3-0 in his career as a starter and could be just what the doctor ordered for a Cleveland team we are high on in 2014.

The Steelers have to replace two of their three top receivers from a year ago, and they very well could be without both RB LeGarrette Blount and RB Le’Veon Bell, who could be facing a one-game suspension for getting busted with marijuana just a week ago. We’re not saying that the Browns are winning this game more often than not, but they could end up winning it at least one out of three times, and that would be more than good enough to make us a long-term winner.


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Washington Redskins (+120) @ Houston Texans – Go ahead and look at the schedule for the Texans this year. Vegas has them favored in 10 of their 16 games. This is going to be an improved team from last year, but it isn’t a 10-6 football team. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick still stinks, and he has proven absolutely nothing to us in terms of really being capable of winning games. This defense is legit for Houston right now before injuries take their toll, but the Redskins could be dangerous.

QB Robert Griffin III has been shaky running new Head Coach Jay Gruden’s offense, but it seems inevitable at some point that the Texans lousy corners are going to find themselves chasing WR DeSean Jackson from behind. We’re not sure why the Texans are favored.


Odds To Make or Miss The NFL Playoffs in 2014

nfl-odds-to-make-playoffs-2014-2015

Every team in the NFL is starting off this season with the same goal: They all want to make the playoffs. It’s not as easy of a task as it seems, as the biggest favorite to get in the playoffs is only -450, while the biggest underdog to get into the postseason is +1200. Check out the best NFL betting lines we see on the board about who can and cannot get into the second season.

Seahawks To Make the Playoffs (-300) – It’s a chalky play, but we just don’t see how the Seahawks won’t defend their title in the playoffs this year, even with the rough and tumble NFC West schedule. They are still virtually unbeatable at CenturyLink Field, and even if you think that two foes will go in front of the “12th Man” and beat Seattle this season, that still leaves the team needing just a 4-4 record on the road to get the job done in all likelihood. There is not one piece to the puzzle that can be lost to make this team go into the tank, and though the defense isn’t going to be quite as dominating as it was last season, the Seahawks are still the best team in the NFL.

Bears To Make the Playoffs (+220) – We’re not really all that sure why there is such a level of pessimism around the Bears. Head Coach Marc Trestman is clearly an offensive genius, and he should have QB Jay Cutler healthy for the whole year. WR Alshon Jeffrey is rounding into one of the best receivers in the league, and he and WR Brandon Marshall really make this team formidable. The defense isn’t nearly as good as it has been, but in the NFC North, you need to be able to shoot it out with teams, and now, the Bears can. They’ve also improved a bit defensively.

Texans To Not Make the Playoffs (-370) – It’s almost a bit laughable just how bad the Texans were last season, and this year won’t be any better unless QB Tom Savage turns out to be the next great find like QB Russell Wilson. This defense has the makings of one which can be great up front, but the secondary is still one of the worst in the league as we see it. On top of that, WR Andre Johnson is disgruntled, and the team has a whole new staff that it is trying to break in. The Texans will win four or five more games this year than they did last season, but even in the lousy AFC South, this isn’t a playoff team.

Browns To Make the Playoffs (+700) – Oh, why not! Even without WR Josh Gordon, the Browns got appreciably better on both sides of the ball this offseason. The AFC North isn’t a division which scares us, as all three of the teams have gone in the wrong direction as we see it. Cleveland’s playing a last place schedule again, and we all know that it is only a matter of time until Johnny Football gets his time in the saddle. If the guy really is just a pure winner as some suggest, the Browns may be on their way to the playoffs this year.

Jaguars To Make the Playoffs (+1200) – Finish laughing first, then come back and read these next 100 words. The Jags are significantly better this year than they were last season, if for no other reason, they added basically an entirely new defensive line, one of which will look a lot more like the group that Head Coach Gus Bradley coached when he was in Seattle. The offense went ahead and regrouped at the wide receiver position through the NFL Draft, and last year’s top pick, LT Luke Joeckel, will play in his first regular season game this year. It’s like Jacksonville had four picks in the first 40 this year, and though yes, one of those was spent on QB

Who is Playoff Bound in 2014?

Broncos – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -500
No +375

Seahawks – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -300
No +235

49ers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -250
No +200

Patriots – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -450
No +325

Packers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -225
No +180

Saints – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -195
No +160

Bears – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +150
No -185

Colts – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -200
No +165

Eagles – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes -140
No +110

Bengals – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +120
No -150

Steelers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +135
No -165

Ravens – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +180
No -225

Panthers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +235
No -300

Lions – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +200
No -250

Giants – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +220
No -285

Cowboys – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +260
No -340

Cardinals – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +325
No -450

Chiefs – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +280
No -360

Chargers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +260
No -340

Rams – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +375
No -500

Falcons – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +240
No -320

Redskins – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +290
No -380

Texans – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +235
No -300

Dolphins – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +350
No -475

Browns – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +550
No -800

Jets – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +325
No -450

Bills – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +400
No -550

Buccaneers – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +450
No -650

Titans – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +300
No -400

Vikings – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +650
No -1000

Raiders – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +1000
No -2000

Jaguars – Will They Make the Playoffs
Yes +1200
No -2500

Odds To Win AFC South Division: Look Out For The Texans!

AFC-south-predictions-2014

Odds to Win the 2014 AFC South:
- Indianapolis Colts -160
- Houston Texans +300
- Tennessee Titans +500
- Jacksonville Jaguars +1400

2014 Over-Under Win Totals:
- Indianapolis Colts Over-Under 9.5 wins
- Houston Texans Over-Under 7.5 wins
- Tennessee Titans Over-Under 7 wins
- Jacksonville Jaguars Over-Under 5 wins

This hasn’t been one a deep division in football over the past few seasons as it’s either been Houston or Indianapolis running away with it. Back in 2012 both of those teams managed to make the post-season, but it was a different story last year as the Colts were the only team from this division to finish above .500. Indy is favored to win this division again, but Tennessee is improved, Jacksonville isn’t going to be an easy push-over like last year, and the Texans are out to prove that last year’s 2-14 season was a fluke and an anomaly. QB concerns will be a part of the season for all of these teams except the Colts, but I do believe at least one of those sub .500 teams from a season ago will get to 8-8 or better in 2014.

Play #1: Houston Texans Over 7.5 wins (-155)

Houston won this division in 2011 and 2012, hosted and won a playoff game in each of those seasons before getting knocked out in the divisional round. They’ve got a new coach, new QB, new hopes for the 2014 season after 2013 was an unmitigated disaster. Houston finished with the worst record in the entire league last year at 2-14 SU but it did earn them the #1 overall draft choice and Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is an athletic freak and is a huge addition to an already very good defensive line, but it’s all about scoring and the offense for this team this year.

There are some questions concerning WR Andre Johnson and what his status will be once the season starts, but young guys DeAndre Hopkins and DeVier Posey stepped up at times last year and will be asked to do so again this season. Houston still has Arian Foster at RB and he’ll be the workhorse as they’ll be a team that runs the ball first and relies on their defense to close out games.

That’s the style new coach Bill O’Brien used as the head man at Penn State as he;s a guy who will always play to his strengths. When he was the OC at New England he let it fly with Tom Brady and those receivers and at Penn State he concentrated on moving the chains on the ground, taking care of the ball and getting stops. Getting stops is something this defense should be able to do this season with a renewed sense of hope and with stars at every level on defense, Houston will likely be a top-5 defense this season.

When you’ve got a defensive unit like that you’ll win your fair share of games as long as you take care of the ball on offense and don’t turn it over. New QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is an Ivy League graduate who’s been in this league for some time now with varying success. His strengths include reading defenses and setting his unit up with a good play, but the execution can sometimes waiver. He’s the prototypical “game manager” QB and that’s likely all Bill O’Brien will ask him to do. Matt McGloin was a similar guy for the coach at Penn State and although Fitzpatrick isn’t a big name and struggled throwing in windy Buffalo a few seasons back, he’ll be alright. He’s got a stud RB to hand the ball off to when he needs too and big WR’s who can go up and get the ball for him.

Finally, there’s the schedule for the Texans this year and like any team that finished last the previous year it’s rather soft. Gone are the games against the New England’s and Denver’s of the world as they are replaced by contests against Oakland and Buffalo (non-common opponents). Everyone in the AFC South has to go through the AFC North and NFC East which isn’t easy, but Houston will be able to find some wins in there. This finish the season with four of their last six at home and two of their final four against Jacksonville – who will likely have packed it in by then – so the outlook is good for the Texans to be a .500 or better team again. I actually believe they’ve got a great chance to reclaim this division title should Fitzpatrick play within the system and the defense plays as advertised.

To do that eight wins are a must (most likely more) and with redemption the common theme in that Houston locker room this year and a defense that’s ready to hunt down QB’s, over 7.5 wins is one of the stronger win total plays out there this year.



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Odds To Win AFC East Division 2014

odds-to-win-afc-east-2014

Odds to Win the 2014 AFC East
- New England Patriots -275
- Miami Dolphins +600
- New York Jets +650
- Buffalo Bills +850

AFC East Teams Over-Under Win Totals:
- New England Patriots Over-Under 11 wins
- Miami Dolphins Over-Under 7.5 wins
- New York Jets +650 Over-Under 7 wins
- Buffalo Bills +850 Over-Under 6.5 wins

Based on the odds and the general perception in the AFC East, everyone is already giving this division to the New England Patriots again and for good reason. New England is the best team in this division by far on paper at least and given their history and depth, there shouldn’t be too many ways they come up short in their hunt for another division title (Brady getting injured would be one). But New England’s season win total is set at 10.5 with the ‘over’ listed at -195 and that’s way too much juice to pay for any team to win 11+ contests. I’m not about to grab the ‘under’ at +160 simply because there is value though, but if you have already been leaning that way I would not be opposed. Instead, it’s two other teams from this division that I believe present better betting opportunities.

Play #1: Miami Dolphins Over 8 wins (+130)

New England may be the front-runner again in this division but they will see some better competition this season from their rivals. The best of those three will be this Dolphins team as Miami aims to get back into the playoffs for the first time in a few seasons. It will be important for Miami to come out of the gates strong with a home game against New England to start the season and a trip up to Buffalo in Week 2. Two wins there and the Dolphins will be sitting in first place before they take on the Chiefs and Raiders and could end up being 4-0 SU when they reach their bye week in Week 5.

The schedule gets much tougher for the Dolphins later on with the NFC North and AFC West on tap fro everyone in this division, but with three of their final four at home against very beatable opponents (Baltimore, Minnesota, NYJ), Miami just has to squeak out a .500 mark or so during that tough middle stretch to eclipse this number.

Miami brought in RB Knowshon Moreno to add depth to their tailback position and with some talented deep threats at receiver, this team will be able to spread opponents out. Miami will be a run-first, defensive-minded football team and when you play that style and execute well the wins will follow. The +130 payout isn’t bad either for a team that just has to be .500 for a push.

Play #2: New York Jets Under 7 wins (+125)

I was hoping to see this number at 7.5, but given the ‘over’ 7 is favored at -155 I would not be surprised to see it climb there before Week 1. New York is a team that’s still a mess and won’t be able to reach the .500 mark which is why I have no problem taking the plus money here even with the potential for a push.

I mentioned earlier that everyone in the AFC East has to deal with NFC North and AFC West teams and that spells disaster for the Jets. QB Geno Smith is about as inconsistent as they get and although they went out and brought in Michael Vick and RB Chris Johnson this off-season, both of those players have already played their best football. Johnson has been so timid going through the hole the past few years that he’s not a huge threat anymore as defenses have learned to keep him contained between the numbers.

Schedule-wise, the Jets have a brutal early stretch as they play Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, and New England in Weeks 2 through 7 and I don’t see them winning one of those games. A 1-6 start to the year would make it tough to finish the season strong, especially when four of their last six (after their bye) are all on the road. Rex Ryan is not a coach I have too much faith in and I would not be surprised to see another media circus surround another year of poor results in New York.

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Odds To Win NFC East Division 2014

Odds to win AFC SouthOdds to win NFC EastOdds to win AFC Championship
Odds to win AFC EastOdds to win NFC WestNFL Surprise Teams?
Odds to win AFC NorthOdds to win NFC ChampionshipSuper Bowl Odds

odds-to-win-nfc-east-2014

The NFC East may be the most wide-open division in this conference in 2014 as we’ve only seen one team (Philadelphia) win it twice over the last four years. The best record to win it during that time has been 10-6 SU, so this division will always be highly competitive within itself, and with Dallas, Washington and the Giants looking to rebound this season, the Eagles will have to endure numerous tests if they want to keep their throne.

NFC East Odds 2014:
- Philadelphia (+130)
- New York Giants (+320)
- Dallas (+400)
- Washington (+450)

Philadelphia won the division last year in Chip Kelly’s first pro season as a head coach. They did it with an aggressive style on both sides of the ball and one of the better performances by a RB in recent years from LeSean McCoy. QB Nick Foles came into his own as a passer, but he lost one of his biggest weapons in Desean Jackson this off-season. Many in the Eagles locker room think that subtraction will actually help Philly this year and propel them to the Super Bowl, but I’m not so sure. With so little difference between all four of these teams, and a first-place schedule to boot, I don’t think Philly deserves to be this heavily favored to win this division at this point of the year.

Every one in the NFC East has to deal with the AFC South and NFC West this year and while the former could provide some easy wins (Jacksonville), the latter could provide zero wins for NFC East teams. For Philadelphia, they also have to deal with Green Bay and Carolina (both division winners from last year) that no one else in their division will face and that’s tough. The Eagles schedule starts off rather soft with a home game against Jacksonville in Week 1, but they’ve got road games @ Indy and SF mixed in with home games vs. Wash, NYG, and STL before their Week 7 bye. Philly has to take control of that early part of the schedule if they want any hope of repeating.

I say that because the last have of their season is gruesome. Philadelphia finishes up with games @ Dallas, vs. Seattle, vs. Dallas, @ Washington, and @ NYG. Three straight division games to end the year is rough and with the NFC East likely up for grabs still at that time, at +130 I don’t know how you can like the Eagles to repeat as division champions.

Washington (+450) might be the most intriguing team in 2014, after a disastrous campaign in RGIII’s sophomore season. They were the ones who brought in WR Desean Jackson to boost their offense, and with a new coaching staff all the way around you can’t help but wonder if Washington will respond with a strong first year under a new regime the same way the Eagles did a season ago. Their first half of the schedule is relatively soft as well with a home game against Seattle in Week 5 the only game that looks like a “sure” loss at this point. They’ve got three straight against division rivals to finish the year as well, but that’s their opportunity to make a name for themselves as the hunter and not the hunted.

The NY Giants are still not too far removed from their 2011 Championship season and coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning know how to win. New York went through their ups-and-downs last year but are hoping to bounce back strong this year with a couple of rookie playmakers like Odell Beckham Jr and RB Andre Williams looking to make a big impact. They are a team that you can never count out, and if they can get through their Week 10 and 11 games @ Seattle and vs. San Francisco with at least a split, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch.

That leaves “America’s Team” from Dallas with lofty expectations placed on them yet again by owner Jerry Jones. Dallas will always be one of the most overhyped teams in the NFL, and with the Cowboys currently on the longest drought in terms of winning this division, I don’t see anything changing too drastically this year. Defensively they are a mess and already lost their top LB (Sean Lee) for the season. They finish the year with four of their last six on the road and given their reputation of being choke artists down the stretch, I don’t think Romo and company will find a way to reverse those results this year.

As far as a pick goes for the NFC East, I’m going to give you two and let you decide. I don’t give Dallas much of a chance to win this division, and the Eagles present no value at +130, especially when I believe they’ll take a step back.

That leaves Washington and New York to battle it out for this division title and I believe one of them will take it down in the final weeks. Washington provides a better payday at +450, but they are too reliant on RGIII’s health, which leads me to stick with those reliable Giants who always seem to find a way to win.

Take New York to win the NFC East at +320

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Odds To Win AFC North Division & Predictions

AFC-North-Predictions-2013

Only one team from this division made the playoffs a year ago (Cincinnati) and that’s a surprise given how competitive this division has been in the past. Other than last year, we’ve often seen two of the four from the AFC North play meaningful football in January (Super Bowl Contenders) and I believe we will get back to that this season. The Bengals are the reigning division champions and will have a tough road to repeat. Cincinnati also lost there two coordinators as each moved on to a head coaching position this year and that’s part of the reason they are one of my first future plays here.

Odds to Win the 2014 AFC North:

- Cincinnati Bengals +200
- Pittsburgh Steelers +200
- Baltimore Ravens +250
- Cleveland Browns +500

Cincinnati Bengals – 2014 Regular Season Win Total
Over 9 (-125)
Under 9 (-105)

Pittsburgh Steelers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total
Over 8½ (-140)
Under 8½ (+110)

Baltimore Ravens – 2014 Regular Season Win Total
Over 8½ (-140)
Under 8½ (+110)

Cleveland Browns – 2014 Regular Season Win Total
Over 6½ (-150)
Under 6½ (+120)

Play #1: Cincinnati Bengals Under 9 wins (+100)

Cincinnati has made the post-season three straight years and that coincides with their drafting of QB Andy Dalton. Dalton is one that never gets too much praise from the national media thanks to some poor performances in those playoff games, but he has always been a winner at every level he’s played. However, losing his offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden stings and while Cincinnati has promoted from within, they’ve still got a man at the top in Marvin Lewis who makes some questionable decisions at key moments. Cincinnati has not won a playoff game in Lewis’ tenure as coach (0-5) and he’s been at the helm since 2003. His career record is 89-85-1 as the Bengals head coach so it’s not like he’s ever been dominant and with two new guys calling the plays Cincinnati has too many hurdles to overcome this season to repeat as division champions. You’re going to need 10 wins to win the AFC North (most likely) and this version of the Bengals will top out at 8-8.

First off, Cincy has to deal with that first place schedule this season and that means facing the Broncos and Patriots. No other AFC North team squares off with those two teams and given that both are atop the list as favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, I don’t like Cincinnati’s chances in either of those games.

The Bengals also finish the year with five of their last seven on the road so they’d better make their hay early on in the year. The problem with that is that an early bye week (Week 4) combined with some tough games mixed in there, means Cincinnati won’t be running away with anything. Finishing up with Denver and Pittsburgh is no treat either (they play Pittsburgh twice in the last four weeks) and their final stretch is where I see them struggling to reach the .500 mark.

Play #2: Pittsburgh Steelers Over 8.5 wins (-165)

I’ll be the first to admit that this line is a little juicy for my liking at -165, but with my projection of Cincinnati falling off this year, someone’s got to step up and win this division and I believe it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2011 when they lost in OT during Wildcard Weekend to Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos. Two straight seasons out of post-season play isn’t long for most franchises, but for Steelers fans it’s got to feel like an eternity.  They are a team that’s gotten a bit younger this year on both sides of the ball which will help, and if they can navigate their way through some tough games early on, six of their final ten are at home and they could get hot at the right time.

Everyone knows what QB Ben Roethlisberger brings to the table, but with a healthy RB Le’Veon Bell back this year and a receiving core that can stretch the field and blow the lid off a defense, Pittsburgh should be a fun team to watch this year. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is still there and will have his guys flying to the ball per usual and with many of their tough non-division games behind at home this year (vs. Houston, Indy, New Orleans, KC), the schedule lines up really well for the Steelers to be back atop this division in 2014.

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NFL Odds To Lead The League In Receiving Yards 2014

bet-on-nfl-player-stats-2014

Seven NFL WR’s finished with at least 1,400 receiving yards last season, and the possibilities are there for many more, some you probably would have never thought of, to do it again this year. Today, we’ll look at the NFL betting lines regarding the receiver to lead the league in pass catching yards in 2014.

Calvin Johnson (+300) – Megatron is going to get the ball thrown his way a ton once again this year, but now, the Lions have a bigger threat on the opposite side of the field in WR Golden Tate, and they’ve got what could be a massive star in the middle of the field in TE Eric Ebron. That’s a lot more work that opposing secondaries have to put in. With all of that extra attention going elsewhere, the combination of QB Matthew Stafford to Johnson could be the best in the league in 2014.

Demaryius Thomas (+500) – We’re a bit worried about Thomas being the second favorite this year at 5 to 1. Sure, he had 92 catches last season and was fourth in the league, and sure, WR Eric Decker isn’t there any longer to hog up the receptions from QB Peyton Manning, but we still wonder whether Manning has 5,000 yards in him again this year. There’s a point that his shelf life as an elite quarterback is going to run out, and if that’s the case, Thomas might not even crack the 1,000-yard barrier. The other problem with Thomas is that we never know what in the heck Manning is going to do with the ball in any given game. None of these receivers care more about their stats than wins. Thomas will be good again this year, but to think that he is going to lead the league in receiving is a bit ludicrous.

AJ Green (+2000) – We’re going to skip around just a bit here, as we just don’t think that there are any other receivers amongst the favorites worth backing. Green though, always has been the favorite target of QB Andy Dalton, and now that the West Coast style of offense is gone with the departure of OC Jay Gruden, there is a real chance to stretch the field out more. That probably means good things for the former Georgia Bulldog, who has had at least 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons in the NFL and at least 1,350 yards in each of his last two campaigns.

Jimmy Graham (+6000) – It seems to be a bit of a longshot that Graham could lead the league in receiving, but the presence of WR Brandin Cooks on the outside could open up things a lot more for QB Drew Brees’ best friend in the passing game. Graham was down for most of the end of the season, but he came out of the blocks last season with four games in his first five with at least 100 yards. The idea of Graham getting to 1,500 yards this year doesn’t seem totally out of the realm of possibility.

Who Will Lead the NFL in Receiving Yards?

Calvin Johnson +300
Demaryius Thomas +500
Dez Bryant +800
Julio Jones +1200
Antonio Brown +2000
AJ Green +2000
Brandon Marshall +2000
Alshon Jeffery +2500
Andre Johnson +3000
Jordy Nelson +3000
Pierre Garcon +3500
Vincent Jackson +3500
TY Hilton +4500
Larry Fitzgerald +4500
Keenan Allen +4500
Randall Cobb +5000
Roddy White +5000
Torrey Smith +5000
Mike Wallace +5000
Victor Cruz +5000
Cecil Shorts III +5000
Jimmy Graham +6000
DeSean Jackson +7000
Marques Colston +7500
Wes Welker +7500
Julian Edelman +10000
Rob Gronkowski +10000
Dwayne Bowe +10000
Percy Harvin +10000
Reggie Wayne +10000
Michael Crabtree +10000
Sammy Watkins +10000
Michael Floyd +10000
Eric Decker +10000
Rueben Randle +15000
Golden Tate +15000
Cordarrelle Patterson +15000
James Jones +15000
Brian Hartline +15000
Greg Jennings +15000
Riley Cooper +15000
Emmanuel Sanders +15000
DeAndre Hopkins +15000
Marqise Lee +20000
Tavon Austin +20000
Hakeem Nicks +20000
Mike Evans +20000
Kenny Stills +20000
Nate Washington +20000
Aaron Dobson +20000
Julius Thomas +30000

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