- Gambling Technology
- Video Podcasts
We did well last week, going 3-1. Here are my NFL bets this week:
Oakland @ Houston (Hou -5.5, 48.5)
The Pick: Houston -5.5
This is a matchup of two teams who have exceeded expectations thus far, as both teams are 3-1 ATS. The Raiders can really run the ball but the Texans’ defense is much-improved under new coordinator Wade Phillips, so I expect them to do a decent job of slowing down Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. The Texans’ best offensive player, WR Andre Johnson, is injured and will miss the game. Johnson draws a double-team on nearly every play, so his absence will definitely hurt the Houston offense. Still, the Texans have RB Arian Foster back to full strength so the run game will have to be respected, which will open up space down the field for QB Matt Schaub. I think they’ll score plenty and Oakland will have trouble keeping up, so I’m backing Houston here.
Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (Pit -3, 39.5)
The Pick: Pittsburgh -3
Significant injuries abound for the Steelers; they’ll be without 6 players in this game and QB Ben Roethlisberger has a sprained foot, though he is expected to play. For this reason the public is all over Tennessee here. The line opened at Pittsburgh -8 but it has been bet all the way down to 3, a really large line move for an NFL game. Some advice: don’t give up on this Pittsburgh team just yet. This game has a “circle the wagons” type of feel, the Steelers are 2-2 and in danger of falling behind in the division if they lose and everyone seems to be writing them off. They’re playing at home though, and they have a roster full of battle-hardened veterans. I think Tennessee is a little overrated, I’m just not sure they’re ready to go into Pittsburgh and beat a motivated (albeit injured) Steelers team. I’m taking Pittsburgh here.
Tampa Bay @ San Francisco (SF -2.5, 41.5)
The Pick: San Francisco -2.5
The Bucs head west to play the surprising San Francisco 49ers, who are off to a 3-1 start in Jim Harbaugh’s first season as coach. I’ve been really impressed by the Niners thus far, they are somewhat conservative on offense but they’re downright nasty on defense, ranking 7th in the NFL in scoring defense and 4th against the run, allowing only 74 rushing yards per game. Tampa is also 3-1, but they’ve been somewhat unimpressive on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback, Josh Freeman, has been prematurely crowned a “star” player by many, even though he doesn’ yet play well enough to deserve that distinction. I think the Bucs are going to have real trouble going out west and beating a 49ers team that is really on a roll. Take San Francisco, lay the points.
Green Bay @ Atlanta (GB -6, 53)
The Pick: Atlanta +6
Sunday night brings us a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game between the Packers and the Falcons. Green Bay won the game, of course, and went on to win the Super Bowl. They’ve picked up right where they left off, as they’re 4-0 this year and 3-1 ATS. The Falcons, meanwhile, have struggled this season. They’re a lackluster 2-2 and only 1-3 against the number, so, understandably, Green Bay has been getting a lot of love here, with 74% of the offshore money coming in on the Pack as of this morning. I think this is a great spot for the Falcons, though. They’re an excellent home team, they beat Philadelphia in their only home game so far this season, and there is a definite revenge factor here after the Packers came into Atlanta last year and denied the Falcons a trip to the Super Bowl. Atlanta could squash all the doubt and negativity surrounding them if they come out and beat the Packers in front of a national TV audience. I’m not sure if they’ll do it but I think this will be a really close game, so I’m taking Atlanta and the points.