Thursday, December 8, 2011

NFL 2011 - Betting Lines - Picks To Win, Versus the Spread and the Over/Under: Week 14

It's been an up and down season that has rounded out just below .500 on the spread and over/under and produced a pretty good 64% winning percentage in picking the winner.  I'm looking for a late season push to exceed .500 and it will take just one very good week to get there out of the three weeks that are left.  The landscape of the NFL has changed dramatically.  Teams that we thought were going to excel to great heights have taken huge falls(Buffalo, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay) and other teams that weren't any good at the beginning of the year now can't seem to lose(Denver, Miami).  It's a very fluid league and every week presents a new set of matchups and circumstances to consider.  With that, lets take a look at how I did last week and on the season so far...

Winner: 10-6   :-)
Winner w/ Spread: 9-7   :-)
Over/Under: 9-6-1 :-)
Trifecta: 4
Strikeouts: 3
Perfect Team Score Predictions: 4 (Buffalo, Washington, Houston, New England)
Perfect Game Score Predictions: 0


*2011 Overall Record*
Winner: 123-69 (.641)
Winner w/ Spread: 90-95-7 (.486)
Over/Under: 93-95-4 (.495)
Trifecta: 40
Strikeouts: 27
Perfect Team Score Predictions: 27   [Week 1]: Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit  [Week 2]: Arizona, Tampa Bay, Minnesota  [Week 4]: San Diego  [Week 5]: Jacksonville, Denver  [Week 6]: Atlanta, Oakland  [Week 7]: Chicago  [Week 8]: Houston, Carolina, Denver, Cleveland  [Week 9]: Oakland, Tennessee  [Week 10]: Miami  [Week 11]: Oakland  [Week 12]: Tampa Bay, Chicago, Seattle  [Week 13]: Buffalo, Washington, Houston, New England
Perfect Game Score Predictions: 2   [Week 1] Atlanta @ St. Louis  [Week 2]: Tampa Bay @ Minnesota

NOTE: The team with a negative number in parenthesis "(-3)" next to their name is the favorite to win the matchup and the number represents how many points the favorite has to score more than the underdog to count as a winning bet.  The over/under for the game is represented by a number in parenthesis with the letters o and u "(o/u 46)".  The number represents the amount of points you are wagering whether or not the two team's combined score will be in excess of or short of.  Official betting lines courtesy of

My picks for Week 14...

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh(-14)  (o/u 40)
Savant Spread Pick: Pittsburgh and the points to win ~ 28-6
Over/Under Pick: Under

I'm not sure what the NFL was thinking when they made their Thursday night schedule of games and included a game that at the beginning of the year could have easily been predicted to be a game featuring a double-digit favorite.  This is not must see TV by any means.  Cleveland is awful at stopping the run, but are the #1 pass defense in the NFL.  Good thing for Ben and the Steelers, they have a talented RB1 in Rashard Mendenhall.  They Steelers should have 150+ yards rushing in this game and hit a homerun or two with their young corps. of talented receivers.  Cleveland has almost no chance of moving the ball on this defense that will be stacking 8 and 9 in the box to load up against Peyton Hillis and the running game of the Browns and take their chances in one-on-one coverage with Cleveland's sub-par receivers.  Steelers win in a rout, but Cleveland won't score enough t help push the over.

Result: Cleveland 3  Pittsburgh 14 / Total Score 17 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: +

Indianapolis @ Baltimore(-16.5)  (o/u 41)
Savant Spread Pick: Indianapolis with the points; Baltimore and the points to win ~ 27-17
Over/Under Pick: Over

Baltimore is a team that is almost impossible to beat at home no matter who is coming to town, especially with the 0-12 Colts coming.  There's no question Baltimore will win but don't sleep on Indy.  They have an offense that can be explosive at any given time and new starting QB, Dan Orlovsky was 30-37 last week in a loss to New England that was much closer than anyone would have guessed.  (Well, I guessed it would be by taking Indy with the points last week :-D)  Baltimore should get out to an early big lead and then take their foot off the gas; enough for Indy to sneak in a TD or two late to make up the spread.  Both teams have enough big play potential to take the over.

Result: Indianapolis 10  Baltimore 24 / Total Score 34 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

Houston @ Cincinnati(-3)  (o/u 38)
Savant Spread Pick: Houston to win ~ 20-16
Over/Under Pick: Under

It was a surprise to me see that Houston is an underdog in this game despite them being on the road and starting T.J. Yates at QB.  They still have their top ranked rushing offense behind Foster and Tate and that stout defense completely shut down the powerhouse offense of the Falcons last week.  I see a similar outcome in this game against Cincinnati.  Dalton, Green and Benson are not Ryan, White and Turner, so technically this game should be an even easier challenge for the Texans.  All they need is T.J Yates to not make mistakes and manage the game and this will be an easy win.  Both defenses are very stout so I'd put my bets on the under.

Result: Houston 20  Cincinnati 19 / Total Score 49 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

Oakland @ Green Bay(-11.5)  (o/u 51.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Green Bay and the points to win ~ 38-17
Over/Under Pick: Over

The Oakland Raiders lost all defensive credibility when they let the poor Broncos offense run up the score on them at home.  You can't put trust in their defense that they will stay disciplined in their assignments.  Green Bay speaks for itself; most points and largest win differential in the NFL.  Raiders have tons of injuries at WR and the only thing GB doesn't do well is pass defense so that won't be a worry for GB.  GB in a rout and no doubt they will push the over.  GB could score 52 points themselves.

Result: Oakland 16  Green Bay 46 / Total Score 62 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

Kansas City @ New York(A)(-10.5)  (o/u 36.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Kansas City with the points; New York to win ~ 13-9
Over/Under Pick: Under

Their is little to defend taking KC with the points considering how awful their offense is.  Last week the only TD they scored in the game came on a halftime hail-mary from half-field, but because of that defense, they beat the Bears 10-3.  Let's also not forget that it was the Chiefs D that held the pretty explosive Steelers to a tight one in KC.  This defense can ball.  Mark Sanchez has a real problem facing good defenses.  He has most of his very good games against weak defenses.  KC can stop the run and look out for the KC D to create a short-field turnover that will lead to a score.  I'm close to picking them to win, but the Jets can squeak by against an offense that is so bad.  Don't even think about taking the over in this game.

Result: Kansas City 10  New York(A) 37 / Total Score 47 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: -

Minnesota @ Detroit(-10)  (o/u 46.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Minnesota with the points; Detroit to win ~ 28-24
Over/Under Pick: Over

A few key factors to think about in this matchup.  The Lions will be without all-world DT Ndamukong Suh because of his suspension which will help ease protection problems for the Vikings.  Adrian Peterson will be out for this game but expect backup Toby Gerhart to fill his shows adequately against the Lions poor run defense.  Ponder is a game time decision but I expect he'll play.  He has looked sharp and Percy Harvin is having a resurgence late this year with a huge game last week.  The Lions' Stafford and Johnson will get it done at home with some help from the running game though.  I like the Lions in a shootout so take the over.

Result: Minnesota 28  Detroit 34 / Total Score 62 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

Tennessee @ New Orleans(-3.5)  (o/u 48.5)
Savant Spread Pick: New Orleans and the points to win ~ 31-24
Over/Under Pick: Over

The Titans have made big strides in the running game as of late behind the resurgence of Chris Johnson who has three straight games rushing well into the 100's and a few TD's.  Hasselbeck is still holding it down with his band of WR misfits, Washington and Damian Williams.  I do think they can score some points against the Saints who have proven they can give up points on the road(see St. Louis).  Chris Johnson should have anice day, but the passing game won't work too well for the Titans. The Saints will unleash their multitude of weapons all over the field as usual and pick the Titans apart before they hit a few homeruns.  I don't expect this to be that close and take the over because of two offenses that are going to score points against each other.

Result: Tennessee 17  New Orleans 22 / Total Score 39 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

Philadelphia @ Miami(-3)  (o/u 45.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Philadelphia to win ~ 23-21
Over/Under Pick: Under

Miami has been on a roll lately and the Eagles have been majorly slumping but I think this is the week each team's fortunes reverse but only by the smallest of margins.  The biggest reason to expect the Eagles to win this game is because for the first time in a decade, Andy Reid's head coaching position is seriously in doubt after the season and if there was ever a time that Reid needs to be as focused on winning a game as he can be it's this week with his job hanging in the balance.  We all know how talented they are and what they are capable.  They have blown so many fourth quarter leads this year so it's not like they are getting waxed by anyone.  They will find a way against Miami this week.  Miami will make it ultra competitive and may even find a way to overcome the Eagles, but it's just not in the probability to happen. Both teams will play tight enough to keep the scores down, take the under.

Result: Philadelphia 26  Miami 10 / Total Score 36 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

Washington vs. New England(-8)  (o/u 38)
Savant Spread Pick: New England and the points to win ~ 27-13
Over/Under Pick: Over

This is just another ho-hum game for the Pats.  They will roll right into D.C., run their offense like the machine it is, play enough defense to keep a Redskins team that has only one real receiving threat in Santana Moss now that their other best receiver, Fred Davis, has been suspended by the NFL for the rest of the year for a drug test.  Nothing to say that you don't already know about the Patriots or the Redskins.  This one is a pretty safe bet.

Result: Washington 27  New England 34 / Total Score 61 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: +

Carolina vs. Atlanta(-3)  (o/u 47.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Atlanta and the points to win ~ 27-23
Over/Under Pick: Over

With these two offenses meeting up, the scoreboard will stay busy.  Cam Newton and the Panther offense has taken even bigger strides to being the offense they want to be on a weekly basis but the defense is still not cutting it.  Against the powerful Falcons, you've got to have some stopping power on defense if you are going to hold them down from scoring TD's.  Atlanta's defense looked sharp in a loss last week, but they should be able to do enough to hold down Cam's scrambling out of the pocket to let their offense take care of the scoreboard.  It will be a shootout though, no doubt.  Take the over.

Result: Carolina 23  Atlanta 31 / Total Score 48 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

Jacksonville vs. Tampa Bay(-2)  (o/u 39)
Savant Spread Pick: Jacksonville to win ~ 21-17
Over/Under Pick: Under

Jacksonville is a team that can put a scare into some of the best teams at home when they almost beat the Steelers and when they did beat the Ravens.  Tampa Bay is a team that doesn't have close to the talent of either of those teams, but what bodes worse for Tampa Bay is that they cannot stop the run and that is the only thing the Jags can do on offense.  Chris Johnson torched them two weeks ago and Cam Newton torched them on the ground last week for 3 TD's.  They will not be able to stop RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who can put 100 on a team even with 8 men in the box all day.  I don't expect it to be very high scoring with all of that running both teams will be doing, so take the under.

Result: Jacksonville 41  Tampa Bay 14 / Total Score 55 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

Arizona vs. San Francisco(-4)  (o/u 38)
Savant Spread Pick: San Francisco and the points to win ~ 19-7
Over/Under Pick: Under

It doesn't matter who you throw at this 49ers defense, they are going to dominate.  The only team in the NFL to shut-out a team last week, did so even without their defensive leader and all-world LB Patrick Willis for a majority of the game.  Arizona's biggest threat, Beanie Wells will be running into the trenches of the league's #1 ranked rush defense that hasn't allowed a single rushing TD this season.  Kevin Kolb will be making his first start in a few weeks coming back from injury and will probably have a turnover or two against the NFL's most opportune defense.  The 49ers should make light work of the Cardinals who are ready for a let-down after last week's emotional overtime win over Dallas.

Result: Arizona 21  San Francisco 19 / Total Score 40 /
Winner: -  Spread: -  O/U: -

Chicago @ Denver(-3.5)  (o/u 35.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Denver to win ~ 10-7
Over/Under Pick: Under

This will be the worst offensive game of the week between two offenses that are equally inept.  The Bears had more than 75% of their total offense this year go down for the rest of the season with injury in the last two weeks when Cutler and Forte went down.  They can't play anywhere close to the level they were with Caleb Hanie and CJ Spiller as replacements.  The Denver defense is playing top 10 type defense and should handily take care of the bears now poor offense that scored only once last week against KC.  This game may shape up for Tim Tebow to have one of his patented 4th quarter comebacks after stinking up the joint for 3 and a half quarters.  The Bears defense should swallow Tebow up most of the day but all he'll have to make is one more play than the Bears offense that is looking like it may not make a play all day.  You'd be nuts to take the over in this game.

Result: Chicago 10  Denver 13 / Total Score 23 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

Buffalo @ San Diego(-7)  (o/u 48)
Savant Spread Pick: San Diego and the points to win ~ 31-19
Over/Under Pick: Over

San Diego showed us all something when they went in to Jacksonville from across the country and laid down a beat down on the Jags.  They beat the Jags like a talented SD team should.  I think this team has found life again and knows that the division is within their reach if they keep a streak going.  They are not going to let a Bills team that is a bit down with injury and has been an a huge slide come into SD and ruin their playoff chances.  I like what I see from Rivers now and Mathews is developing into the RB they drafted with their first pick two years ago.  The Bills are still without Fred Jackson who is now on IR and they are just not the same without his presence in the offense.  Their defense has been weak all season.  Take the over.  SD is going to light it up again.

Result: Buffalo 10  San Diego 37 / Total Score 47 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

New York(N) @ Dallas(-3.5)  (o/u 35.5)
Savant Spread Pick: New York to win ~ 28-27
Over/Under Pick: Over

The gut check of the week last week was when the Giants went into the game against Green bay last week coming off of an atrocious loss to the Saints the week before and played the undefeated reigning Super Bowl Champions all the way down to the last second and lost by a field goal.  This team changes completely when it has Ahmad Bradshaw in the lineup.  Even Brandon Jacobs level of play is raised a couple of notches when Bradshaw is the starter.  Dallas looks a bit messy after last week's debacle over head coach Jason Garrett icing his own kicker on a field goal with his late called timeout that ultimately lost them the game in overtime to a Cardinals team they had no business losing to as leaders of the NFC East.  I think it's that time where the Giants storm back and take the East from the Cowboys.  You can't trust Romo in December.

Result: New York(N) 37  Dallas 34 / Total Score 71 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +

St. Louis @ Seattle(-6.5)  (o/u 39.5)
Savant Spread Pick: Seattle and the points to win ~ 24-9
Over/Under Pick: Under

This season has featured some of the worst Monday Night Football matchups in the history of the league and this is just another in the long line.  Seattle's Marshawn Lynch is destroying defenses lately and has a rushing TD in 7 straight games.  That streak will continue and I'm sure he'll have at least two if not 3 TD's against the leagues worst rush defense against the big explosive runs this year.  St. Louis averages the least amount of points per game this ear and that is including dropping 31 on New Orleans in that freak win they had at home.  They might have had the slimmest of margins at home but Seattle is one of the NFL's best home-fields.  This should easily be a rout, but not enough points from St. Louis to get the over.

Result: St. Louis 13  Seattle 30 / Total Score 43 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -


  1. Hi,
    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.


  2. Thanks, sports betting! I try to give some insight on how people should bet or pick games for their football pick 'em pool each week.