Hello savvy sports investors, how’s it going? We are coming off a disappointing week where we got one correct pick and two that were wrong. Our season record is now 24-15-2, a 61.5% success rate.
I’ve got 4 picks for you this week, and I do feel good about them.
PICK #1: San Francisco 49ers +7 vs Seattle Seahawks
If you believe the fatigue factor is important when handicapping NFL games, then this one is for you. Rest is definitely in favor of the 49ers here. Not only are they coming off their bye week, but the Seahawks played Monday night, thus losing one day of preparation. To top it all off, San Francisco will be at home for a fourth consecutive week after hosting the Cards and the Giants and being on a bye. That is seldom seen in the NFL, especially combined with the 8 extra days of preparation over what Seattle has.
One more thing I like about this pick is the fact that the Seahawks might overlook this game a little bit, as it is being sandwiched between a key matchup with the Falcons last week, and a tough challenge against the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles next week. The only factor I don’t like about this game is how the Seahawks might be mad and motivated following a home loss on primetime television.
The 49ers will be looking to avenge a 12-9 loss earlier this year against those same Seahawks in Seattle. Paul Richardson caught a 9-yard TD pass with 7 minutes remaining to put the Seahawks up for good, but they definitely had trouble handling the Niners. Seattle swept the season series last year, but they struggled in San Francisco in a 25-23 win, a game where they trailed 14-3 early on. The Seahawks made a comeback before pulling some starters in the fourth quarter because it was the last game of the season and it turned out to be meaningless for them.
I could see the Seahawks crumbling through the rest of the season and missing the playoffs. Their defense is banged up, their running game is average at best, and Russell Wilson has been running for his life on many occasions. Thank God he is great at escaping the pressure and extending plays, otherwise they would be doomed with such a mediocre offensive line. I don’t believe they will win by more than one touchdown on the road.
PICK #2: New York Jets +5 vs Carolina Panthers
Both teams are in similar conditions with respect to the rest factor. They are both coming off their bye week and neither team has had to travel much recently. As a matter of fact, prior to having the week off, the Panthers had played a couple of home games in a row, while the Jets had played two out of three games at home.
I’m afraid the Panthers won’t show up in top form this week. First, their last game was a cakewalk when they handled the Dolphins easily by a 45-21 score. Also, they might get caught peeking ahead to their upcoming showdown in New Orleans on week #13.
The cold weather might come into play as well. At the time of this writing (Tuesday November 21), it is expected that it will feel like one degree Celcius or 34 degrees Farenheit next Sunday. That could go in favor of the Jets, who are more used to that kind of weather, especially quarterback Josh McCown who has played a few seasons with cold-weather teams like the Browns and the Bears.
The Jets have been tough to beat at MetLife Stadium this year. They are 3-2, with their only two losses occurring against the Patriots by a 7-point margin and the Falcons by a 5-point deficit, so basically nothing to be ashamed of. Granted, the Panthers are 4-1 on the road, but keep in mind they have lost 17-3 at Chicago.
PICK #3: Chicago Bears +14 at Philadelphia Eagles
Most bookies currently have the Bears as 13.5-point underdogs, but Bovada has set the line at 14 (as of Tuesday November 21). More sportsbooks might follow them considering the public is betting heavily on the Eagles following their impressive win in Dallas that pretty much locked the division title for them. 80% of gamblers are taking the Eagles, both against the spread and straight up. That’s what generally happens when you have a team riding an eight-game winning streak against a team who is on a 3-game losing skid.
Like I said earlier, the Eagles are almost guaranteed to win the NFC East and are coming off a big emotional showdown in Dallas. A letdown is certainly conceivable, especially considering they have the Seahawks up next. It would be very easy to look past a much weaker Bears team. Philadelphia’s past three games have been too easy: the average margin of victory was 26.3. This looks like a textbook trap game for the Eagles.
The Bears should not feel too tired since their past two matches were at home, and they were on a bye before that. They certainly have nothing to lose and will be looking for revenge following a 29-14 home loss to Philadelphia last year.
You might be surprised to hear that the Bears have had many good performances against top teams this season. They lost 23-17 to the Falcons in their opener and were just 5 yards away from pulling the big upset. They beat the Steelers in overtime. They only lost by 3 points against the Vikings. They beat a solid Panthers team by two touchdowns. And they only lost 20-12 in New Orleans. That’s five good outings when facing teams from the upper tier. Combined with the likely letdown by the Eagles, I like the Bears to cover the 14-point spread.
PICK #4: Los Angeles Rams -2.5 vs New Orleans Saints
The winning streak is still alive for the Saints, but they certainly showed some signs of weakness last week when they had to overcome a 15-point deficit late in the 4th quarter to defeat the Redskins in overtime. Their defense looked stingy in their previous four starts by allowing just 12 points per game on average. However, look who they faced in those games: Buffalo, Tampa Bay minus Winston, Chicago and Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers. There is not a single scary offense among those teams. They finally played against a potent offense last week, and they ended up allowing 456 total yards and 31 points to Washington.
The Rams did not look so great either in a 24-7 loss to Minnesota. They will be looking to go back on the winning track right away, and will hope to avenge an embarrassing 49-21 loss in New Orleans last season. They are ready to show Drew Brees’ squad that they are not the same team that they saw in 2016. Jared Goff has significantly improved his play, the cast of players surrounding him is much better, and I do like what new and young head coach Sean McVay has done with this team.
I doubt that the Saints will be overlooking such a strong Rams team, but they might still be a little bit distracted by their critical meeting with divisional rivals Carolina Panthers next week.
Ok so this is it for this week’s NFL write-up, I hope I was able to bring some valuable insight to you. If you appreciate the work that I do for free, remember that you can always help me by clicking the affiliate links in my sportsbook reviews the next time you want to open an account with a new bookmaker.
Thanks for reading this report, I appreciate you, best of luck on the 49ers, the Jets, the Bears and the Rams picks, and I’ll be back next week for more predictions and analyses in the NFL. Bye bye!