Football Picks Against the Spread
Just got done with my first draft and I’m very happy with the results. I got a ton of guys that I was looking to get. In the first three rounds, it was just a matter of who fell to me and then it was just a matter of where I thought I was getting the most value or the most upside. Here are my picks and throughts.
12-Teams – 1/2 Point PPR
1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, FLEX, D/ST, K
1.) Adrian Peterson (RB) – #3 – I wasn’t thrilled with drafting #3. The debate begins at A.P vs. Forte. I knew Forte has more upside PPR value, but A.P. makes up whatever PPR downside he has with him getting more goalline opportunities. I’m concerned with A.P.’s age, but Forte is no spring chicken, he’s just as old. I don’t want to go WR this early with Calvin Johnson since I don’t know what kind of RB I’m getting in Round 2. You need a stud at RB. A.P. is guy that gets drafted in the top 5 every year he’s healthy. Forte is a guy you draft in the last half of Round 1. Adrian Peterson is still the guy to draft at #3 after Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy.
2.) Leo’Veon Bell (RB) – #22 – I was targeting Brandon Marshall in Round 2, who I like just as much as Dez Bryant and A.J. Green and he usually goes mid-Round 2. I was looking to get a WR stud, but they’re all off the board and the next wide receivers up are Alshon and Jordy. Giovani Bernard and Montee Ball are taken by now. I had my eye on Le’Veon Bell and Giovani Bernard as …
Tavon Austin is a guy that I’m targeting as a late-round flyer. He’s the poor man’s Cordarrelle Patterson. He may get you a return TD or two this season, he gets involved in the run game, and like Pattterson this year, the Rams will be doing anything just to get the ball in his hands this year with plays like bubble screens and short slant routes that may end up turning into big yards.
Both players are entering their sophomore campaign. Tavon Austin was the 1st wide receiver off the board in 2013, selected 8th overall. Cordarrelle Patterson was selected 29th overall. Being the first wide receiver drafted and being drafted in the top 10 came with big expectations, especially following the likes of other top 10 wide receivers recently drafted such as A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Tavon Austin’s 2013 season was considered a bust, especially for those who took a mid-round flyer on him in fantasy football hoping that he would be the next Julio Jones.
Statistically, Tavon Austin wasn’t that far behind from Cordarrelle Patterson. Cordarrelle Patterson had 45 receptions, 469 receiving yards, and 4 receiving TDs. Tavon Austin has 40 receptions, 418 receiving yards, and 4 receiving TDs. Cordarrelle Patterson had 12 rushing attempts, 158 rushing yards, and 3 rushing TDs. Tavon Austin had 9 rushing attempts, 151 rushing yards, and 1 rushing TD. Tavon Austin’s numbers could have been better than Patterson’s had he not missed the last three games of the season.
However, Tavon Austin never really impressed throughout the last season, whereas Cordarrelle Patterson burst onto the scene around week 13. From weeks 13-17, Cordarrelle Patterson was a fantasy football beast. You never really got that stretch of performance and glimpse of the …
Just wanted to check in with everybody. I’ve been working away on my 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings. Check those out as it will be a great cheat sheet for your draft and also breaks players down into tiers (RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3). It’s a continued work in progress until the season kicks off.
Just a few predictions about the upcoming 2014 football season and my approach to betting on the NFL in 2014. First, I’m not going to place any substantial bets on games until at least week 5. There are surprises every year and there are a lot of teams that I usually tend to enjoy betting against that will be much better football teams this year (e.g., Vikings, Jets, Jaguars, Rams, Browns, Cardinals, etc.). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the dogs starting the year on a very good note.
Over the last four years, I’ve found that my best weeks against the spread have been weeks 10-16. That’s when things get serious. What gives me an edge during this time is I’ve found that the parity between teams that is often seen in the beginning of the year begins to dissipate. The playoff teams typically kick it up a notch while other teams who will not be competing for a playoff spot take a step back. It’s simply a matter of the playoff teams gaining confidence and the non-playoff teams losing confidence and you see that take effect after week 9 once teams have a better idea of whether they are a contender or not.
For example, the Broncos were 6-2 ATS in their final 8 games after starting the season 4-3-1 ATS. The Seahawks finished the season 6-1 ATS after going 5-4 ATS in …
DALLAS COWBOYS @ CHICAGO BEARS (-1.5)
What a great Monday Night game. We have two quality teams jocking for playoff position. The 6-6 Bears are hosting the 7-5 Cowboys. This game has huge playoff implications. With the Eagles on a hot streak, the Cowboys need to win this one to stay on top of the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Bears need to take advantage of the Detroit Lions loss against the Philadelphia Eagles and catch up a game in the division. Check to view more updated NFL Betting news and opinions here.
I’m going to go with the Bears in this one. Both teams have slid a little in recent weeks, particularly in their defense. Dallas has been struggling to stop offenses in recent weeks and they give up a ton of yardage. The Cowboys secondary has a very tough matchup against a trio of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, and Martellus Bennett. As long as Josh McKown get some protection from his offensive line and takes care of the football, the Bears offense should do well against the Cowboys. Alshon Jeffrey has been a fantasy monster in recent weeks. We may see Alshon Jeffrey being drafted in the top 15-20 top wide receivers next year if he keeps putting up numbers like these. Expect Alshon Jeffrey to make his name known to a national television audience tonight. Are Brandon Marhshall and Alshon Jeffrey the top NFL receiving duo? This year, I would have to say yes.
You know Dallas is going to hang in there which is why you see the spread at just -1.5. The Cowboys offense always seems to keep them in games, even if they fall behind 2+ touchdowns. Dez Bryant can be a one-man …
Sorry this post comes a little in the day, but you still have plenty of time to make all of the bets I am posting.
Minnesota at Michigan (-19.5): Maybe it is just me, but I really think this Michigan team has a ton of talent, but clearly they have not put it together. They have to be one of the only teams in history to have started 4-0, and yet dropped in the standings each of the last two weeks after narrow wins. Part of having a good football program is learning to win even when you do not play very well. Michigan has done exactly that after narrow wins against Akron and UConn. Michigan comes off a bye week with plenty of time to prepare and refocus for Minnesota. If this team can put things together, they can easily dominate and blowout a team like Minnesota. Therefore, lay the 19.5 and take Michigan for 1 unit.
LSU at Mississippi State (+9.5). Tough and meaningless spot for LSU. MissSt is another team that has failed to put it all together. They are well coached, have above average talent, and should be motivated to beat LSU at home. LSU comes off a season ending loss at Georgia, which was a heartbreaker as well. LSU also is playing their second straight road game and come in as an almost 10 point favorite. MissSt comes off a blowout win over Troy and hopefully have that offense firing on all cylinders for today’s big home SEC game. I look for MissSt to play well and hopefully pull the upset. Take the points with Mississippi State for 1 unit.
Ohio State at NORTHWESTERN (+7). The real question is how good is Ohio State? While …
Solid week last week hitting my top play in the Seahawks minus anything over the Jags. I gave up a little by taking a hit on the Vikings, who I thought would stomp the Browns, but the Browns pulled out every stop in the book (fake punts, fake field goals, etc.) in order to get the win. I then hit back-to-back winners on Sunday and Monday night to cap it off thanks to the Bears and Broncos. I am headed to New Orleans this weekend for a bachelor party so the picks get cut short this week.
ST. LOUIS RAMS (+3.5) over San Francisco 49ers — Rams play the 49ers tough, beating them in St. Louis last year and tying them in San Fran. Have to go with the home dog on the short week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) over Minnesota Vikings — This one will be in England so I would just stay away. I have no confidence in either team, but would lean Steelers who are more deserving of a win.
Baltimore Ravens (-3) over BUFFALO BILLS — The Ravens have had two nice games following their loss to the Broncos. Although the Bills are a team on the rise, the Ravens have shown that their defense still has plenty of gas left in its tank.
Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — I love pounding the Jaguars and I think this is another opportunity to take it to the NFL’s worst team.
Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) over CLEVELAND BROWNS — We have our fourth straight home dog, which indicates another wild week in the NFL, but I’m not convinced in the Browns just yet. They pulled out all the stops last week and they’ll run out of their bag …
A tough loss last week with Alabama. Games can so easily go from a runaway easy win to a loss in a heartbeat. Alabama was going in for the score to go up 21 with just over three minutes left, they fumble on the two yard line, and A&M drives 90+ yards for the TD and cover. Not the worse beat of all time, but tough to be that close and walk away a loser with your top bet.
The overall college football card is filled with some huge favorites including Louisville -42, Alabama -39, UCLA -43, Miami-FL -59, Florida State -40, Ohio State -50, Virginia -45, and Washington -49. I do not see any value in those games. You potentially could have let down spots with Alabama, UCLA, and Ohio State off solid wins, but their opponents are so weak it would still be a stretch to lay money against any of those teams.
University of Louisiana-Lafayette (-6) vs. Akron. Incredibly tough spot for Akron off the loss to Michigan, in which, they should have won easily. Despite having many opportunities to win they had the ball within the 10 yard line and failed to score as time expired on their final play. Akron played the game of their life last Saturday and will be called to match that effort again as they take on a very solid UL-Laf squad. UL-Laf put forth strong efforts in their first two affairs suffering road losses to Arkansas and Kansas State. Last week they finally played a team more their caliber and won 70-7. One key spot play is to play against a team coming off a heart-breaking loss, even better when you have a team like Akron that will struggle to …