Free Sports Picks: Sunday NFL Marquee Games
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 12/10/2009
San Diego Chargers at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
This game has held steady at Cowboys by a fieldgoal since it opened and look for it to remain there until kickoff.
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Both teams are playoff contenders, and, believe it or not, it is just one of six games this weekend featuring two teams contending for a playoff spot. The Chargers come to town as one of the hottest teams in the NFL with seven straight wins but the Cowboys have been one of the better home teams (5-1 SU). Dallas and Philadelphia are in a dead heat in the NFC East and Denver is gaining back some ground on the Chargers, just one game behind in the AFC West. The game is critical for both teams.
Trends that Matter
The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last five games at Cowboys Stadium and they were favored in all those instances as they are this week.
Chargers are on a 4-1 ATS streak heading into this game.
December to Remember
This comes down to coaches and quarterbacks who have been there the last few years. Norv Turner and San Diego are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in December. They have come on strong late in the season year in year out. They are the complete opposite of the Cowboys when it comes time for the home stretch. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are an abysmal 3-14-1 ATS in their last 18 December games. That is a trend that has more to do with the play of Tony Romo and the mindset that Wade Phillips has his team in at this point of the season. In terms of the regular season, the Chargers surge towards the playoffs while the Cowboys try to hold on for dear life. If December has taught us anything it is do not trust Dallas.
Air over Ground
The Chargers are the sixth best team in passing yards in the NFL but worst on the ground. The Cowboys pass defense has been more than susceptible, it ranks 20th in the league and the Giants exposed that last week in a Dallas loss.
Take San Diego and the points
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
New York Giants -1
The line has stuck right around New York -1 or 'pick'em' and it could move to either side but go nowhere near a field goal.
Just as in the Chargers/Cowboys game, this is one of the few games on the NFL docket with two playoff contenders going at it. A Giants loss would greatly damage their NFC East hopes while a win would make things a virtual deadlock at the top of the division and set us up for a great NFC East finish.
Trends that Matters
The Giants are 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a favorite and 1-4-1 in their last six games as a home favorite
The Giants are 1-6 ATS against a team with a winning record
Philadelphia is 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record
Philly has won three in a row including tough games at Chicago and Atlanta and the trap game against Washington. This season they are 7-5 ATS overall. They have been underdogs of one point twice this season at San Diego and against the Giants in their first meeting. In the first game against the Giants the Eagles rolled, 40-17.
One of the streakier teams in the NFL, the Giants started out 5-0 but quickly lost four straight games. In terms of betting they started out with a 4-0-1 ATS run until failing to cover six consecutive games until last week's win over Dallas.
Road Sweet Road
The Eagles have been one of the top teams away from home this season. Last week's 34-7 thrashing at Atlanta was just the first of many big road wins, including their 38-10 season-opening win at Carolina and their wins at Chicago and Washington. The Giants may actually wish this game was on the road; they had been struggling mightily at home until last week's win over Dallas. Lately Atlanta forced overtime against the Giants in the Giants Stadium and San Diego and Arizona upset them as road dogs.
What has killed the Giants is not the amount of yards it is allowing per game (sixth in the NFL in total yards allowed) but the points it has given up (25th in the NFL). Offensive turnovers, redzone penalties and bad special teams play has allowed teams to cash in on New York without having to drive down the field. The Eagles are one of the most opportunistic teams in the league and will take advantage of any beneficial field position sent their way.
Take the Eagles and the points