NFL Picks Against the Spread and Expert Predictions, Tips, Parlays
Free NFL Picks: Ravens at Bengals Week 17 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/24/2013
The Baltimore Ravens are the only team in the NFL to win a playoff game each of the past five seasons, but that streak is in major jeopardy on Sunday should Baltimore lose at Cincinnati. The Bengals have been dominant at home this season and also have something to play for despite having clinched the AFC North.
Free NFL Picks: Patriots at Ravens Week 16 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/18/2013
The NFL really got it right in Week 16 as there are only three games that involve two teams with no playoff chances: Tampa Bay at St. Louis, Cleveland at the NY Jets and Tennessee at Jacksonville. I was planning to preview the flexed prime-time game between the Bears and Eagles in Philly, but I opted for Patriots-Ravens for a few reasons. First, the Eagles might not have anything to play for. Should Dallas win early Sunday in Washington, the Week 17 Eagles at Cowboys game will be for the NFC East no matter what Philly does against Chicago.
Free NFL Picks: Chargers at Broncos Week 15 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/10/2013
I'm assuming NFL players don't celebrate when players on other teams get hurt, but I don't think the Broncos are all that heartbroken that the Patriots lost Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski to a season-ending injury on Sunday. That obviously hugely weakens New England, which is a game behind Denver for the top seed in the AFC but holds the tiebreaker. Gronk's loss makes it more likely that New England loses this week at Miami or next at Baltimore, so Denver is looking good for that top seed.
Free NFL Picks: Texans at Jaguars Odds for Week 14
by Alan Matthews - 12/3/2013
They say the NFL is ratings gold, that the matchup doesn't matter and people will watch because it's football. I'm guessing that will be put to the test in a big way this Thursday night when Houston visits Jacksonville, a matchup of teams a combined 5-19. It will still probably win the night because sports-wise there's not much else.
Free NFL Picks: Broncos at Chiefs Odds and Week 13 Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/27/2013
It's pretty simple for the Denver Broncos on Sunday: Beat Kansas City for the second time in three weeks and the Broncos will have a great shot at the top seed in the AFC for the second year in a row -- not that it did much good for Peyton Manning and Co. last year. At worst, a win will all but assure Denver the second seed in the AFC, the first round off and at least one home game.
Free NFL Picks: Saints at Falcons Week 12 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/19/2013
The New Orleans Saints (8-2) look pretty invincible at home this season, much like they were in 2011, but very ordinary on the road. Thus, it seems vital that at worst the Saints get the NFC's No. 2 seed and guarantee themselves at least one playoff game at the Superdome. With the red-hot Carolina Panthers on their tail in the NFC South, the Saints can ill afford to get caught in a trap game at Atlanta on Thursday night as the Saints visit current NFC No. 1 Seattle in Week 13 and then host Carolina the following week.
Free NFL Picks: Jets at Bills Odds for Week 11
by Alan Matthews - 11/13/2013
I'm well aware that the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs visit the Denver Broncos in the game of the week on Sunday. However, I'll be focusing on the Broncos, no doubt, next week when they visit New England in another Peyton Manning-Tom Brady matchup, so I'm not going to do Denver now. Really, the second meeting between the Chiefs and Broncos is likely to be more important anyway.
Free NFL Picks: Redskins at Vikings Week 10 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/5/2013
Back when I did some NFL team previews this summer, I wasn't high on the Redskins or the Vikings. They both made the playoffs last season as 10-win teams, but both looked severely flawed. Minnesota had major questions at quarterback and was much too reliant on running back Adrian Peterson. Washington didn't have a very good defense and was much too reliant on quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Free NFL Picks: Bengals at Dolphins Odds for Week 9
by Alan Matthews - 10/29/2013
The Cincinnati Bengals haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, and I wasn't overly optimistic entering this season that they would in 2013. Sure, I thought they might win the AFC North and had a terrific defense. I loved their draft in landing Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert and North Carolina running back Gio Bernard. My concern was that Andy Dalton wasn't a good enough quarterback to win playoff games.
Free NFL Picks: Browns at Chiefs Odds and Week 8 Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/23/2013
You could make an argument that we in a golden age of NFL quarterbacks. There are the lock Hall of Famers still going strong like Denver's Peyton Manning, New England's Tom Brady and New Orleans' Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers is well on his way to Canton and has an MVP and a ring. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and the NY Giants' Eli Manning each have two Super Bowl rings. Then you have the really exciting up-and-coming guys such as Andrew Luck, Colin Kapernick and Robert Griffin III.
Free NFL Picks: Seahawks at Cardinals Week 7 Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/15/2013
I know it will never happen, but in my opinion the NFL should dump the Thursday night NFL Network game and give that channel a late night Sunday game like we saw a couple of weeks ago between the Chargers and Raiders. The Thursday games have not been well-played most times since the debut of these weekly matchups because the players are just too banged up with just three days off following Sunday (they don't even really practice, just walk throughs).
Free NFL Picks: Saints at Patriots Odds and Week 6 Picks
by Alan Matthews - 10/9/2013
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning is the best individual NFL rivalry of this era, but just think what might have been if San Diego had decided to keep Drew Brees over Philip Rivers after the 2005 season. It looked like the right decision at the time as Brees was coming off a serious injury and Rivers was younger and showed much promise. But how great would it have been for Brees and Brady to face off perhaps once a season like Manning did (and Brees vs. Manning)?
Free NFL Picks: Bills at Browns Week 5 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 10/2/2013
When the NFL Network's Thursday night schedule was released this week's Bills-Browns matchup looked like maybe the most unwatchable game of them all. Now? It might be a playoff preview! That might be going a little bit too far. But this is still a key game in the AFC.
Free NFL Picks: Cardinals at Buccaneers Week 4 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 9/26/2013
There's not much argument that the three best games on Sunday in the NFL's Week 4 would be Seattle at Houston, Philadelphia at Denver and New England at Atlanta. All six of those teams could be in the playoffs this winter, although the Eagles and Falcons have to improve. However, the point of these previews isn't to look at the NFL's powerhouses every week, and there will be plenty of opportunities to do Seahawks, Broncos and Patriots games the rest of the way.
NFL Picks: Giants at Panthers Odds and Week 3 Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/19/2013
There are two Desperation Bowls in Week 3 involving 0-2 teams: Cleveland at Minnesota and the New York Giants at Carolina. Only 22 teams since 1990, when the playoff expanded, have made the postseason (around 11.5 percent), but three won the Super Bowl, including the 2007 Giants. So it's their game against the Panthers I will preview. No team that started 0-3 has made the playoffs since 1998.
NFL Picks: Broncos at Giants Week 2 Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/12/2013
With all due respect to the Broncos at Giants, i.e. Manning Bowl III, the best game of Week 2 in the NFL is easily the 49ers at Seahawks, a matchup of the NFC's two Super Bowl favorites and perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL right now. However, those two will play again later this year, so I am going to jump on the Manning Bowl hype bandwagon as much as I hate to. After all, this could be the final time the brothers face off.
NFL Picks: 2013 Chicago Bears Predictions and NFL Futures Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/8/2013
Coach Lovie Smith led the Chicago Bears to a combined mark of 18-14 the past two seasons. If he does that in Buffalo, he gets a contract extension. In Chicago. he got the gate. The main problem under Smith is that while his defense was annually terrific and was easily the best in the NFL at forcing turnovers, he could never find the right offensive coordinator to spark Jay Cutler and those quarterbacks before him.
NFL Picks: Houston at San Diego Week 1 Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 8/1/2013
The opening week of the 2013 season concludes with a doubleheader on "Monday Night Football," as has been the case the past few seasons, and the nightcap should be a good one when San Diego hosts Houston. It wouldn't shock me if this is the highest-scoring game of Week 1. These teams haven't met since 2010 when the Chargers won 29-23 in Houston behind four touchdown passes from Philip Rivers. Arian Foster rushed for 127 yards and two scores to lead Houston.
NFL Picks: Eagles at Redskins Predictions and Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/31/2013
We'll call the first "Monday Night Football" game of the 2013 NFL season the “Torn ACL Bowl” with the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins facing off. Why that moniker? Torn ACLs hang heavy over both teams.
NFL Picks: Giants at Cowboys Week 1 Predictions and Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/30/2013
Is Tony Romo an elite franchise quarterback? I'd say no, considering the Cowboys haven't had a winning record since 2009 and have won a single playoff game under Romo. Well, the Cowboys are certainly paying Romo like one of the NFL's best as he got a seven-year, $119.5 million extension this offseason, barely less than reigning Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
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