All posts by McGons

2-Time Marist Floor Hockey Champion, easy resume builder. Long suffering Cowboys, Mets, Nets, and Rangers fan. Follow along for early season optimism, only to end with late season heartbreak.

McGon’s Picks: Super Bowl LIII w/Prop Bets

Boston. Los Angeles. They meet again.

 

And not just Boston and LA, but the Patriots and Rams as well.

When the Dodgers and Red Sox squared off in the World Series, I realized there was a strong chance these cities would see each other again in the Super Bowl. After both teams struggled the second half of the season, I didn’t think this would happen. However, both teams won their conference championship games on the road as the Patriots and Rams will meet 17 years later in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI.

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What an incredible Championship Sunday it was with both road teams winning in OT. I picked and was cheering for both home teams, so I was upset with the results, but both were amazing NFL games nonetheless.

Time for the best Sunday of the year.

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One of the greatest betting parts of the Super Bowl is the amount of Prop bets there are to choose from. I’ll start off with my picks for some of my favorite ones.

Coin Toss

Heads: -110

Tails: -110

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My Pick: Heads

  • This is obviously the most 50/50 bet in the entire world. Tails leads all time Super Bowl coin tosses 27-25, so over 52 year stretch, it’s been pretty 50/50. So if you stick with 1 choice forever, you’re likely to be close to even. I always choose heads, so that’s what I’m choosing here.

How Long Will The National Anthem Last?

Over 108.5 seconds (-140)

Under 108.5 seconds (EVEN)

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My Pick: Over 

  • Two key stats to consider here
    • Each of the last 6 national anthems have been over 105 seconds
    • 9 of the last 12 national anthems have went under the time total
  •  I think the first stat is more relevant here, so I’m taking the over

Which Team Will Score First?

Patriots: -120

Rams: -110

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My Pick: Rams 

  • Before last year, the Patriots have never scored in the first quarter of a Tom Brady Super Bowl (and the Eagles scored first last year). I could see this being much like the start Falcons-Patriots Super Bowl (not the 28-3 part) where everyone thinks the Pats will win, but the Rams go down and score an early TD to make a statement. My Bonus Pick for first TD is Robert Woods (odds for this pick greatly vary).

How Many Plays Will Tony Romo Correctly Predict Before the Snap?

Over 7.5 (-110)

Under 7.5 (-110)

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My Pick: Over 7.5

  • It’s a shame that Tony never made the Super Bowl as a player, but at least his first appearance comes while he’s currently sitting on the coolest throne of all time. I can’t wait to listen to Tony this Sunday, and you know I’m taking my man to correctly predict 8 plays or more.

How Many Times Will CBS Mention Sean McVay’s Age?

Over 1.5 (-190)

Under 1.5 (+145)

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My Pick: Over 1.5

  • At 33 years old, Sean McVay is 7 years younger than Patriots QB Tom Brady. It is incredible what he has accomplished at such a young age. It’s a lock that his age will be mentioned once, and if the Rams are close to wrapping up a win, I think it will definitely be mentioned again.

What Will Be The Color of the Drink Poured on the Winning Coach?

Green/yellow: +225

Orange: +400

Red: +600

Clear: +220

Blue: +400

Purple: +1000

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My Pick: Green/yellow

  • Factoring in my game pick which you can find below, my pick is that it will be the closest color to gold.

There are many more prop bets, so be sure to check out all your book has to offer. But most importantly, time for the big game.

Super Bowl LIII- Atlanta, GA

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Patriots vs. Rams (+2.5)

Rams 31, Patriots 27

  • In their 3rd season since returning to Los Angeles, the Rams beat the Cowboys at home and Saints on the road to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 17 years
  • The road wasn’t as easy as it usually is, but the Patriots beat the Chargers at home and Chiefs on the road to go to their 3rd consecutive Super Bowl, and 9th in the last 18 seasons
  • The Patriots and their fans are trying to play some card like they are underdogs/disrespected- not only are they morons for thinking this, but Vegas has them as favorites over a team who won 2 more games than them during the regular season
  • That being said- you must think long and hard before betting against this Patriots team- don’t bet the Rams just cause you hate the Pats
  • The stat that is point me the most in the direction of the Rams is the public’s thinking- 76% of the public is on the Pats as of Saturday
    • If 76% of the public is on a team during the regular season, the best bettors almost always fade the public
  • The underdog has won 6 of the last 7 Super Bowls. The only underdog that didn’t win? They led 28-3 at one point
  • The Rams are extremely well balanced right now, as we have soon strong performances on both sides of the ball this postseason
  • The biggest reason many people have doubted the Patriots is cause this roster is arguably the weakest of recent Patriots team. The Rams meanwhile, are the closest we may ever have to an NFL All-Star team- Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp (out for this game), Aaron Donald, Suh, Aqib Talib
    • Having star names isn’t nearly as important in the NFL as it is in the NBA, but this is for sure a deep roster
  • That being said, why are the Patriots favorites and why does the public love them? Cause they are the Patriots, with the most experienced QB/Coach combo of all time
  • At the end of the day, I think this spread should be closer to Even. The Rams have been a better team this season, and they definitely have the better roster, plus the coaching staff the may not be as good as the Pats, but is still among the best in the league.
  • The Rams will come out strong in this game and lead by a TD or more at halftime. The score won’t be 28-3, but I could see the Rams with the better roster coming out strong like the Falcons did. But the greatest QB/Coach combo in NFL history will not go down without a fight and will make this a very close game in the 4th quarter. The difference this time will be the strength of the Rams coaching staff, who will put the game away the way the Falcons could not 2 seasons ago. This will not be the end of Brady and Belichick, but maybe the start of Goff and McVay. The Rams will win an exciting, high scoring Super Bowl 31-27 over the Patriots

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  • These teams last met in 2016, with the Pats defeating the then-lowly Rams 26-10 (highlights)

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  • This is the 7th Super Bowl matchup which has been played more than once. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI as 14 point underdogs, the first of 5 Super Bowl wins to this date for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (highlights)

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That’s all for 2018. Hopefully I’ll be back to my winning ways next season. Will the Rams win their 2nd Super Bowl, or will the Patriots tie the Steelers for their record 6th Super Bowl win?

McGon’s Picks: 2018 NFL Conference Championships

The results of the Divisional Round were tough for fans like myself…

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…but great for the average NFL fan.

While everyone loves a Cinderella story, it’s a treat to NFL fans that the final four teams alive are pretty undisputedly the four best teams in the league. Many people were high on the Colts, but the Chiefs took care of them easily and reminded everyone how good they are. The Cowboys loss was tough, as the Rams showed why they went 13-3 and ran all over the Cowboys defense which had just shut down the team with the most rushing yards this season. The home team proving they were the better team was the theme of the weekend, as the Pats smacked the Chargers early Sunday. The week concluded with the Eagles incredible run coming to an end at the hands of the Saints. While I would love more than anything for the Cowboys to be playing, I’m still very excited for the weekend upcoming.

Just like the regular season, the playoffs have been a struggle for me. I went 2-2 outright, and 1-3 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red):

Colts at Chiefs (-4.5)

My Pick: Chiefs 27, Colts 20

  • Chiefs 31, Colts 13– Switched this pick once the spread got closer and the weather appeared like it was going to be a factor. Good thing I did or I would have laid a goose egg ATS.

Cowboys (+7) at Rams

My Pick: Cowboys 27, Rams 24

  • Rams 30, Cowboys 22– Not only do the Boys lose, but I miss the cover/push by a point.

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Chargers (+4) at Patriots

My Pick: Chargers 24, Patriots 21

  • Patriots 41, Chargers 28– I still don’t know how this happened. Why can the Pats beat everyone in the playoffs except NFC East teams?

Eagles at Saints (-8.5)

My Pick: Saints 31, Eagles 17

  • Saints 20, Eagles 14– When the Saints missed that late field goal, not only did we lose the cover, but I was sure the Eagles were gonna win too. Thank god for Alshon Jeffrey.

3 games to go.

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Rams at Saints (-3)

Saints 28, Rams 24

  • Just like the Chiefs and Pats, the Rams reminded us just how good they were last weekend by defeating the Cowboys pretty easily
  • The Saints started slow, but dominated the final 3 quarters and held on to knock off the defending champion Eagles
  • The Saints are now 6-0 in home playoff games in the Brees/Payton era
  • This spread indicates they are as even of teams as it gets
  • They did win and cover last week, but I once again note the Rams are 3-3 outright and 1-5 ATS this season against the other NFC playoff teams, including a loss at the Saints earlier this season
  • Saints have felt like a team of destiny since the start of the season
  • These teams are extremely evenly matched, I think it comes down to one possession and the home team in a dome has a big advantage here. The Saints edge out a close win to head to their second Super Bowl

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  • These teams last met in Week 9, with the Saints defeating the then 8-0 Rams 45-35 (highlights)

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  • These teams last met in the postseason in the 2000 Wild Card round, with the Saints defeating the defending champion St. Louis Rams 31-28 (highlights)

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Patriots at Chiefs (-3)

Chiefs 27, Patriots 20

  • The Patriots were doubted a lot heading into last week going up against a team almost everyone agreed was better. But to no surprise, they then kicked the Chargers asses to head to their 8th consecutive AFC Championship Game
  • The Chiefs had a very similar week, as they dominated the high flying Colts with their defense, something we haven’t seen much of this season
  • The Chiefs have put up 40+ points against the Patriots each of the last two seasons, and both of those games were in New England, where visitors rarely find success
  • Last week was proof that the Pats “disappointing” regular season may mean nothing, but they are on the road this time and I think the Chiefs are definitely better than the Chargers
  • Tom Brady is 8-4 in AFC Championship games, but 2-3 on the road, including 3 straight losses (2006 @Colts, 2013 and 2015 @Broncos)
  • Don’t know if they Chiefs can duplicate last week’s defense performance, but if they can even get half of that, I don’t think they lose this game
  • This may not be the end of the Pats run, but may be the beginning of a Chiefs run. The Chiefs will win by a score to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in 49 years

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  • These teams last met in Week 6, with the Patriots defeating the then 5-0 Chiefs in a thriller, 43-40 (highlights)

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  • The last time these teams met in the playoffs was the 2015 Divisional Round, with the Patriots winning 27-20 (highlights)

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That’s it for the Conference Championships, be back for Super Bowl LIII with prop bet picks included. Which two teams will win and earn a chance to repeat what they have all done at least once?

McGon’s Picks: 2018 NFL Divisional Playoffs

Wild-Card Weekend sure was wild…

…with 3 road teams winning and all 4 covering.

The Colts were by far the most impressive team of the weekend, making a statement in the early Saturday slate. The Saturday night game was arguably the best overall, with the Cowboys winning the BTB Bowl, but the Seahawks covering in an all time bad beat (more to come on that). The Chargers completely flipped the switch from Week 16 and held on late to beat the Ravens. The final game of the weekend was not the best, but had the best ending, with the Eagles scoring late before the double post field goal from Cody Parkey. The games will be less sloppy, but hope this weekend is just as wild.

The craziness led to a few bad beats and a tough weekend to pick winners. I went 1-3, both outright and against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red):

Colts at Texans (-1.5)

My Pick: Texans 27, Colts 21

  • Final Score: Colts 21, Texans 17

Seahawks at Cowboys (-2.5)

My Pick: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 20

  • Final Score: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 22Great win for the Cowboys and great game, but gonna focus in on one of the worst beats of all time. I wagered on Cowboys ML, so I didn’t care of course, but the Seahawks went for 2 to cover instead of kick the extra point due to Sebastian Janikowski’s injury. Just awful

https://twitter.com/StuSource/status/1081771792304353280

Chargers at Ravens (-3)

My Pick: Ravens 23, Chargers 17

  • Final Score: Chargers 23, Ravens 17Well I was right about the score… just not the teams

Eagles (+6.5) at Bears

My Pick: Bears 23. Eagles 20

  • Final Score: Eagles 16, Bears 15 Was cheering for the Eagles in hopes of sending the Cowboys to LA instead of New Orleans. Had the Cowboys lost, cannot even begin to describe how angry I would have bene that the Eagles won in the way that they did

https://twitter.com/barstoolcarl/status/1082077949455749122?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1082077949455749122&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fbarstoolcarl%2Fstatus%2F1082077949455749122

We’re onto the second round.

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Colts (+5.5) at Chiefs

Chiefs 31, Colts 28

  • No one’s looking past the Colts any longer after their incredibly impressive 21-7 win over the Texans in Houston last weekend
  • Under first year starter Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs enjoyed their best season in the Andy Reid era, going 12-4 and clinch the AFC’s top seed
  • As incredible as their offense has been this season, the Chiefs defense has been pretty poor- advantage red hot Colts offense
  • Colts defense has been pretty great lately too, and Mahomes has had some of his tougher games against good defense
  • I have the Colts covering, but the Chiefs offense is good enough right to make up for their poor defense right now, I think they win a very competitive game by a field goal

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  • These teams last met in 2016 with the Chiefs winning 30-14 (highlights)

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  • The last playoff matchup between these two teams, the 2013 Wild-Card, was an absolute thriller with the Colts rallying from a 38-10 deficit to win 45-44 (highlights)

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Cowboys (+7) at Rams

Cowboys 27, Rams 24

  • Last week was the typical blueprint for a Cowboys win: low scoring first 3 quarters led by Zeke and the defense, before scoring some points and controlling the clock with some clutch and gritty play by Dak Prescott in the 4th to seal the win
  • The Rams had an incredible season in their 3rd season back in Los Angeles, winning 13 games for the first time since 2001, a season in which they made the Super Bowl
  • While the money line pick has some heart in it, I definitely think the Cowboys will cover
  • Against the other 4 NFC playoff teams, the Rams went 2-3 outright, and 0-5 against the spread
    • They have been great this year, but the majority of their big wins have come against bad teams, while they’ve struggled with the better teams
  • The stadium is going to be loaded with Cowboys fans, and the Rams (and Chargers too) have struggled a little when opposing crowds have taken over their stadiums, such as against the Packers and Eagles
  • Ultimately, the Cowboys have improved as the season has went on, while the Rams have not. I see the Cowboys coming in with momentum from all of the reasons above and upsetting the Rams

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  • These teams last met last season, with the Rams winning 35-30 in Dallas, a game which was seen as a coming out party for the new and improved Rams (highlights)

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  • This is the first playoff matchup between these two teams since 1985, in which the original LA Rams beat the Cowboys 20-0 in the Wild-Card round (the teams will wear these same uniforms on Saturday)

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Chargers (+4) at Patriots

Chargers 24, Patriots 21

  • The Chargers returned to their dominant road selves last week, making it appear that the last time they played the Ravens was Week 1, not just two weeks prior
  • The Patriots had a “down” season, yet went 11-5, clinched their 10th straight AFC East title, secured their 9th straight first round bye, and are one win away from their 8th straight AFC title game appearance
  • This spread feels like a trap- Vegas is begging you to take the Chargers, and the public loves the Chargers as well
  • But it was the same scenario last week at the Ravens, and the Chargers won that one
  • The Patriots have a major advantage with their experience and home field, but not only does the eye test tell you the Chargers are the better team this year, but the records do too
  • Going against Tom Brady is very risky, but I feel that the Chargers are just the better team now and play better on the road. I see the Chargers winning a low scoring game by a field goal

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  • These teams last met last season with the Patriots winning at home 21-13 (highlights)

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  • Tom Brady is 7-0 all time against Phil Rivers, including 2-0 in the playoffs. The last playoff matchup came in the 2007 AFC Championship, with the Patriots beating the Chargers 21-12 (Rivers played on a torn ACL) to advance to 18-0 on the season (horrible memories typing that)

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Eagles at Saints (-8)

Saints 31, Eagles 17

  • Nick Foles delivered the winning TD, but the story for the Eagles last week was their defense performance and a miracle to advance over the Bears to the their second straight Divisional Round
  • The 2018 Saints were arguably as good as the 2009 Saints that won Super Bowl XLIV, winning 13 games and earning the NFC’s top seed
  • The Eagles have now played 4 must win games in a row- it has been a major physical and emotional grind for Philly the last few weeks
  • The Saints have been the best and most consistent team in the NFL this season, and while they didn’t finish the season as strong as they started, they still won 3 of their last 4 (excluding Week 17 loss) and are coming in well rested
  • This will be even tougher than the Super Bowl last season, and with the Eagles obviously not as healthy this year, I don’t see Foles doing it again
  • If the Cowboys win, I’ll be cheering for the Eagles, but see the Saints offensive fire power showing to win and cover over Philly

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  • These teams met in New Orelans in Week 13, with the Saints dominating 48-7 (highlights)

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  • These teams last met in playoffs in the 2013 Wild-Card Round, with Drew Brees and the Saints beating Nick Foles and the Eagles 26-24 in Philly (highlights)

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That’s all for the Divisional Round, be back for Championship Sunday.

In January 1996, the Cowboys won their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years. In July 1996, I was born. Can the Cowboys stun the Rams to go to the NFC Championship for the first time in my life?

McGon’s Picks: 2018 NFL Wild-Card Playoffs

In Week 17, the Indianapolis Colts won on Sunday Night Football to clinch the final spot in this year’s playoffs. Fitting.

While it sucks that there won’t be another full slate of football until September, these upcoming games are the one’s we will remember forever, especially if your team is involved. This year’s Wild Card matchups are among some of the most intriguing I can ever remember. It starts on Saturday afternoon with the Colts traveling to their division rival Texans in a matchup of two teams who turned around early season struggles to both win double digit games. Then on Saturday night, in arguably the most anticipated of the weekend, we have our 3rd Below the Belt Bowl (and first in the playoffs) between Bert’s Seahawks and my Cowboys. Just like the earlier matchup, both teams were afterthoughts early in the season, and are suddenly teams that no one wants to see. While it may not be as anticipated, the early matchup Sunday may be the best of them all, with the Chargers traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, who they lost to at home just two weeks ago. And finally, we end the week with another great matchup, with the defending champion Eagles traveling to take on a very dangerous Bears team in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited.

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To quickly recap Week 17, it was a little less unpredictable than anticipated. I went an okay 7-9 ATS, but went a season-high 13-3 outright. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red):

Lions at Packers (-7.5)

Cowboys (+7.5) at Giants

  • Went to the Post Malone concert Saturday night, went to this game on Sunday. This tweet sums up my weekend pretty well.

https://twitter.com/Bulldog_Graphic/status/1079513268341886977

Jets (+14) at Patriots

Jaguars (+7) at Texans

Panthers (+8) at Saints

Falcons (-2.5) at Bucs

  • Lucky to have Falcons +1 in my spread pool, cause this would have been a tough beat.

Dolphins (+5.5) at Bills

Eagles (-6) at Redskins

Raiders at Chiefs (-14.5)

Chargers at Broncos (+7)

Bengals (+14) at Steelers

Bears at Vikings (-6)

Cardinals at Seahawks (-14.5)

Browns (+7) at Ravens

49ers at Rams (-10.5)

Colts at Titans (+5) 

  • Kept my Titans ATS picked, but switched my outright pick to Colts.

2018 Straight-Up: 156-98-2, 2018 vs. Spread: 109-136-11

Let’s make up for a tough regular season.

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Colts at Texans (-1.5)

Texans 27, Colts 21 

  • After starting the season 1-5, the Colts made of the greatest in-season turnarounds in NFL history, winning 9 of their last 10 games and getting great play on both sides of the ball to earn the AFC’s 6th seed.
  • But don’t let that overlook the Texans turnaround. After starting off 0-3, Houston won 9 in row before finishing 11-5 and winning their 5th AFC South title in the last 8 years.
  • Everything would point to these teams being pretty evenly matched, yet the home Texans are only laying 1.5 points- good value to get them at
  • As great as the Colts’ second half has been, they’ve shown vulnerabilities, needing double digit comeback wins at home against the lowly Dolphins and Giants, and getting shut out in Jacksonville
  • The Colts may be the better team in this rivalry in the coming years, but I think the home Texans are the better team this season and will win by less than a score to move on to New England

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  • These two teams split the regular season series, with the road team winning by a field goal on both occasions (Week 4 highlights, Week 14 highlights)

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  • This is the first playoff matchup between these two teams

 

Seahawks at Cowboys (-2)

Cowboys 24, Seahawks 20

  • With nearly every member of the Legion of Boom gone, the Seahawks were given small odds to make the playoffs this season by most. After starting 0-2, the Seahawks beat the Cowboys in Week 3 to start an incredible run that ended at 10-6 and the NFC’s first wild card
  • After starting 3-5, the future of the Cowboys’ leadership was being questioned by many. But the arrival of Amari Cooper and the strength of this defense has changed everything, as the Cowboys won 7 of their last 8 to win the NFC East for the 3rd time in 5 years
  • Both teams have changed dramatically since they met in Week 3, so don’t put too much stock into what we saw that day (not just saying that because the Cowboys lost)
  • The Cowboys are 7-1 at Jerry World this season, and are coming off the most meaningful meaningless game ever, with Dak Prescott balling out despite missing Zeke, Tyron Smith, and Zack Martin
  • The Super Bowl winning pedigree is a big advantage for Seattle as it comes from their most important pieces (Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Pete Carroll), but the rest of the team is very different from the old days, especially defensively
  • Ultimately, these are two extremely evenly matched teams. 12 of the Cowboys 16 games this season were decided by a score or less, and they’re 9-3 in those games, so I like that and their home record as a big reason why they edge out a close win Saturday night

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  • As mentioned, these teams last met in Week 3 with the Seahawks winning 24-13 (highlights)

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  • These teams have met one time in the playoffs, the 2006 Wild-Card round in which the Seahawks won 21-20. This was a great game but is only remembered for one of the most infamous plays in Cowboys history

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  • Good luck Bert (but not really)

 

Chargers at Ravens (-3)

Ravens 23, Chargers 17

  • The Chargers have been enjoying one of their best seasons in franchise history, going 12-4, and many people are picking them to be the first Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl since the 2010 Packers
  • The Ravens first half was up and down under Joe Flacco, but since turning to rookie Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are 6-1 and locked up the AFC North title, and suddenly are a team most will not want to play
  • These teams met just 2 weeks ago in Los Angeles, with the Ravens defense dominating the high powered Chargers offense
  • I actually kind of like the Chargers more as a road team, but I don’t love them in this matchup
  • The Ravens are small favorites, but the public has made it clear who they like- 72% on the Chargers as of Friday night
  • The Ravens, like the Cowboys, have been winning close games against any team, and I like them to do the same on Sunday as they edge out the Chargers by less than a score

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  • As mentioned, these two teams met in Week 16 with the Ravens defense dominating to win 22-10 (highlights)

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  • This is the first playoff meeting between these teams

 

Eagles (+6.5) at Bears

Bears 23, Eagles 20

  • After what they did last year, especially with a backup QB, this Eagles team has been nothing short of a disappointment this season. But to their credit, they rallied to win 5 of their last 6 games, including the last 3 in a row under Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles to earn the NFC’s last playoff spot
  • The young Bears came mostly out of nowhere this season. With the additions of Khalil Mack and head coach Matt Nagy, and QB Mitch Trubisky’s sophomore season, the Bears put together a phenomal year, going 12-4 and winning the NFC North
  • There’s truly something different about the Eagles under Nick Foles. While he may not be as talented as Carson Wentz, he brings a different animal out of this team, and he’s also been able to get weapons other than Zach Ertz more involved
  • We saw what a less talented but more experienced Falcons team did to a more talented but less experienced Rams team last year in the playoffs- they domianted them
  • I think the Eagles will keep up their strong play and cover in this game
  • But this Bears team doesn’t play like a young and inexperienced team, as seen last week dominating the Vikings in a must win game for Minnesota, and a virtually meaningless game for the Bears
  • The weekend concludes with the Bears winning by a field goal

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  • While this means virtually nothing, these teams last met last season with the Eagles dominating 31-3 (highlights)

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  • The last postseason meeting between these teams came in the 2001 Divisional Round, with the road Eagles winning 33-19

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Now, here’s a look at how I think the playoffs will play out. These’s are not my final predictions, as the matchups could change and I could of course change my mind. And let’s be honest, if the Cowboys advance, you know I’m willing to live and die with them.

Wild-Card

  • AFC: (4) Ravens over (5) Chargers, (3) Texans over (6) Colts
  • NFC: (4) Cowboys over (5) Seahawks, (3) Bears over (6) Eagles

Divisional

  • AFC: (2) Patriots over (3) Texans, (1) Chiefs over (4) Ravens
  • NFC: (2) Rams over (3) Bears, (1) Saints over (4) Cowboys

Conference Championships

  • AFC: (1) Chiefs over (2) Patriots
  • NFC: (1) Saints over (2) Rams

Super Bowl LIII

  • Saints over Chiefs

That’s it for this weekend, hopefully these games are as great as I’m expecting them to be. Who will win the latest chapter of the Below the Belt Bowl between Bert’s Seahawks and my Cowboys?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 17

If you are a big football fan like myself, there aren’t too many phrases worse than “Week 17”.

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Last season felt like it went by fast, but this season was on level 12 on the treadmill. It feels great though as a Cowboys fan to be back in the playoffs at this time of year, after the painful season endured on and off the field last year. It even look like we’ll have a Below the Belt Bowl during Wild Card Weekend. You love to see it!

Even though I’ve struggled, writing these articles has been a part of the week I’ve looked forward to, so thanks to everyone who has read. It has definitely been a sophomore slump to say the least. It’s funny because I know so much more about gambling now than I did last year, between trends, fading the public, not making sucker picks, and so forth. Yet, my record is somehow worse. That’s just how gambling works. Like I said in the beginning of the season, there’s no chance whatsoever to make money if you bet on every game, that’s why the best gamblers only give you their top plays. For example, I’m in a spread pool where you make 5 picks a week. I’m 39-41 through Week 16, which is a losing percentage, but is good enough for 4th place in my league of about 20 people, and a much higher winning percentage than when I pick every game. That being said, hopefully I’ll be back making picks next season and winning more this time.

Week 16 was very similar to how much of the season has gone. Solid outright, but poor against the spread. I went 11-5 outright, but just 4-10-2 ATS. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red, push in green):

Redskins at Titans (-12)

  • Thoughts and prayers to anyone who had the under.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ByCfy298XM

Ravens at Chargers (-4)

Packers (-3) at Jets

Giants at Colts (-10)

Bengals (+10) at Browns

Vikings at Lions (+6.5)

Falcons (-3) at Panthers

Texans (+2) at Eagles

Bills at Patriots (-13.5)

Jaguars at Dolphins (-3)

Bucs at Cowboys (-7)

Bears at 49ers (+3.5)

Rams at Cardinals (+14)

Steelers at Saints (-6.5)

Chiefs at Seahawks (+1)

  • Like I said I might, I switched my pick to Seahawks after the Chargers lost, making this not a must win for KC.

Broncos (-2.5) at Raiders

2018 Straight-Up: 143-95-2, 2018 vs. Spread: 102-127-11

As for Week 17, we all know it’s extremely unpredictable, cause you never knows who’s playing and for how long, and you also don’t know what a lot of team’s motives are. I’ll do my best to point out which games to bet on and which ones to avoid.

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Lions at Packers (-8)

  • Both teams have nothing to play for, if anything the Packers will want to finish on a win streak and make their record look better
  • Lions have been really mailing it in
  • Packers win by 2 TDs in season finale to cover

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Panthers (+6.5) at Saints

  • Both teams have nothing to play for and are starting backup QBs
  • Teddy Bridgewater has seen minimal time on the field over the past 3 years, think Saints are laying too many points here
  • Avoid betting on this game, but I like Saints by a field goal with Panthers covering

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Cowboys (+5.5) at Giants

  • I’ll be in attendance
  • Both teams have nothing to play for here
  • I don’t think the Cowboys starters go the whole way, but they will play at least the first half
  • Definitely avoid betting this game, but you know I’m taking the Cowboys when it’s a toss up

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Falcons (-1) at Bucs

  • Neither team has much to play for
  • Falcons have played well the last two weeks, and as a good team who has underachieved like crazy, think they want to close the season on a high note and make their record look a little better
  • Falcons are the better team if both teams play their starters, they win by a TD

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Jets (+13.5) at Patriots

  • Pats need to win to lock up a bye, Jets fans probably want to lose and help their draft pick, but the team wants to keep up their solid play of late and possibly play spoiler
  • Pats didn’t cover this same spread against the Bills, and I think the Jets are better than Buffalo
  • Darnold has been playing well the past few weeks and wants to end his rookie season on a high note
  • Pats win by 10 but Jets cover

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Dolphins (+5.5) at Bills

  • Both teams have little to play for, but appear to be playing their starters
  • This could be Ryan Tannehill’s last start as a Dolphin, so he has something to prove
  • I think the Dolphins are the better team, and they’re getting 5.5 points
  • Dolphins cover the number, Bills win by a field goal

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Jaguars (+6.5) at Texans

  • Texans need a win to lock up division, Jags playing for pride/spoiler
  • Jags D has been playing well of late and Blake Bortles is back under center, who is a huge upgrade over Cody Kessler
  • Texans win by less than a TD to lock up the AFC South, but the Jags cover

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49ers at Rams (-9.5)

  • 49ers want to continue their hot play and play spoiler, Rams need to win to lock up a bye
  • Niners have played well of late, but all of those games were at home
  • Rams need to get their groove back before the playoffs
  • Rams win by 2 TDs to cover

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Bears at Vikings (-4.5)

  • Bears can still possibly get a bye and want to play spoiler, Vikings need a win to get in
  • I feel like Vikings motivation is a lot higher in this one as the Rams are almost definitely going to beat the 49ers which would lock the Bears into the 3 seed
  • Vikings and Kirk Cousins know this is going to be a long and painful offseason if they don’t even make the playoffs
  • Public on Chicago (60% as of Friday)
  • Vikings win by a TD to secure the final NFC playoff spot

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Eagles (-7) at Redskins

  • Eagles need a win and a Vikings loss to get in, Redskins not playing for much, but Josh Johnson wants an NFL contract next year
  • I’m not saying he’s a better QB than Carson Wentz, but it has become evident that the Eagles play better with Nick Foles under center
  • Redskins have covered the last two weeks, but they have been ugly
  • Eagles rout the Redskins to put their playoff hopes in the Bears’ hands

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Bengals (+14.5) at Steelers

  • Steelers need a win and a Ravens loss to get in, Bengals have nothing to play for
  • The Steelers almost always win this matchup, but it’s usually a fairly close contest
  • Bengals have played a little better the last few weeks
  • Steelers play an ugly first half after blowing that game last week, so the Bengals cover, but the Steelers win comfortably by 10 points to keep their playoff hopes alive

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Chargers at Broncos (+6.5)

  • Chargers can still win the division with a win and Chiefs loss (which is unlikely), Broncos mostly playing to try and save Vance Joseph’s job
  • Broncos are a tough home team and beat the Chargers a few weeks ago on the road
  • Chargers motivation may not be that high as they are almost definitely locked into the 5 seed with the Chiefs hosting the Raiders
  • Chargers win, but by less than a TD so Denver covers

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Cardinals at Seahawks (-13)

  • Seahawks need to win to lock up the 5 seed, Cardinals playing for virtually nothing
  • Seahawks have played great the second half of the season and want to keep that up
  • Cardinals have looked set on getting the top pick for a few weeks now
  • Seahawks rout the Cardinals and easily cover
  • BONUS: Bet Larry Fitzgerald to score a TD in what could be his final game

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Raiders at Chiefs (-14)

  • Chiefs need to win to lock up the division and top seed, Raiders playing for nothing
  • Raiders played their Super Bowl last week in potentially the final game in Oakland
  • Chiefs need to win and want to head into the playoffs off a rout before a bye
  • Chiefs win easily and cover the number as well

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Browns (+6) at Ravens

  • Browns want to secure their first winning season since 2007, Ravens need to win to clinch the division
  • Browns have played exceptional of late and want to win before being this offseason’s “every member of the media picks them to make the playoffs in 2019” team
  • Ravens lost as 9 point home favorites last year in Week 17 with a chance to make the playoffs
  • Ravens win this time, but barely, by a field goal as the Browns cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAitXjJiJsM

Colts at Titans (+3)

  • Winner is the AFC’s 6 seed (or division champ if Texans lose), loser is eliminated
  • Spread will likely change when Marcus Mariota’s status is made official, so my pick could as well, be sure to check my twitter @mikejmcgon
  • Public is hammering Indy (78% as of Friday)
  • I think the Colts may be the better team on a neutral site, but are just 3-4 on the road this season
  • Titans are a sneaky 6-1 at home this season
  • This comes down to Mariota’s health, but my pick is the home underdog Titans to win this winner take all game against the Colts  Image result for titans colts

That’s all for the regular season, hope I go 16-0 to make my numbers for the season look better. I’ll be back next week for an in-depth look at every Wild-Card matchup, as well as my prediction for how the playoffs will shake out. Will Eagles fans be really happy at Vikings fans (and my) expense for the second straight season?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 16

Well, safe to say that one could have gone a little better.

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As great as the weekend and experience in Indianpolis was, the game was obviously a huge disappointment. While I’m not really worried and don’t think the Cowboys got dominated as badly as the media is trying to pin on them, it obviously stinks to go all the way there and see a huge down week. Besides the game, the stadium and atmosphere were awesome, and it was great to meet some players the day before, such as Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Tyron Smith, and Brett Maher. At the end of the day though, the Cowboys are still highly likely to win the NFC East, and one game cannot erase the previous five.

If the Cowboys had won though, even that could not erase what was a bad Week 15 in picks. I went 7-9 straight up, and 4-11-1 against the spread. It has been a tough year for sure. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red, push in green):

Chargers at Chiefs (-4)

Texans at Jets (+7)

Browns at Broncos (-1.5)

Dolphins (+7.5) at Vikings

Lions (+3) at Bills

Redskins (+7) at Jaguars

Cowboys (+3) at Colts

Packers (+6) at Bears

Titans (-2.5) at Giants

Raiders (+3) at Bengals

Bucs at Ravens (-9)

Cardinals (+9) at Falcons

Seahawks (-4) at 49ers

Patriots (-2.5) at Steelers

Eagles at Rams (-13.5)

Saints at Panthers (+6)

2018 Straight-Up: 132-90-2, 2018 vs. Spread: 98-117-9

Last full slate of games where the majority of teams will be playing starters the whole game. Let’s make some money.

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Redskins at Titans (-11)

  • Titans are hot and have a great chance to steal the last wild card
  • Redskins grinded out a win against the lowly Jags, but the Jaguars have no offensive threat whatsoever
  • Titans D holds the Redskins to 10 points or less, offense provides a tougher test than the Jags did as the Titans rout the Redskins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs8LWjJqTGA

Ravens at Chargers (-3.5)

  • Chargers have been the NFL’s best team of late
  • Ravens have played well under Lamar Jackson, but this is the first time he will be going up against a good defense
  • Chargers continue to play strong and win by a TD to cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aJmewy5UYk

Bengals (+10) at Browns

  • I don’t care how good the Browns have looked, them being 10 point favorites just doesn’t feel right
  • Bengals have played a little better the last few games and want revenge for the beatdown they took to the Browns a few weeks ago
  • Browns continue to play well and win, but Bengals cover this huge spread

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsTIRZmJ2Y0

Bills at Patriots (-13.5)

  • With home games against the Jets and Bills, the Pats couldn’t ask for two better opponents to help them get it together before the playoffs
  • With the Pats likely to rest some starters in Week 17, this game is very important to put it all together
  • Pats win by more than 2 TDs to cover

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Giants at Colts (-9.5)

  • The Colts beat the Cowboys 23-0 last week, and I could argue it wasn’t nearly as dominant of a performance as the score would indicate
    • Colts only had one long TD drive, Luck threw for under 200 yards, Cowboys had a field goal blocked and went for it twice on 4th down in the red zone which obviously could have made the score a little closer
  • So if you can win 23-0 and not even dominate, that’s a good sign for your team
  • Giants have every reason to lose this game, while Colts have to win
  • Colts win by 2 TDs to cover

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Packers (-3) at Jets

  • It’s clear the Packers are not a very good team, but I’m still gonna take Aaron Rodgers over a rookie in Sam Darnold
  • Packers were in the game against a great Bears team
  • Jets have more reason to tank than the Packers
  • Spread is perfect, but I have to choose a side so I say Packers by a TD or less, but enough to cover
  • Video below is most Jets moment of all time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfmsD9cKcD4

Vikings at Lions (+6.5)

  • Public hammering MIN (67% as of Saturday)
  • Vikings have not been very consistent this year
  • Lions looking to play spoiler against divisional rivals and are good enough of a home team to not be getting this many points
  • Vikings win by a field goal, Lions over

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Texans (+2.5) at Eagles

  • Everyone keeps saying this game is way bigger for the Eagles, but if the Texans lose, they likely will have to go to New England in the playoffs
  • Nick Foles got the Eagles over the hump last year and shocked the Rams last week, but I don’t think the Eagles are strong enough this year for him to do it again
  • Texans all but secure a first round bye with an upset win on the road

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Bucs at Cowboys (-7)

  • Especially after last week, the Cowboys need a game where they put it all together on offense and defense, and the Bucs are the perfect team to do so against
  • The Bucs are up and down offensively, and they’ve been down the last few weeks
  • Bucs D stinks and provides a great opportunity for Dak to play his best game of the season
  • Cowboys dominate on both sides of the ball to crush the Bucs and win the NFC East

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Falcons (-3) at Panthers

  • Cam Newton is done for the season, and the Panthers offense had already been struggling even before then
  • Can the Falcons finally put together two great offensive performances in a row?
  • Falcons win a low scoring game by a TD to cover

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Jaguars at Dolphins (-3.5)

  • This is gonna be a low scoring game, but how is this spread possibly so low?
  • The Jaguars just lost at home to the beat up Redskins and Cody Kessler threw for 57 yards
  • Dolphins have extremely small playoff hopes
  • Dolphins only laying 3.5 at home to the Jags, this is my lock of the weekImage result for dolphins jaguars

Bears at 49ers (+4.5)

  • Upset pick of the week
  • Bears clinched the division and partied hard last week, and are most likely locked into the 3 seed
  • 49ers have upset teams in similar spreads last two weeks at home
  • Niners have less reason to tank than most teams since their franchise QB is out
  • Niners win by a field goal to upset the Bears

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Rams at Cardinals (+14.5)

  • Rams have struggled the last two weeks, and have struggled to cover all year
  • Really nothing positive to list about the Cardinals, but I’m almost always going to pick a team to cover a spread this big at home
  • Rams win by 10-14 points as the Cardinals cover

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Steelers at Saints (-6.5)

  • Saints have had struggles on offense on the road the past few weeks, need to get back on track at home
  • Steelers won last week after a 3 game losing streak, but it was an ugly win
  • Saints have been the better team all year, especially at home, and they win by 10 to cover

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Chiefs (-2.5) at Seahawks

  • If the Chargers lose, I may change my pick, so check my twitter @mikejmcgon
  • With the division and a bye on the line for the Chiefs if the Chargers win, this game is definitely more important for Kansas City
  • If the Chiefs stopped the Chargers on 4th down or the 2-point conversion last week, our perception of the Chiefs would be much different despite nothing really being that different
  • Chiefs remind everyone how good they are and win by less than a TD to cover

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Broncos (-3) at Raiders

  • Talk abut a barn burner, stand-alone game on Christmas Eve
  • Broncos have been all but eliminated, and the Raiders are the Raiders
  • I think this spread is perfect, my pick would be Broncos by a field goal
  • But I have to choose a side, so I think the better team in Denver wins by less than a TD to cover

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That’s it for Week 16, be back next week for the final full slate of football this season. Will the Cleveland Browns make the playoffs this season?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 15

Between my picks, fantasy, gambling, and just straight up interest in football, most weeks I’m interested in almost every single game. This week, I really only care for one.

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As you’re reading this, I’m in Indianapolis for the highly anticipated Cowboys-Colts game. When we booked this trip earlier in the season, both teams were struggling, and we said “hey at least the Cowboys will win this one”. Now, the Cowboys have all but won the NFC East, and the Colts are fighting for a playoff spot after ending the Texans 9 game win streak. So while it’s not a do or die for the Cowboys, it’s still one of the best games of the week and gets magnified by its time in the season.

My Week 14 picks weren’t terrible, but they weren’t very good either. I went 7-8, both straight up and against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red):

Jaguars at Titans (-5.5)

Panthers (-1) at Browns

Saints at Bucs (+10)

Colts at Texans (-4)

Giants (-3) at Redskins

Ravens at Chiefs (-6.5)

Falcons at Packers (-4)

Jets at Bills (-4.5)

Dolphins (+9.5) at Patriots

  • Patriots ML bettors, look away

https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1071889058064945154

Broncos (-3) at 49ers

Bengals at Chargers (-16.5)

Lions at Cardinals (+2.5)

Steelers at Raiders (+10)

Eagles at Cowboys (-3)

Rams at Bears (+3)

Vikings (+3) at Seahawks

2018 Straight-Up: 125-80-2, 2018 vs. Spread: 94-105-8

Time to kill the Colts and your bookmaker in Week 15.

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Chargers at Chiefs (-3.5)

  • Chargers 29, Chiefs 28
  • Prayers up to anyone who bet on Chiefs -3.5. I had Over 54.5, so I was rooting for my pick to lose at the very end
  • 0-2 to start the week

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Texans at Jets (+7)

  • Jets have played competitively lately, would be huge for Sam Darnold to get some wins to end his rookie year on
  • Public hammering the Texans (72% as of Friday)
  • Definitely taking the Texans to win, but home Jets cover big spread

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Browns at Broncos (-2.5)

  • Browns have just 1 win on the road this season, and Denver can be tough for any road team
  • Broncos had a let down game last week but had been playing well prior
  • Better team, at home, against a bad road team only getting 2.5? Give me the Broncos by a TD

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Titans (-1) at Giants

  • Giants have played well of late, but they’ve defeated Nick Mullens, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chase Daniel, and Mark Sanchez
  • Titans have won 2 straight and can sneak into the playoffs
  • OBJ out for the Giants
  • Spread has moved from Giants by 2.5 to Titans by 1, give me the Titans by a TD

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Bucs at Ravens (-7.5)

  • Ravens are playing well at the right time, having won 3 of 4 and nearly taking down the Chiefs at Arrowhead
  • Bucs are an up and down team, last week was a big downturn after leading by 11 and failing to cover a 10 point spread
  • Ravens stay hot and win by 2 TDs

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Packers (+5.5) at Bears

  • Aaron Rodgers wants to continue to ball out with Mike McCarthy gone
  • Bears have crossed every hurdle to prove they’re a legit team, the last hurdle they have to cross is beating the Packers in a big game
  • Packers fight hard against their biggest rivals to cover, but Bears are the much better team now and win by a FG

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Lions (+2.5) at Bills

  • The Bills have been a tough team at home this year, but I don’t think they should be laying points in this matchup
  • Lions easily handled a Cardinals team coming off a game they won as 14 point underdogs
  • Lions are the better team and win a close game to “upset” the Bills
  • Throwback to when Jim Scwartz told his player to pick him up after beating the Lions in his first game back since being fired

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Raiders (+3) at Bengals

  • The Raiders aren’t good, but the last few games have proved just how much they’ve underachieved this season
  • The Bengals are so beat up and their defense has been awful
  • The Raiders continue to play better and pick up the upset win

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Cardinals (+10) at Falcons

  • I don’t care who they are playing, a Falcons team that has lost 5 in a row shouldn’t be laying 10 points
  • Cardinals beat a Packers team 2 weeks ago that easily beat the Falcons last week
  • Falcons have continued to find ways to lose, they’ll finally get a win at home against the Cardinals, but 10 points is way too many

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Dolphins (+7.5) at Vikings

  • Winning was a complete miracle, but the Dolphins are coming off a good performance, while the Vikings are coming off an incredibly disheartening performance
  • Dolphins have covered similar spread against the Colts a few weeks ago and Patriots last week
  • Vikings are the better team and win, but the Dolphins fight to cover and lose by less than a TD

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Cowboys (+3) at Colts

  • Don’t think for a second I was picking against the Cowboys in this one
  • The Colts may have the better QB, but the Cowboys offense and defense is slightly better overall
  • Think this spread should be closer to a Pick ‘Em
  • Cowboys win a close one on the road to clinch the NFC East
  • The last time the Cowboys played the Colts resulted in an NFC East title as well below

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Redskins (+7.5) at Jaguars

  • No matter who they are playing, a Cody Kessler lead team should not be laying a TD
  • Josh Johnson can’t be worse than Mark Sanchez
  • Redskins are beat up, but they’re good enough to not be getting this many points against the Jaguars
  • Jags win by a FG, Redskins cover

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Seahawks (-3.5) at 49ers

  • This is basically the same amount of points the Broncos laid at the Niners last week, and I think everyone would agree the Seahawks are better than Denver
  • Seahawks are trending in the right direction while the Niners are headed towards a top draft pick
  • Seahawks have won 10 straight vs the Niners, win and cover easily in this one

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Patriots (-3) at Steelers

  • I don’t love that the public is hammering the Pats (75% as of Friday), but I love them in this one
  • Tom Brady is 11-2 career against the Steelers
  • Steelers are in a free fall and Patriots almost always win after a disappointing loss
  • Pats win by less than a TD, but enough to cover

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Eagles at Rams (-13)

  • Rams coming off a wake up call and need to win to remain in the chase for the NFC’s top seed
  • Eagles’ Super Bowl was last week and now Carson Wentz is probably done
  • Rams have struggled to cover a lot this year, need a prime time game to show how good they are
  • Nick Foles magic won’t be back for a second season, Rams rout the Eagles to cover

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Saints at Panthers (+6.5)

  • While they ended up covering last week, Saints offense has struggled two weeks in a row now
  • This is an absolute must win for the Panthers
  • Teams looking to avenge a 2017 playoff loss are 6-1 this season
  • Panthers keep it very close in a must win situation looking for revenge, but Saints win by a FG

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That’s it for Week 15, hope to head home with a Cowboys W. Will the Vikings get major revenge on the Dolphins for when former Marist Red Fox Terrence Fede won the game for Miami 4 years ago (and kept my dad alive in his suicide pool)?