NFL WEEK FOURTEEN ATS
2020 NFL TALLY SHEET – THRU WEEK THIRTEEN
WEEK THIRTEEN ATS 7 – 8 2020 Overall ATS 97 – 93 - 2
Weekly Totals 4 - 2 Cumulative Totals: 37 – 45 – 3
Weekly Specials 3 – 1 Cumulative Specials: 29 – 24 – 1
GAME OF THE WEEK 11 – 2 LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 7
UPSET SPECIAL 4 – 9 O/U OF THE WEEK 8 – 6 – 1
PREMIUM PICKS 7 – 3 CUMULATIVE 66 – 69 – 4
WEEK FOURTEEN PICKS
GAME OF THE WEEK
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-1) @ BUFFALO BILLS (9-3) -2.5 46.5 [O]
Fans in Pittsburgh are all in a tizzy over the Steelers loss against the Washingtons last Monday. Even though I picked the Steelers to Cover, I was wary of the WFT’s defensive front seven and the Steelers injury report.
The Men of Steel were missing James Connor, their best back and Devin Bush, their most important—even if this is only his second year—linebacker, and defensive signal caller. Bush’s back up, Robert Spillane was doing great in place of Bush—until he tweaked a knee.
Add to that an inexplicable bout of the dropsies by Pittsburgh receivers and the Covid induced five day rest after the annual rematch—always a physical, draining game—against the Magpies and the Steelers looked like the tired, depleted team they are.
Oh, cry me Three Rivers!
Coach Mike Tomlin said it best, “If you can’t gain a yard, you don’t deserve to win the game.’
Tomlin’s crew had three chances to make that yard against the Washingtons, and add to a carefully built 14-point lead, but couldn’t get it done.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, the Bills were buffaloing the Gold Miners, scorching a depleted San Fran team—wait-huh?—Why were the Niners hosting a game in Phoenix?
Somebody’s got some Spillaning to do. (Okay, I’m sorry—I couldn’t resist.)
Almost every trend leans to the Steelers. Here are a few from Joe Osbourne at Oddsshark.com:
· The Steelers rank first in QB pressure % allowed. The Bills are 30th in QB pressure % created.
· The Steelers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.
· The Steelers are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games on the road.
· The total has gone UNDER in 15 of the Steelers' last 19 games on the road. (Avg combined score: 40.32)
· The Steelers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games on the road vs teams with winning records.
· The Steelers are 18-5 SU in their last 23 games at night.
· The Bills are 6-24 SU in their last 30 games at night.
· The total has gone UNDER in the Steelers' last seven games at night.
· The Steelers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs the Bills.
Pittsburgh has to hope center Maurkice Pouncey’s return from Covid-town will minimize the virus related benching of their best run-stopping LB, Vince Williams. But will that iffy development make up for Bud Dupree’s shredded ACL?
Unless rookie Alonzo Highsmith steps up—along with Williams’s replacement, Avery Williamson—the Steelers defense will be vulnerable. Maybe the return of James Connor will spark the putrid Pittsburgh rushing game.
Bottom line, the Steelers enter Orchard Park still a tired and depleted team.
Buffalo will be waiting with an MVP candidate QB running the 3rd best passing offense in the NFL. If Pittsburgh does disrupt Allen’s passing, he can burn them with his legs.
Tomlin has weathered worse storms than this and got every ounce of effort from his players.
Pittsburgh will keep it close—but not close enough
Lay the points, bet the Over—Bills win with a walk off field goal.
Bills 26 Steelers 23
LOCK OF THE WEEK
GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-3) @ DETROIT LIONS (5-7) +7 55 [O]
Not rocket science. We’ve cashed in winners nine out of twelve Green Bay games and I am not about to bet down Aaron Rodgers against a division rival he knows as well as one of his State Farm scripts.
And I really don’t care how much better Lions players feel or how much fun they’ll have playing for Darrell Bevell, who has five games to prove he should stay.
The culture in Detroit stinks from Matt Patricia’s incompetence and the Patriot stench that goes with him.
Rodgers knows Detroit’s interim head coach well from his stops in Green Bay, Minnesota and Seattle. Bevell won’t devise a look Rodgers hasn’t beaten before.
I always warn my readers handicapping NFL games is often a matter of feel, and this matchup seldom goes well for Detroit. I also caution everybody that stats and trends are merely tools—until you see a sheet so lopsided, you have to tilt your head to read it. Check this puppy out:
· Packers' road games have a league-high average combined score of 60.5. Lions home games average 59.8.
· Over the last three games, the Packers are fourth in sack % while the Lions are 27th in sack % allowed.
· The Packers rank second in QB pressure % allowed. The Lions are 27th in QB pressure % created.
· Detroit is 28th in yards per play allowed. Green Bay is second in yards per play.
· Over the last three games, these teams are second and third in red-zone TD scoring %.
· The Packers are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games vs divisional opponents.
· The Lions are 1-8 SU in their last nine games at home.
· The Lions are 1-4 ATS in their last five games at home.
· The total has gone OVER in seven of the Packers' last 10 games vs the Lions. (Avg combined score: 49.5)
· The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Lions' last 12 games at home. (Avg combined score: 58.0)
· The total has gone OVER in five of the Packers' last seven games on the road. (Avg combined score: 60.0)
· The Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS win.
· The Packers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games vs the Lions.
· The total has gone UNDER in five of the Packers' last six games vs their division on the road.
Of course, a Detroit rout is within the realm of possibility—but so was the Trump coup attempt.
I like Green Bay and the Over.
Packers 37 Lions 28
ARIZONA CARDINALS (6-6) @ NEW YORK GIANTS (5-7) +2.5 45 [O]
Colt McCoy won’t win any votes for Canton but he and the G-Men can win votes for comeback team of the year—if they can smack down the visiting Cardinals. With an injured Kyler Murray, and WR DeAndre Hopkins, who will try to go with an achy back. Arizona will try to turn around a three game losing skid that could easily have been five if not for the divinely answered “Hail Murray” against Buffalo. (Larry Fitzgerald should be okay to return from the Covid list.)
Until Murray hurt his shoulder a few weeks back, some people—your intrepid handicapper among them—were touting MVP honors for the 2nd year pro. The guy is electric and makes everyone on the field play better—the mark of a great one.
My feeling in this contest leans to Joe Judge and Big Blue. The guy lost his first five games and his Giants have bounced all the way back to lead the NFC East.
Well, some team has to lead the damned division.
Let’s tell the whole story. The G-Men opened the season with a 10-point loss to Pittsburgh; the Niners blew NY out in Week Three. Other than that they’ played in tight games and their defense has vastly improved, and until he got hurt, Daniel Jones was becoming a dependable leader. The G-Men have won their last four contests and, last week held Russell Wilson to twelve points.
I think the Giants make a statement here; they win outright—I’m calling the Over.
Giants 27 Cardinals 24
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
TENNESSEE TITANS (8-4) @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-11) +7.5 52 [O]
Three, maybe four times an NFL season, the Goombahs come up with a spread or a Total I just don’t get.
52 Points? C’mon, you gotta be kidding me…
Then, after doing my due diligence the research shows the Titans field the 25th “best “ defense in the NFL, giving up 390+ YPG. The Jags are dead last, surrendering 410+ YPG. That’s 800 yards of offense…Unbelievable…
On offense JAX is a pedestrian at best-- (21st)—while the Titans are top five in YPG and YPP. We’ve also written about the metamorphosis of Ryan Tannehill from draft bust into a bonafide franchise QB.
The Spotted Cats have to like what Gardner Minshew has done for the offense—he’s a respectable 17th in QB rating, better than Matt Stafford, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert. I think they're going with Mike Glennon as a way to tank.
I stand corrected. Forget the Under—this thing might end up in the seventies.
Titans 37 Jaguars 31
My picks are below in bold italic…
Thursday Dec. 10
New England @ Los Angeles Rams -5.5 44.5 8:20 p.m. [O]
Sunday Dec. 13 1:00pm
Denver @ Carolina +3.5 46.5
Houston @ Chicago +1.5 44.5
Dallas @ Cincinnati +5.5 32.5
Tennessee @ Jacksonville +7.5 52 O/U
Kansas City @ Miami +7 49
Arizona @ New York Giants +2.5 45 US [O]
Minnesota @ Tampa Bay -6.5 51.5
Sunday Dec. 13 4:00pm
Indianapolis @ Las Vegas +3 51.5
New York Jets @ Seattle -13.5 47
Green Bay @ Detroit +7.5 55 LW [O]
Atlanta @ Los Angeles Chargers +2.5 49.5
New Orleans @ Philadelphia +7
Washington @ San Francisco -3.5 43.5 +
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo -2.5 46.5 8:20 p.m. (SNF) GW [O]
Monday Dec. 14
Baltimore @ Cleveland +3 47 8:15 p.m [O]