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Written Wednesday January 20th, 2021 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) After going 2-1 against the spread (ATS) in the NFL Wildcard Round, we went a perfect 3-0 last week! The playoffs have been very profitable to us so far with a 5-1 ATS record. Now, we have two great matchups on the menu for the Conference Championship games. I’ve got one official pick, and one lean for you. Also, I will conclude this article by telling you my plan regarding the Super Bowl proposition bets this year. Remember that I crushed Vegas bookies last season by coming back home with more than $8k in profit. Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s picks for the NFC and AFC Championship games! CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #1: TAMPA BAY BUCS VS GREEN BAY PACKERS (-3) As I was watching the second half of the Bucs versus Saints game last week, I was thinking that neither team was very impressive. Both teams had ups and downs, especially on offense. In my mind, the winner would probably end up losing in Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. I love anticipating what the point spread will be on each game. In this case, I was expecting the Packers to be 4-point favorites, and that’s exactly how the line opened. At that price, I was comfortable betting Green Bay. Now that the line has dropped to 3.5, and then 3 (as of Wednesday morning, which is when I wrote this article) I am definitely siding with the team from the frozen tundra. Here are four arguments favoring Green Bay in this spot: Argument #1: The rest factor. The Packers will be at home for the third straight week, while the Bucs will be traveling for the third consecutive week. Argument #2: The revenge factor. Do you really want to face Aaron Rodgers a second time after you have crushed him earlier in the year? I don’t think so. Back in Week 6, Tampa hammered Matt LaFleur’s team by a 38-to-10 score. That’s the only game all season where Rodgers did not throw a single TD pass. Oh man, he will be super focused to get some payback! Argument #3: The matchup. Tampa’s defense ranked number one in the league against the run. That’s great, but they finished 18th in terms of passer rating allowed. That’s very bad news when facing Rodgers and company. I know that they held them in check earlier this season, but it’s not going to happen again. Argument #4: The extra day. Green Bay gets an additional day to rest and game plan after playing last Saturday’s first game of the day, while the Bucs played the late game Sunday. I could have added the cold weather, as it is expected to be -6 degrees Celsius at Lambeau Field. However, Tom Brady has played many games in the cold with the Pats, but the rest of his teammates might not enjoy the weather too much, though… So I guess that could be argument #4B! I do like the Packers enough to put some money at risk. Official pick: Packers -3 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #2: BUFFALO BILLS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-3) Here is how my point spread prediction went for this matchup: I was expecting the Chiefs to be favored by 6 points if Mahomes plays, while I anticipated K.C. to be 2.5- or 3-point favorites if Chad Henne is the starter. For this reason, I was shocked when the line opened at 2.5 since, in my mind, Mahomes had a 50-50 shot of suiting up for the AFC Championship game. Since then, the line moved to 3, but it is back at 2.5 with some sportsbooks. That completely changed my strategy. If the Bills had been 6-point underdogs, as I expected, I was going to put my money on them. But with such a small point spread, I believe the value lies on Kansas City. Don’t get me wrong: I believe Buffalo has enough talent to beat the Chiefs, even with Mahomes on the field. However, the Chiefs’ QB holds a 25-1 record since November 2019. That cannot be ignored. K.C. players also have more playoff experience. I wouldn’t mind betting Buffalo +6, but I don’t think putting money on Buffalo +3 is a good idea, let alone +2.5. Still, there are quite a few things going Buffalo’s way. First, they post a 7-1-2 record against the spread (ATS) as road underdogs. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as favorites (including 0-4 as home favorites). Also, don’t forget the famous revenge factor. Back in Week 6, Kansas City topped Buffalo 26-to-17, thanks to 245 rushing yards. The Bills simply couldn’t stop the running game. They have improved since then (as shown last week against the Ravens!), but that is still concerning. So, my final decision is to stay away from this game from a betting perspective due to conflicting arguments. However, if I was forced to bet, I would go with the Chiefs -3. At the time of writing, Sports Interaction has the Chiefs -2.5 at -112 odds, which is pretty tempting. Lean: Chiefs -3 CRUSHING SUPER BOWL PROPOSITION BETS Do you remember last year’s “Crushing Super Bowl Proposition Bets Project”, where I flew to Vegas a few days before the big game, so that I could place bigger bets and shop for the best lines? I had posted a series of seven videos where I detailed my adventure and showed you my betting tickets. Just to refresh your mind, I ended up making 11 bets; four of them were favorites, while seven were underdogs. In other words, my expected record on those plays was 4-7. Things played out almost perfectly as I finished with a 9-2 record, while racking up $8,330 USD in net profit. Some of you have already emailed me to ask whether I was going to do it again this year. That was the plan without a doubt, but COVID-19 will prevent me from making the trip, unfortunately. Do I really want to spend 3-4 days in Vegas without my girlfriend and kids, and then having to isolate myself for 14 more days without seeing them? Sports betting is a passion to me, but my family is important too. That being said, in terms of proposition bets, the Super Bowl is like Christmas to me. There are so many things you can wager on that sportsbooks cannot keep odds that are accurate on each bet all the time. Every year, there are TONS of weak lines that can be exploited. It’s pretty common that when the kickoff of the Super Bowl comes, all of my online sportsbook accounts are empty because I have wagered all of it on numerous proposition bets. And to be honest, I don’t remember a Super Bowl where I ended up with losses on those bets. Even though I won’t be headed to Vegas, I will still be keeping track of the lines from many online sportsbooks on all prop bets. I always use an Excel spreadsheet where I enter the lines from 10-20 bookies, which allows me to estimate accurately fair odds. It is then easy to spot lines that are out of whack, and therefore exploitable. Those are the lines that we want to hammer. I will find plenty of bargains for sure again this year. I will share a few of them via YouTube videos (maybe 3-5), while also offering the option of subscribing to a package where you receive ALL proposition bets that offer amazing value, as soon as I find them. I cannot promise a specific number of value wagers, but it should be at least 15-20. If you’re interested, you can sign up now by following this link: https://www.professormj.com/products/super-bowl-lv-proposition-bets Have fun this weekend! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/PQvZiu6Z-6o
Written Thursday January 7th, 2021 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) First, let’s recap the performance of the NFL picks against the spread (ATS) for the entire 2020 season: 5 STARS: 4-3 record 4 STARS: 9-4-1 record 3 STARS: 10-11-1 record 2 STARS: 4-9-2 record 1 STAR: 9-4 record OVERALL: 36-31-4 record (a 53.7% win rate) If you are betting at -110 odds, you need to win 52.4% of your bets in order to net a profit. When wagering at -105 odds, that figure is 51.2%. In other words, this year’s NFL tips led to a small profit overall (but still a gain nonetheless!). Next week, I’ll show you how my preseason predictions about each team’s win total went. As you’ll see, it did incredibly well and you certainly turned a great profit if you tailed those plays! During the regular season, I did not make a pick on all games. For entertainment purposes, I’ll do it in the playoffs. I will let you know how much confidence I have in each pick. The best part of the NFL season is coming up, so let’s dive right in! WILD CARD GAME #1: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT BUFFALO BILLS (-6.5) We are starting strong with my top pick of the weekend: I’m putting my money on the Bills in this matchup. Can you believe Buffalo has beaten the spread in each of their last eight games? That’s unbelievable! Only four teams ended the season by beating the spread on 8+ consecutive games. All of them were winning wagers in their first playoff game. The Colts suffered a big blow in Week 16 when they lost their star left tackle Anthony Castonzo. The team absolutely needs to protect Philip Rivers well because he is a statue in the pocket, and he tends to get bottled up easily. To me, Rivers having no mobility whatsoever is a big factor, as opposed to Josh Allen who can escape the pressure on a regular basis. Also, Indy is great defending the run, but they weren’t nearly as good against the pass where they finished in the middle of the pack in terms of passer rating allowed. Now facing a passing team, that could spell trouble for Indianapolis. The Colts defense overall slowed down as the season progressed. Indeed, they allowed an average of 19.7 points per game through their first nine meetings, while that number increased to 26.4 in the final seven matches. The Bills defense did the exact opposite and seems to be peaking at the right time. They surrendered 28 points per game in the first six contests versus 21 points over the last 10 games. The temperature is expected to be below zero degree Celsius this Saturday. Philip Rivers played his entire career in the warm weather of San Diego and Los Angeles before joining the Colts who play in a stadium covered by a dome. Buffalo wins big and finally gets its first playoff victory since 1995! Official pick: Bills -6.5 WILD CARD GAME #2: LOS ANGELES RAMS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-3.5) I am not going to bet this game, but if I was forced to do it I’d back the Rams here. The situation at quarterback is unclear for Los Angeles, but the latest reports suggest Jared Goff should be under center. If he is unable to go, John Wolford will take the field. He did better than expected in a must-win game last week. He’s not as good as Goff as a passer, but he was a threat as a runner. I also like the fact that the Rams are expected to get three key players back this weekend: wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left tackle Andrew Whitworth and defensive end Michael Brockers. Seattle’s defense improved a lot late in the season, while L.A.’s defense was strong all season long. This could be a defensive battle, in which case I prefer to go with the underdog. Still, I am not going to pull the trigger on the Rams. Seattle has won 11 consecutive playoff games when favored. They also post a great 6-1 ATS record in wild card games. Lean: Rams +3.5 WILD CARD GAME #3: TAMPA BAY BUCS (-8.5) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM I won’t put money at risk in this game either, but I am leaning towards the Bucs. Alex Smith appeared even more limited than usual last week in Philadelphia, and he really played poorly. Washington’s running game couldn’t get going all night long, and it led to a bad outing by the offense. Now facing the top run defense in the league, how are they going to score points? I simply do not trust Alex Smith to light up the scoreboard, especially with his top two threats, Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin, being banged up. So why am I not betting this game then? There are a few numbers and trends that scare me. Since 1970, only three teams were road favorites by 6+ points in the playoffs; all of them lost straight up! Also, the Bucs are 0-4 in primetime games this season. They were really awful in such games. Finally, the only other two squads qualifying for the postseason despite a losing record both covered in their first playoff game. Lean: Bucs -8.5 WILD CARD GAME #4: BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3 OR -3.5) AT TENNESSEE TITANS This time we have a pick that I like enough to put money at risk. In this matchup of the two best running attacks in the league, I am betting the Ravens as 3-point favorites. First, how could I omit mentioning the famous revenge factor, which is largely in favor of Baltimore? Not only did they lose 30-to-24 in overtime back in Week 11, but the Ravens were ousted from the playoffs last year by those same Titans by a 28-to-12 score. Both of these games occurred in Baltimore. The Ravens will be fired up to avenge those losses, and they won’t slow down even if they take the lead this Saturday. The Baltimore train has been picking up some steam recently. John Harbaugh’s team has beaten the spread in each of their final six games. They are also a perfect 6-0 ATS over the past six road playoff games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in January. A piece of information that may be flying under the radar is the fact that Tennessee has three offensive linemen listed as questionable: Rodger Saffold, Ben Jones and Dennis Kelly. Even if they all suit up this Sunday, they are nicked up and could struggle against a tough Baltimore front. If you like betting totals, you may consider grabbing the over for two reasons. All five times that the Titans were underdogs this year, the game went over the total. Secondly, this will be just the third time that a wild card game has a total of 55 points or more. In the previous two instances, the game ended with exactly 73 points scored. Official pick: Ravens -3 Lean: Over 55 WILD CARD GAME #5: CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-10) This is the third pick that I like enough to call it an “official” pick: I’m grabbing the Saints as 10-point favorites. The Bears have a fairly weak offensive line, so they are likely to struggle against the ferocious Saints defense. Also, Chicago is likely to miss a key piece of their defense due to injury: linebacker Roquan Smith. He exited the regular season finale against the Packers with an elbow injury. It looks like he dislocated his elbow and probably won’t be available this weekend. Meanwhile, the Saints have a good shot to get both Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas on the field. That should be a big boost to their offense. There are several statistics favoring New Orleans: Since 2011, double-digit favorites are 7-1 ATS in playoff games; The Bears are 0-4 ATS over the last two years as underdogs of 6 points or more; Chicago is 0-6 ATS on the road when facing a team with a winning record; Da Bears have a disappointing 6-18 ATS record after a double-digit home loss; The Saints are 4-0 ATS following a win by at least 14 points. Based on these arguments, I’m taking the Saints but for some reason I remain cautious and won’t go big on this one. I still prefer Buffalo and Baltimore this week. Official pick: Saints -10 WILD CARD GAME #6: CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-6) I am clearly avoiding this game. Way too many uncertainties surrounding this game. The Browns had some COVID-19 cases, which will prevent head coach Kevin Stefanski, star left guard Joel Bitonio and defensive end Olivier Vernon from taking the field. Other guys are uncertain to suit up this Sunday, including three offensive linemen (Tretter, Teller, Conklin) and a couple of cornerbacks (Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson). Who will play and who will miss the game? I prefer to avoid putting money at risk on this great AFC North matchup. The only wager I could consider making is betting the over. Why? The over has gone 9-1 with Big Ben under center in home playoff games. Also, the over is 11-3 when teams meet two weeks in a row. Lean: Over 47.5 This should be a fantastic weekend of football, so enjoy it guys! I’ll be back next week for more betting tips for the Divisional Round. Best of luck with your plays! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/KC2UYTUySLI
Written Thursday December 25th, 2020 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) Last week, we had a couple of 5-star picks, which was highly unusual! Bucs +3.5 vs Chiefs (won the bet, but deserved to lose in my opinion); Giants -5.5 at Bengals (lost the bet, but we got screwed by: a) Daniel Jones’ injury; b) a TD on a kickoff return by Cincy; c) a bogus PI penalty that allowed a garbage TD late in the fourth quarter). Our record on 5-star picks: 3-2 this season 8-4 past three years Overall, last week was a lucrative one: a 4-2 record on official picks and a perfect 2-0 on leans. We have been on fire recently with a 10-5-2 ATS record since Week 10. Let’s keep rolling, folks!!! PICK #1 (4 STARS): CLEVELAND BROWNS +6 AT TENNESSEE TITANS I’ve said it a few times this year, and I’ll say it again. In my opinion, the Titans are a good team to bet as underdogs, but they’re a good team to fade as favorites. As a matter of fact, they have beaten the spread just two times the last seven games they were established as favorites. My main concern about this game is Cleveland’s pass defense. They were already without Greedy Williams, and now their other starting cornerback Denzel Ward seems on the wrong side of questionable for Sunday. That could open up the field for A.J. Brown. Other than that, I like the Browns here. To me, the spread is way too high. Cleveland should be fine running the ball against Tennessee, whose defense has been average. Meanwhile, the Browns are fairly strong defending the run and they are welcoming back stud defensive end Myles Garrett this weekend. The revenge factor comes into play as well. I’m sure Baker Mayfield and company remember last year’s season opener, a game in which Cleveland got hammered 43-to-13 at home against Tennessee. Mayfield threw three interceptions in that game, but that won’t happen this time. For these reasons, I’m backing Cleveland as 6-point underdogs as my top play in Week 13. PICK #2 (3 STARS): SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +1 VS BUFFALO BILLS San Francisco’s defense is quickly getting back to form. After undergoing a rash of injuries, they have gotten some players back, which has shown on the field. Last week, they bottled up a good Rams offense and allowed just 14 first downs. Buffalo QB Josh Allen usually makes a mix of great and bad plays. I expect him to make a few mistakes that will cost his team this Monday. He is also still missing wide receiver John Brown; the offense is good, but not as great when Brown is out of the lineup. I have spoken a few times this year about how researchers have shown that peak athletic performance occurs during the late afternoon or early evening. For this reason, a West Coast team gets an advantage when playing a night game against a team from the East Coast. Each team’s record on Monday Night Football is at opposite ends: Buffalo is 0-3-1 ATS versus 13-3 for the Niners. San Francisco also holds an impressive 7-3 ATS record at home when facing a team with a winning record. The key to this game will be San Francisco’s running game who should be able to exploit a weak Buffalo run defense, who ranks 27th in the league in terms of yards allowed per carry. With Raheem Mostert back from an injury, I believe he will run wild and cause headaches to the Bills. PICK #3 (3 STARS): LOS ANGELES RAMS -2.5 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS Kyler Murray’s throwing shoulder is hurt. He didn’t look as sharp as usual last week in New England. Coincidence or not, he ran for a season-low five times both of the past two weeks. I suspect he doesn’t want to take more hits to lower the risk of aggravating his injury. After a hot start, the Cards are definitely stumbling. They have won just one of their last four matchups, and the lone win should have been a loss, if not for a miracle Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game against the Bills. Jared Goff tends to struggle when he feels pressure, otherwise he is super efficient. I expect him to have a clean pocket this Sunday, given Arizona’s pass rush who is not that great. I also like the three-headed monster at the running back position for the Rams: Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers. Los Angeles has rebounded with a win after each of their three losses in 2020. Also note that the Rams have beaten the spread the last five times they made a trip to Arizona. Another reason for taking the Rams in this contest is the mismatch on defense. Los Angeles’ defense has been great, both against the run and the pass. As for Arizona, they have a middle of the pack defense. PICK #4 (2 STARS): INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -3 AT HOUSTON TEXANS The Colts are not intimidated from playing in Houston at all: they are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight meetings there. Indy is also a team that can rebound nicely after poor performances. Indeed, they have posted an incredible 6-0-1 ATS record after double-digit home losses. Last week, they got beaten up 45-26 against the Titans. I am aware that the Texans will benefit from three additional days of rest after playing on Thanksgiving, but the team suffered a HUGE blow when their top wide receiver (Will Fuller V) and their top cornerback (Bradley Roby) got hit with six-game suspensions for violating the league’s PEDs policy. With Randall Cobb already out and Kenny Stills being waived about a week ago, that will put the wide receiver depth to the test. I expect Indy’s defense to respond strongly after such a poor outing last week. With Deshaun Watson having less weapons at his disposal, he’ll need to do a Superman impersonation in order to keep his team afloat. I don’t think it will happen. Houston’s defense has been awful both against the run and the pass, while the Colts should get running back Jonathan Taylor back. I am worried about the Colts possibly being without their star left tackle Anthony Castonzo, but I’m still putting my money on Indy to do everything they can to keep up with the Titans for the AFC South title. PICK #5 (2 STARS): SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -10 VS NEW YORK GIANTS Last Monday, I posted an alert in my Facebook group and to people on my mailing list about a great bargain. The Seahawks were tagged as 7.5-point favorites at Bet365 at the time, while some bookies had a line of 10 points. I put a fairly big bet, then I let everyone know about this nice deal, and the line moved to 9, and then 10 points within an hour. No matter if the bet wins or loses, this was clearly a good value wager. Now that the dust has settled, I still think Seattle -10 points is an enticing play. According to the latest reports, Daniel Jones seems unlikely to play. His backup, Colt McCoy, is simply horrible. He’s been bad throughout his 11-year career, and that’s not about to change. He couldn’t get the offense going last week against a weak Cincinnati defense. I love how Seattle matches up well with the Giants. With McCoy under center, New York will need their running game to get going, but that should prove very difficult considering the Seahawks defense is 3rd in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per carry. That will force McCoy into long third downs, and the result will be catastrophic. On the other side of the ball, New York’s strength on defense is its run defense. Unfortunately for them, Seattle has a guy named Russell Wilson at quarterback who is ready to shred their pass defense. Seattle wins by at least two touchdowns and beats the spread. UNOFFICIAL PICKS For entertainment purposes, here are some leans for you: LEAN #1: Chargers +1 vs Patriots (This is a passing league, and there is a huge gap between New England’s and Los Angeles’ passing offenses. Cam Newton is banged up and his team will be travelling through three time zones to play this game.); LEAN #2: Broncos +14 at Chiefs (The weakness of K.C.’s defense is its run defense, so I think Denver can find a way to run efficiently and run out the clock a little bit. On the other side of the ball, Denver’s pass defense is among the top 10 and could limit the damage against Mahomes and company. The Broncos are 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings with the Chiefs, but they are a perfect 7-0 ATS after scoring 14 points or less! Drew Lock will be back under center.); LEAN #3: Dolphins -11 vs Bengals (I hope Ryan Fitzpatrick remains the starter because he is better than Tua right now. Good luck to QB Brandon Allen against a stifling Dolphins pass defense! Miami could welcome back running backs Myles Gaskin and/or Salvon Ahmed); LEAN #4: Washington +8.5 at Steelers (Pittsburgh is not nearly as good as its record indicate. Man, they played badly against the Ravens last Wednesday! Washington is fighting hard every week and they are playing sound football for head coach Ron Rivera. It won’t be an easy task for the Steelers to beat them by 9 points or more). A big thank you for reading this column every week, I hope to help you beat your bookie! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/7RFlJpe3P4E
Written Wednesday November 25th, 2020 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) AMAZING! We have two picks with the highest 5-star rating this week! That’s incredible, especially when you consider that we’ve had only three plays rated five stars in the entire 2020 season thus far. Remember that such confidence picks hold a 2-1 record this year. Since I started this Professor MJ brand three years ago, we are 7-3 under such circumstances. After giving away ALL of my NFL picks this year, these two gems are available at a $100 fee. I’m so confident in those bets that I’m willing to make you this great offer: If both picks lose, you get your money back; If one pick loses and the other wins, you’re going to get my next 5-star pick for free, which should occur sometime later this season; If both picks win, everyone’s happy and richer! I don’t recommend that you wait any longer before getting those 2 awesome picks because the lines are likely to move against you. I already placed my bets because I suspect the lines will only get worse as money pours in. Simply follow this link. You don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to have two 5-star picks during the same week! PICK #3 (3 STARS): NEW YORK JETS +7 VS MIAMI DOLPHINS Despite an 0-10 record, the Jets have been significantly tougher to beat of late. They fought hard and lost by 8 points or less in three of their past four contests: 18-10 vs Buffalo, 30-27 vs New England and 34-28 at the Chargers. Meanwhile, the Fins stumbled big time last week in Denver. They had been flying high during a five-game winning streak, but fell flat last week. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa even got benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick in order to try to spark a comeback, but to no avail. Head coach Brian Flores has already named Tua his Week 12 starter. Facing the weak Jets secondary is a good spot to rebound, but unlike what happened in Week 6 I do not believe New York will get shutout against Miami. You guessed it, the in-season revenge factor is coming into play here! Joe Flacco has done better than expected, especially since he got all three starting WRs on the field: Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims. The last seven times the Jets have been established as home underdogs by oddsmakers, the Jets have beaten the spread five times. Notice that the Dolphins have owned the Jets in recent meetings, though. Indeed, they are posting a 5-0-1 ATS record in the past six games between these two clubs. Quick note: Miami has had to travel quite a bit in recent weeks. They played in Arizona, came back home for their bye week, and traveled all the way to Denver last week. I’m taking the Jets as 7-point underdogs. They fought hard against the Chargers last week, and there is no reason to believe they won’t battle hard again when facing a division rival. I might even put a small bet on over 44.5 points to be scored in that game (quick bonus for you!). PICK #4 (1 STAR): UNDER 44 POINTS NEW ORLEANS-DENVER I tip my hat off to Taysom Hill for playing a solid game against the Falcons last week. Unfortunately, Denver’s defense is a notch better than Atlanta’s. That’s particularly true of the pass defense: the Broncos rank 10th in terms of passer rating allowed. That should force the Saints to keep the ball on the ground more often, which runs the clock more quickly (good for unders). On the other side of the ball, it’s no secret that Denver’s offense is having trouble putting up points on the board. They are 27th in the NFL in point scored per game. As for New Orleans’ defense, they have allowed the eigth-fewest points per game. This unit has been even stronger recently, having allowed an average of 8 points to the Bucs, the 49ers and the Falcons. In other words, an offensive outburst by the Broncos this Sunday is highly unlikely! Here is an astounding stat: the under is 17-4 the last 21 times the Broncos were at home facing a team with a winning record! PICK #5 (1 STAR): TENNESSEE TITANS +3.5 AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS Stud defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was placed on the COVID-19 list Wednesday afternoon. He is in danger of missing the game, which would be a HUGE upgrade for Derrick Henry and Tennessee’s dangerous running game. The Titans were beaten 34-17 by the Colts a couple of weeks ago after leading 17-to-13 at halftime. A blocked punt late in the third quarter was the turning point in this game. I do expect Tennessee to get revenge this week. Philip Rivers got nicked up against the Packers and finished the game on a gimpy leg. Your body does not recover as quickly when you get near 40 years old and he may be bothered by this injury this Sunday. Even though the Titans hold a 2-7 ATS record in their last nine trips in Indy, I expect them to keep the game tight or even upset the Colts. The line shouldn’t be as high, in my opinion. Ryan Tannehill is just more reliable than Rivers, who tends to turn the ball over at bad times. And Derrick Henry is obviously a beast on Tennessee’s side. For these reasons, I’m going with the Titans +3.5 in Indy. UNOFFICIAL PICKS For entertainment purposes, here are some leans for you: LEAN #1: Packers -8.5 vs Bears (You don’t want to bet against an angry Aaron Rodgers. That’s probably how he feels after a heart-breaking loss in Indy last week. He won’t take a division rival lightly. Packers are a perfect 7-0 ATS the last seven times they lost a game straight up. Talk about rebounding nicely! I’m taking Green Bay despite Chicago being off their bye week. Nick Foles is hurt and bad); LEAN #2: 49ers +7 at Rams (San Francisco is getting 7 additional days of rest after their bye week, while the Rams lose one after playing the Monday nighter. 49ers likely to get a few key players back, including RB Raheem Mostert, WR Brandon Aiyuk, LT Trent Williams and DE Arik Armstead. Huge boost for them. Can Nick Mullens play better?). I hope you enjoyed this write up! Enjoy your weekend! Professor MJ If you wish to obtain the two high-confidence 5-star picks discussed in the video, please follow this link: https://www.professormj.com/products/two-5-star-nfl-picks-for-week-12-2020-season The betting tips are presented by Professor MJ, who teaches statistics at a Canadian university. Join other savvy sports bettors who are CRUSHING their bookies: Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProfessorMJ Link to exclusive mailing list (see bottom of the following page): https://www.professormj.com/pages/nfl-picks-week-12-2020-regular-season
Written January 9rd, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) The picks went 3-1 last week. Let's stay on the winning track! Minnesota Vikings +7 or San Francisco 49ers -7 ? The 49ers got a much-needed bye week, thanks to a goal-line stand in the final moments of last regular season game against the Seahawks. The additional rest will allow San Francisco’s defense to get a boost, with the return of Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and Jaquiski Tartt. Let’s face the reality: the Niners defense did not dominate nearly as much in the second half of the season. In the first seven games, San Francisco’s defense allowed an average of 11 points per game. That number exploded to 26 points per game during the final nine contests. Part of this steep raise can be attributed to the strength of opposition, but we’re still talking about a huge spike! The weakest link on the Niners defense is when it comes to stopping the run. They finished 17th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game. The bad news is Minnesota excels at running the ball. Dalvin Cook looked fast and fresh last week in New Orleans after sitting out the last two regular season games. Both quarterbacks finished with similar passing completion rates, passing yards and TD passes. The one difference lied in the number of interceptions thrown: 13 for Garoppolo versus just 6 for Cousins. I was impressed with Minnesota’s defensive line last week. They pressured Drew Brees all game long, and pretty much shut down the running game (except some unconventional runs by Taysom Hill, which is unlikely to happen against the Niners). Both teams have a well-balanced attack and a stout defense. I expect a hard-fought game, where the Niners will come on top by a close margin. For this reason, I’m taking the Vikings +7 points in San Francisco. Tennessee Titans +9.5 or Baltimore Ravens -9.5 ? The Titans defeated the defending Super Bowl champions last week by beating the Patriots 20-to-13. The line for this game opened at 10, but dropped to 9.5 since then. Let me tell you right away that I’m going with the Ravens laying 9.5 points. It’s easy to get excited over the great win by Tennessee last week, and the amazing performance by running back Derrick Henry. However, don’t forget the Titans got a 9-7 record this year, compared to 14-2 for Baltimore. Tennessee lost games against the Jaguars, the Broncos and the Panthers this season. They can be great at time, and bad at others. I’m betting it will be an off day for the Titans this weekend against a Baltimore team that is riding a 12-game winning streak. Did you know Ryan Tannehill led the league in passer rating? Still, for some reason I don’t trust him too much. Against a stingy pass defense last week, he struggled quite a bit. He completed just 8 passes out of 15 for a total of 72 yards. That’s not reassuring. The Ravens will focus on stopping the run, and dare Tannehill to beat them. I don’t think it’s going to end well for the Titans. These two teams met in Tennessee last season. I know the rosters were fairly different, but the Ravens won 21-0, a game in which Derrick Henry rushed for just 21 yards on seven carries. The Ravens finished the season with more than 200 rushing yards per game on average, a feat that had never been accomplished before. Lamar Jackson showed he can throw too; over his last eight games, he threw 25 touchdown passes versus a single pick. That’s impressive! One final telling statistic for you: the Ravens beat their opponents by at least 10 points in eight of their final 10 games. That included meetings with some very strong teams. I’m betting Baltimore -9.5 points. Houston Texans +9.5 or Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 ? The Chiefs seem to be peaking at the right time. After starting the season with a 6-4 record, they concluded with six straight victories. All of them occurred with a margin of at least 7 points! Meanwhile, it seems difficult to trust this Texans’ team. They are very inconsistent, as shown by their playoff win against Buffalo last week. They started slow by trailing 16-to-0 and rallied to win in overtime. Also, their negative point differential of -7 during the regular season is a shame for a division champion! The revenge factor goes in favor of K.C. since Houston pulled off the upset at Arrowhead back in Week #6. The Chiefs led 17-to-3 after one quarter in this game; they won’t let them off the hook this time around. Both QBs threw for exactly 26 TD passes. However, Watson was the victim of 12 interceptions versus just 5 for Patrick Mahomes. Another key argument is the defensive side of the ball. Houston’s defense was not very good; they finished 28th in terms of total yards allowed per game. As a comparison, the Chiefs defense finished 17th in that category, but they improved dramatically over the second half of the season. Indeed, they allowed just 11.5 points per game during their last six games. Therefore, I’m going with the Chiefs -9.5 points. Seattle Seahawks +4.5 or Green Bay Packers -4.5 ? The final meeting of the weekend involves two fierce competitors at quarterback: Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. Based on the point spread, it should be the closest game of the weekend. The Seahawks have been plagued with injuries at the running back position, and also on the offensive line. However, they might get a couple of guys back: Duane Brown and Mike Iupati. With “Beast Mode” getting accustomed to being back on the field, Seattle will try to mimic what the Lions did to the Packers a couple of weeks ago, a game in which they racked up 171 rushing yards. I’m going to take the Seahawks and the points in this game, even though Seattle is 0-5-1 in their last six meetings at Lambeau Field. To me, the Packers passing offense relies too much on Davante Adams. Seattle seems to have more weapons with Tyler Lockett, Jacob Hollister and the emergence of rookie D.K. Metcalf, who looked like a beast in Philly last week! On Green Bay’s side, Lazard, Valdes-Scantling and Jimmy Graham are too inconsistent. The Packers have the better defense, though, especially with the Smiths (Preston and Za’Darius). Still, we’re talking about evenly matched teams. I can see this game ending on the final drive with either team moving on to the NFC Championship game. Under this setting, I’m taking the underdogs: Seattle +4.5.