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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 14th, 2021 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) Last week in the Wildcard Round I made three official picks against the spread: the lone losing bet was the Bills -6.5, while the other two were winners (Ravens -3 and Saints -10). Many people have asked me to recap my preseason win total predictions. Remember that I previewed each of the 32 NFL teams, while making a pick on the over/under for their win total. Those plays were largely based on the simulation of one million seasons using the projected point spreads on all 256 regular season games. It turned out that 20 picks were right versus 12 that were wrong, a nice 62.5% win rate. I ended up racking up more than $8,000 on those bets. I wanted to go to Vegas to place larger bets, but COVID-19 prevented me from making the trip, unfortunately. It’s now time for my Divisional Round picks against the spread. Buckle up, here we go!!! DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME #1: LOS ANGELES RAMS VS GREEN BAY PACKERS (-6.5) When the line opened at 7, I was clearly leaning towards the Rams. Early money agreed with me and went heavily on Los Angeles, so sportsbooks had to drop the line to 6.5. Since then, I have heard that bettors are hammering the Packers. After analyzing the game in-depth, I am now betting Green Bay as 6.5-point favorites. Most of the time, I go against the public, but not this time. The Packers are the number one seed and coming off a bye week. As mentioned several times this season, getting additional time to heal and gameplan has produced a much bigger advantage to great teams, as opposed to weaker squads who do not seem to make good use of this extra time. I believe we all agree Green Bay is a solid team. On top of that, the Packers will be facing a banged up team. Jared Goff, John Wolford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald are all hurt. They will likely suit up Saturday, but won’t be 100% for sure. Also, L.A. is not used to playing in cold weather. We are expecting below-zero temperature, a situation where Aaron Rodgers is 29-7 straight up. The Rams defense has been very impressive this season, but here is a jaw-dropping statistic: they have allowed an average of 13.5 points per game at home versus 23.5 on the road. That’s a huge difference! They haven’t been nearly as stifling as visitors this year. I do believe Rodgers and company will find a way to move the ball, especially if Aaron Donald is slowed down by his injured ribs. Green Bay is a perfect 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings with the Rams. They are 11-6 as home favorites since Matt LaFleur took over as head coach. Rodgers and Goff did face off against each other in 2018, a game in which the Rams won 29-27 in Los Angeles. Rodgers will get the victory by at least 7 points this time around. Official pick: Packers -6.5 DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME #2: BALTIMORE RAVENS VS BUFFALO BILLS (-2.5) Born in Florida, Lamar Jackson said it would be his first time playing in the snow, if the forecast is right about getting close to an inch of snow this Saturday in Orchard Park, NY. That would make the field more slippery, and therefore more difficult for him to shake and bake as a runner. That’s one of the reason why I’m going with Buffalo as 2.5-point favorites. The Bills will also be at home for the third straight week, while Baltimore will be traveling for a third consecutive time. Also, the Ravens lose one day of preparation after playing last Sunday and now playing Saturday. That’s not a huge blow, but still worth mentioning. Some things are scaring me, though. Baltimore is 6-0 ATS as an underdog in the playoffs. They also match up fairly well against Buffalo since they led the league in yards-per-carry, while Buffalo’s run defense finished 25th in that category. Also, the Bills pass the ball often, which happens to be Baltimore’s strength on defense (they were much softer against the run this year). Still, I’ll go with Buffalo, whose offense has been much more convincing. The Ravens were struggling against a bad Titans defense last week, until Lamar scored on a 48-yard scamper that completely changed the game. Despite a recent surge by Baltimore, the Bills seem to be the stronger team and they will be at home on a cold day. They have been one of the hottest teams in the league during the latter portion of the regular season, and they have what it takes to win their first Super Bowl ever. Official pick: Bills -2.5 DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME #3: CLEVELAND BROWNS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-10) This won’t be an official pick since I don’t have that much confidence, but if I were forced to bet this game I’d bet Cleveland as 10-point dogs. However, I do not like the fact that the Chiefs are coming off a bye. Under such circumstances, Andy Reid is 20-3 in his career, an astounding record! Kansas City will also be at home for the fourth straight week, which means they didn’t have to travel and will be well-rested. Still, I am leaning towards the Browns due to their strong running game facing the Chiefs’ front seven that has been soft at times. Cleveland will be looking to control the clock and leave Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines. After throwing 7 interceptions over the first 7 games of the season, Baker Mayfield has thrown just one in its past 10 matches! He has significantly improved, and he seems to be playing better since Odell Beckham went down to an injury. The Chiefs have beaten the spread in 5 of their past 6 matchups at home against a team with a winning record, but they are just 1-6 ATS as favorites recently. One more thing prevents me from pulling the trigger on this one: was Cleveland’s win in Pittsburgh last week their Super Bowl? Their subconscious might feel like they’ve already accomplished something great, and they may not be as hungry this week in K.C. Lean: Browns +10 DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME #4: TAMPA BAY BUCS VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3) You know how much I love the revenge factor. Beating the same opponent three times within the same season is very hard. That’s the challenge the Saints will be facing this Sunday. And that’s one of the reasons I’ll put my money on Tampa. Am I super confident the Bucs will advance to the NFC Championship Game? No. The Saints might win a close game. If you back New Orleans, your ticket will be a winner only if New Orleans wins the game by 4 points or more. To me, that’s less likely to occur than Tampa either winning the game or losing by less than a field goal. Sure, the Bucs are 0-5 ATS in their last five meetings with Sean Payton. They were also 1-4 ATS as road underdogs recently. However, since their shameful 38-3 loss to the Saints in Week 9, Tampa has scored an average of 34 points per game. It took them more time to develop chemistry on offense, and they have since added Antonio Brown to the mix. New Orleans has beaten the spread the last four times they were home favorites, but they post a disappointing 1-5 ATS record as playoff favorites over the most recent years. I expect a very tight game that could go either way, in which case I prefer to side with the underdog. Official pick: Bucs +3 Enjoy the games! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/uiKo-YKjgok
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