Another week, another winning record and another boost to the P&L. Having the higher weighted picks win again (and the Bears winning straight up against KC) made me look smart, but my heart pained to see the Hawks D and LOB give up a 17-point fourth quarter lead against the Bengals last week. To put into perspective how ridiculously epic that collapse was check this stat: NFL teams were 427-0 when leading by 17+ points in the fourth quarter...until Seattle lost to Cincinnati Sunday. True story!
This is a pivotal week for several teams and expect some solid play from losing record teams as they try and gain momentum into the second half of the season. Rest and bye weeks also need to be factored. Onto the picks..
Brandin Cooks had a strong game last week against the Eagles, but if you peel the onion back he had a very long play in the 1st quarter on blown coverage and then most of the rest of the yards while the Eagles played prevent defense. The Saints have many weapons and will go to the hot hand, either rushing or receiving, and I see them going to the ground a bit more in this contest to take the ball away from Matty Ice, Julio Jones and the Falcons offense. Another bet if you want to go boom or bust is to also take Mark Ingram over 55.5 rushing yards.
There is good value here and if you watch the Redzone channel you know that Jacksonville are always on; either they are giving up TDs or scoring them. Houston's offense is serviceable and Jacksonville's offensive weapons are now fully armed with the return of Julius Thomas. Blake Bortles is playing decent this year averaging around a 87 QBR. He will most likely have to throw early and often, and shouldn't have a problem putting up 20-24 points on the board. Sneaky prop bet here is JJ Watt to score a touchdown. He has underwhelmed over the last three games and Houston will look to set him loose on the turnover-prone Jags.
I really hate picking against Aaron Rodgers at home, especially after he had a questionable game the week prior. The critics will be circling, but he tends to bounce back with a vengeance in these circumstances. However, the St Louis Rams' gameplan on defense and offense was solid last week and should give SD a blueprint to follow. The Packers O-line is a bit suspect at the moment and the defense is giving up rushing yards in bunches. If it was not for the horrible QB play of Nick Foles last week, the Rams may have snuck a win at Lambeau Field. That being said Phillip Rivers is a bit of a wild-card himself. Good Rivers is amazing, bad Rivers is REALLY bad and so only 1pt confident here. Watch out for Keenan Allen to break out now that the Packers have to key on a healthy Antonio Gates.
Bart's 2015 NFL P&L
Staked – 22pts
Returned – 34.39pts
P&L – +12.39pts