Week 13 was good to me as I came out on top with both of my picks for the week, with the Seahawks going in to enemy territory to knock of the 49ers in their first visit to the new Levi Stadium on Thursday night, and the Chargers and Ravens went back and forth all afternoon and managed to put more than enough points on the board to hit our OVER pick for that contest.
Seattle and San Francisco met for last week’s Thursday Nighter and the game went just as I had hoped. Seattle’s defence maintained it’s solid play in the second half of the year after a lacklustre first half by their standards, and held Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offence to just a field goal for the evening. They pitched a shutout in the first half, taking a once-frantic crowd right out of the game, something the Seahawks had to be thrilled about. Russell Wilson’s 236 passing yards and a touchdown was enough to outplay his counterpart in Kaepernick who had just 121 yards through the air, and as mentioned, failed to get in to the endzone all night. Marshawn Lynch ran for over 100 yards and Frank Gore was held to just 28 yards on the night, pretty much exactly what I expected these two to do in this matchup.
My Sunday afternoon winner came relatively easy for me, and I say relatively because the two teams combined for a whopping 31 points in the fourth quarter. Going into the quarter the teams had combined for only 36 points, so OVER 45 was not a forgone conclusion until the two started exchanging blows in the final frame. Make no mistake about it, this was Philip Rivers day as the Chargers leader put up 383 passing yards on the afternoon and three touchdowns. Keenan Allen was Rivers’ favourite target on this day as the two connected for two touchdowns and Allen recorded 121 yards receiving. Rivers’ one-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 38 seconds to go capped the road victory for the Chargers, and kept them right in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.
After a very successful week 13, I am pumped to dive in to the week 14 action and see where I can find us some winners.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns
Lines – Indianapolis -3.5 (-105) @ 5dimes.eu
OVER 50 (-110)
My Pick – UNDER 50 (-110)
Indianapolis will travel to the Dawg pound Sunday afternoon to take on the Cleveland Browns who are fresh off of a wake up call at the hands of the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. Speaking of the Dawg Pound, a couple of Colts have vowed to leap into the Pound if they so happen to reach the endzone. Those two players happen to be formers Browns Trent Richardson and Josh Cribbs, two one-beloved Browns players who now reside in Indy. Not sure that is a good idea, however I don’t expect this to be much of an issue as I’m not expecting many touchdowns are to be had in this game. Cleveland likely spent most of the week trying to find what went wrong on defence after giving up 26 second-half points to the Bills last week, but the fact of the matter is they only scored ten points themselves. Johnny Manziel finally saw his first regular-season NFL action, and actually looked great in his first possession as he capped it by scampering into the endzone for his first NFL touchdown. However, Brian Hoyer is getting the nod again this Sunday and he threw for just 192 yards with two picks and zero touchdowns in last week’s loss. Terrance West was Cleveland’s leading rusher with 32 yards on the day, and between their two Runningbacks the Browns got just 61 yards worth of rushing. Now some may look at this pick and immediately the first things that can pop in to your mind is the fact that the Colts put up 49 points last week while running over Washington. My retort to that thought is that game was played at an indoor Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and this game is going to be played outdoors in the cold temperatures in a much less comfortable environment for Andrew Luck and company. The Browns defence gives up just 227 yards through the air per game and they allowed teams to convert just 36% of their third down plays. On the flip side, they only convert just shy of 32% of their own third downs on offence, while the Colts allow only 34% of third down plays to convert on defence. These stats could lead to a lot of stalled drives and more field goals than touchdowns. The cold air in Cleveland will likely also make the kicking game more difficult, so there won’t be any gimmies in this one. Take the UNDER 50 in this game and see if the Browns can possibly use their homefield advantage and pull a week 14 upset over the Colts.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Line – Houston -7 (+115) @ 5dimes.eu
OVER 42 (-110)
My Pick – TEXANS -7 (+115)
Another team that lit up the scoreboard last week was the Houston Texans, and they look to carry that momentum into this week’s tilt with the now two-win Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags knocked off the Giants last week to grab their second victory of the season, showing signs that this team can possibly be of relevance next season. However, sometimes young teams like the Jags are a one step forward and two step back kind of team, and this week is going to be one of those steps back. The fact of the matter is J.J. Watt is just not very nice to young Quarterbacks and Blake Bortles could be in for a rough day. Jacksonville averages just 15 points for per game and Blake Bortles has passed for just 202 yards per game on average, and I don’t imagine playing against who will be the unanimous Defensive Player of the Year and an MVP candidate in Watt will help that cause at all. This isn’t to say I am expecting six more touchdowns from Ryan Fitzpatrick like he had in last week’s beatdown of Tennessee, but this offense is better with him behind center than Ryan Mallett. I haven’t even mentioned Arian Foster either as someone who can quite literally run over the Jags defence, as Arian has been a big part of the Texans averaging 134 yards rushing per game. DeAndre Hopkins is another name to look out for on the Houston offense as he compiled 238 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and an average of 26.4 yards per catch last week. This guy is possibly the next breakout star receiver in this league. He seems to feed off of Fitzpatrick’s strong throwing arm through tight windows, and he doesn’t drop many passes. Jacksonville gives up over 27 points per game this season, and as mentioned they only score 15 themselves. Not a good recipe at all, and it will be tough to score against Watt and Co. this Sunday. Jacksonville looks to be like a team on the rise but they will be humbled once again on Sunday and a Houston cover here is a good bet.