Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Steelers

BTL Week 10 NFL Picks

Went 7-5 versus the spread last week. Had some hits, had some misses that I didn’t see coming. But ever so slowly I’m inching closer to the right side of above 50%.

I’m going to keep this week’s pick’s post short. There was a lot that went on this past week that was bigger than football and I myself found myself less concerned with the NFL, fantasy football and making picks against the spread than paying attention the bigger issues. So in the spirit of conciseness. On to the picks.

Last Week: 7-5 / To Date: 69-75

Packers -2.5 over TITANS

REDSKINS -1.5 over Vikings

BUCCANEERS +2.5 over Bears

PANTHERS -3 over Chiefs

EAGLES over Falcons

JETS over Rams

SAINTS -3 over Broncos

JAGUARS -2.5 over Texans

CHARGERS -4 over Dolphins

STEELERS -3 over Cowboys

Niners +14 over CARDINALS

PATRIOTS -7.5 over Seahawks

GIANTS +1 over Bengals 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Week 9 NFL Picks

Last week I opened with how the NFL was anything but predictable. And with my picks last week (8-5 vs the spread) I’m starting to find some reliable footing with most of the teams. But the underlying theme that the NFL feels a little watered down isn’t slowing at all. The Patriots look to be the best overall team top to bottom but many national pundits of the team (chiefly Bill Simmons and Mike Lombardi) are down on them as a powerhouse because of their limitations on defense. New England may be the best team because they have Brady but ask any rational Pats fan and they know they’re vulnerable to the elite offenses that Oakland and a healthy Pittsburgh team possess.

Minnesota just undermined all the goodwill they built up the first 7 weeks by turning in a stinker against a Bears team that is bottom 3 in the league. Now I know that is mainly due to a rash of injuries on the offensive line, but no one is going to feel sorry for you, not the NFL nor Vegas. But as the tree leaves begin to turn (or at least as much as they can for Southern California) the league is beginning to take a shape into teams you can count to be in a general range. Brady and the Pats against a so-so offense, take the Pats. Dallas will not be blown out of a game because the structure of that offense always allows them to stay competitive. Pittsburgh healthy with Big Ben, as reliable as they come, but be wary of that fluky road game. Philly follows the same line as Dallas. Atlanta will always get to 26 points and in most cases, 30 plus, especially against a bad defense. Oakland, Detroit and San Diego will always be in close games because they have the offensive talent and quarterbacks to do so. The NFC West is built on defense but don’t expect many offensive points, so bet accordingly. This last paragraph is the summation of what we’ve witnessed through first half the season. The only thing left is to get a feel for those second half surge teams, you hear me Green Bay, Tennessee and Buffalo?

Alright, on to the picks. So I completely forgot to make my usual Thursday Night Pick (I would’ve picked Atlanta but that is besides the point), so that pick will be omitted. Every week I’m inching closer to the right side of .500. So for the first time in awhile, I will give thoughts on each game, but I’ll aim to keep it short and concise.

Last Week: 8-5 / To Date: 62-70

(Picks in bold and home team in caps)

Steelers -1.5 over RAVENS

Big Ben will most likely play on Sunday. While he may not be a 100%, I like only laying 1.5 for a Steelers team that wants to get back in its offensive groove.

Cowboys -7 over BROWNS

I am very wary of this game, it is the ultimate trap game coming off the draining Philly game and a huge tilt with the Steelers next week. But until I see a chip in the Dallas armor, I like the Boys to roll in Cleveland.

CHIEFS -7 over Jaguars

Probably the most underrated team in the NFL over the last calendar year as they have only lost 3 games in that span. The Jags are terrible and I trust KC to take care of business at home.

DOLPHINS -3.5 over Jets

Really a toss up to me, but I like the fact that Miami is coming off it’s bye week. Would’ve liked it better at 2.5 but I’ll roll with Tannehill and the offense coming out strong.

Eagles +2.5 over GIANTS

Coming off a tough division loss and I get points against a very average Giant’s team. Seems like a lock, a little nervous of Manning/Odell at home but I’m going with the better team.

Lions +6.5 over VIKINGS

With the amount of injuries along the offensive line, I just don’t see how the Vikings can separate from anyone barring a dominating defensive effort. I like the Lions to keep it close and maybe win.

Panthers -3 over RAMS

It’s going to be a knock em down drag em out game. But I like Cam and the offensive talent over the Rams below average group. And look for Cam to finally get some calls against a frustrated Rams team(Aaron Donald).

Saints -3.5 over NINERS

Despite Brees’ road woes, the Niners simply don’t have the offensive talent to hang with Brees, Snead, Cooks, Thomas and company. Saints by a touchdown.

Colts +7.5 over PACKERS

If it was less than 5, I’m taking the Packers. I like to Packers to win outright, but Luck is notorious for making furious rallies to make the score closer than it should. And nobody takes their foot off the gas pedal than Green Bay.

CHARGERS -4 over Titans

I like both teams as potential playoff teams. The Chargers may just be the best 3-5 team ever. The Titans have their flaws but I like the Chargers to rebound nicely after a tough loss in Denver.

Broncos +2 over RAIDERS

The game of the week, possibly game of the year so far. Oakland finally gets to face a legitimate contender and it is on the big stage of national television. Denver loves being an underdog and they will use that against Oakland. This means more to the Raiders than it does to the Broncos, I expect some nerves from the Raiders and I like that I’m getting points for Denver. Broncos to win and take the lead in the AFC West.

SEAHAWKS -7 over Bills

Conventional wisdom says that Seattle will have a hard time scoring points. Russell Wilson has been pretty bad so far and the Bills are a frisky team that you should grab the points. But Seattle, coming off a loss, coming home, playing on national TV with that crowd against a Bills offense that is not elite by any means, I like Seattle’s defense to overwhelm them, force turnovers and play downhill. Seahawks by 10 points, possibly a blowout.

 

-MikeV87

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Week 8 NFL Picks

The term “peak” has been a common pop culture reference to describe a lot of things in 2016. “Peak television” has been thrown around many times this year to describe its sole place as the needle mover of America’s media gossip.  If not television itself, then the content it has aired that has moved the Twittersphere in every which direction with “peak Trump” or “peak Hillary”. I mean honestly, is there anything from either candidate that would surprise you at this point? But I’m not here to bang the drum of politics, I want to make a point. Regardless of everything that goes on around us, there is one thing that is not even close to “peak” anything right now, and that is the one-time insurmountable king of all sports and related content, the NFL.

With these last two primetime disasters for the NFL; Seattle and Arizona with the “Sunday Night Snoozer” or the blowout in Jacksonville before it was even halftime, I think the NFL is at an all-time low. And when you consider the last decade, it does not look good. To borrow Bill Simmon’s famous line, “are we sure anybody is really good”?

You would have to turn the clock back a little over 10 years to where the league felt as watered down as this. In 2005-2006; Brady and the Pats where on a break (3 SBs in 4yrs), Favre was toiling away in Green Bay (led the NFL in INTs in ’05), Jake Plummer was leading the quasi-resurgence in Denver(I repeat, Jake Plummer), Big Ben and the Steelers had not been born quite yet and Dallas was still pretty terrible. I mean we had Rex Grossman start a Super Bowl against the Colts in 2007!! Rex Grossman! Let that sink in for a moment. I mean can you imagine someone so inept at quarterbacking that he actually led his team to the Super Bowl?!…………..Well……. we did have Peyton Manning’s corpse this past February, so maybe this thing is cyclical, like Clemenza’s theory about mob wars in Godfather Part I (calm down Denver fans, just throwing a little shade, still SB champs).

Anyways, this massive uncertainty week to week has left us borderline degenerate gamblers grasping at the proverbial straws for anything to hang our hat on. Other than Belicheck and Brady (keep in mind they have a shaky defense that can’t generate pressure like they use to), is there anybody you can really trust? Big Ben and his Steelers can’t stay healthy for more than 4 games at a time and cannot be trusted on the road (see Miami). Seattle can’t protect Russell Wilson to generate more than 20 points, much less a touchdown (I had to pick Russell freaking Wilson in fantasy this year)! The young Raiders just might be the AFC’s second best team. We’re only one game away from “what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers this week” for the 6th time in a calendar year. And Carolina has shown us that the league giveth and the league can taketh away before you can bat an eye.

If the NFL is anything as of late, it’s “peak uncertainty”. It feels like this might be the start of a multi-year slump where no one can be trusted and a lot of these picks hinge less on quarterback play (the gold standard of betting from 2004-2014), to matchup based analytics. And no, I don’t pretend to be a founding member of Football Outsiders, but just keep in that in mind when you throw down junior’s college fund on Andrew Luck over Alex Smith.

On to the picks, I went 10-6 last week to extend my streak of plus .500 to three weeks in a row. I will be keeping the same picks format, and I will get back to giving thoughts on each game, just been a little busy with life at the moment, which is why I went a little longer on the intro.

(Home team in caps, pick in bold)

Last Week: 10-6 / To Date: 56-65 

BENGALS -3 over Redskins

Chiefs -2.5 over COLTS

Raiders -1 over BUCCANERS

SAINTS + 1.5 over Seahawks

Lions +1.5 over TEXANS

Jets -2.5 over BROWNS

Patriots -6.5 over BILLS

PANTHERS +3 over Cardinals

Chargers +4 over BRONCOS

FALCONS -3 over Packers

COWBOYS -4.5 over Eagles

Vikings -4.5 over BEARS

 

-MikeV87

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Week 7 NFL Picks

Editors note*****

Totally forgot to post this Saturday night. The picks are unchanged from Saturday (as you can see by my 6 misses so far). As for tonight’s pick, BRONCOS (+8) over Texans.

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As each week that passes, my record against the spread slowly improves to the point of respectability. Last week I went 9-7 against the spread. I took a Jets-like beating in the early games, only to rebound and cover my last 8 games to finish on the right side of .500 for the second week in a row.

So for the 3rd week in a row, I will just be posting picks. The old format will be back when I have more time but for now, why mess up a good thing? (Casino reference)

Now I did miss on my Thursday Night pick (which usually isn’t a good sign for my upcoming picks), but I’ll chalk that up to my “everybody needs to be fired” mood that was consuming me in the days leading up to the Bears game. Nothing really changes for me on the Packers front with their 26-10 win over possibly the worst team in the league in Chicago. Be sure to check out our live cast we did for the game if you want more Packer thoughts. But for now, on to my picks.

(Pick in bold, home team in caps)

Last Week: 9-7 / To Date: 45-59 

Giants -2.5 over RAMS (London Game)

CHIEFS -6 over Saints

TITANS -3 over Colts

Vikings -3 over EAGLES

Browns +10.5 over BENGALS

LIONS -1.5 over Redskins

Raiders +1.5 over JAGUARS

BILLS -2.5 over Dolphins

Ravens +2 over JETS

Buccaneers over NINERS

Chargers +6 over FALCONS

Patriots -7 over STEELERS

Seahawks +1 over CARDINALS

BRONCOS +8 over Texans

BTL Week 6 NFL Picks

As I said last week, I couldn’t have gotten any worse! I returned to the right side of .500 with a 8-6 record against the spread last week. After 5 full weeks, I feel like we are getting to good sense of what teams are. The Patriots have returned to the ultimate reliable with “Tom Terrific” back as the signal caller. The Steelers seem to be a lock as well, just as long they stay out of their own way. The Vikings probably cap out the teams where, at this point, you know what you’re getting.

So I struggled out of the gate but I like what I’m getting this week. It is time to start stacking some major wins here so maybe, just maybe, The Rivera will ask me to be the junior version of “Cousin Sal Sure Thing”. If not, there’s always The Orleans door to knock on!

So last week I changed the format because I didn’t have enough time for commentary. And guess what?! We’re sticking with it!! On with the picks. What follows will be a complete visceral and gun to the head opinion. Bet at your caution 🙂

(Pick in bold, home team in caps)

Last Week: 8-6 / To Date: 36-51 

BILLS – 9 over Niners

Eagles -2.5 over REDSKINS

TITANS -7 over Browns

Ravens +3.5 over GIANTS

Panthers -3 over SAINTS

Jaguars +1.5 over BEARS

Rams +3 over LIONS

DOLPHINS +7 over Steelers

PATRIOTS +7.5 over Bengals

Chiefs -2.5 over RAIDERS

SEAHAWKS +6.5 over Falcons

PACKERS -4.5 over Cowboys

TEXANS -3 over Colts

CARDINALS -6.5 over Jets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Week 4 NFL Picks

So me and Jon Snow have a few things in common. We both stand under six feet tall (rumors are the King in the North is maybe 5’7″), both of us look good in long hair (see my Dave Grohl phase circa 2012) and WE BOTH KNOW NOTHING!!!

6-10 against the spread in Week 3.  Pittsburgh the most reliable thing in the NFL (outside of NE) got lambasted by the second coming of Jesus Christ (Carson Wentz). The Rams somehow scored 37 points. And I forgot the holy grail of gambling rules; never take the West coast team traveling East and playing the morning game! Dammit Arizona, I knew you were frauds!!

I did say last week felt a little wonky. But wow, not even close on some of these. Which goes to show you, making gambling a life choice will land you on the street or in the cross-hairs of some very unsavory characters real quick. BUT, I do this for fun, so no Cousin Vinny looking to break my thumbs. Speaking of cousins, even the untouchable Cousin Sal is off to a slow start this season. Not as bad as me but hey, not everyone is perfect.

So I got a busy week coming up so I’m doing all my picks before the Thursday Night game (TNF), as to usually picking the Thursday game and then coming out with the remaining games Saturday morning.

Here we go, trust nothing except for Belicheck.

Last Week: 6-10 / To Date: 22-32 :/

(Pick in bold, home team in caps)

Dolphins +7.5 over BENGALS

The Bengals could very easily be 0-3 and really should be. Andy Dalton has been running for his life for the majority of the first three games. His offense is deprived of weapons and Miami brings a quality defense to town that should limit Cincinnati’s offensive upside. The Bengals  have failed to pull away from anyone lately and I don’t see why the Dolphins can’t stay within a touchdown of them. I like the Bengals to win but the Fins to cover.

COLTS -2.5 over Jaguars

The infamous London Game, this contest has marked the firing point for many coaches and GMs of years past. And it really couldn’t have drawn two better contestants to get possibly axed. The Colts barely escaped with the win last week thanks to a series of fortunate events that turned in their favor. The Jaguars are a dumpster fire and this loss may just put an end to one of the worst tenures by a head coach in NFL history! Now I don’t think either team is good enough to blowout the other and seal the coaching fate for the other side. However, one team has Andrew Luck and the other has Blake “I make my stats in garbage time” Bortles. Take Luck to win.

Titans +5 over TEXANS

It has been a rough week for Houston. First they get waxed on Thursday night by the Patriots. Then, their franchise cornerstone J.J. Watt gets put on IR for the year and his career may be in jeopardy. And now they’re laying 5 points at home? Sorry but I think the mental toll of the Pats ass-whipping combined with the Watt news has this team distracted. And it’s not like the Titans are bad, they hung with a top 5 Minnesota team in Week 1 until a couple of ball bounces didn’t go their way. They hung with Oakland last weekend as well. The Titans can run the ball and play good defense, that is a recipe to keep any game close. Take the points and I like the Titans to win.

Browns +7.5 over REDSKINS

The Browns are 0-3 but they have been more frisky than terrible. They hung with both Baltimore and Miami till the very end and their only no doubt loss came to what may be a top 5-7 Eagles team in Week 1. As for the Redskins, nothing in their first three games leaves me impressed. They look terrible and Cousins is the main reason for that, I just don’t see swallowing 7.5 at home for the Skins when they haven’t been able to separate from anyone of the last three weeks. These are two terrible teams and I expect it to be close. Grab the points and the Browns to cover, Redskins to win though, barely.

JETS + 2.5 over Seattle

This all depends on the health of Russell Wilson. That knee injury looked bad last week, I am surprised that he is even considering playing. With that said, this would’ve been a tough game even with Russell healthy as the Jets pass rush is likely to make life hell for any quarterback and Seattle’s Achilles Heel so far this season has been protecting Wilson. I know Ryan Fitzpatrick looked absolutely terrible last week and there is a strong chance Eric Decker misses this game BUT, I will not fall victim to my golden rule of gambling two weeks in a row! I’m picking against the West coast team traveling across country and playing the early game. This feels like an ugly war of attrition contest, and I like the Jets to cover and possibly win.

PATRIOTS over Bills

The line is even as we do not yet know if Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett or even Julian Edelman will be suiting up for quarterback. And it doesn’t matter, it will never matter because this is Belicheck and 16-0 is not out of the question this year. The Patriots are coming off a mini bye, they’re playing at home and going up against Rex Ryan who Belicheck has owned as of late. The Bills showed some spunk last week but Carson Palmer very well could have pulled a Ryan Fitzpatrick with his interceptions (6 instead of 4). The Pats don’t turn the ball over, their defense is probably the best version we’ve seen in years and Josh McDaniels is offensively light years ahead of whatever Rex might try to dial up. Pats at home to win and start 4-0 without Brady, if you don’t think that means something to Belicheck, then you don’t know him at all (not that I personally do but that sounded like a good line).

Panthers -3 over FALCONS

The Panthers have sputtered to a 1-2 start, eclipsing the total amount of losses they had in the entire 2015 season. But as Ron Rivera said, they haven’t played “a bunch of slappies” either. The Falcons looked good on MNF as they ran through, over and around the hapless Saints defense, then again, I think the local high school team could’ve that night. The Panthers are more talented, they have a legit defense to keep Atlanta’s running game in check and I think Cam breaks out with one of those Cam games. Gun to my head I can’t go with Atlanta as a home dog. Carolina in a touchdown win.

Raiders +3.5 over RAVENS

The Raiders grinded out a tough road win over Tennessee last weekend. Meanwhile, grinding it out seems to be the only thing Jon Harbaugh’s team can do lately. Baltimore is one of five undefeated teams left and they might just be the worst 3-0 team ever with squeakers over the Bills, Browns and Jaguars. Not exactly a murderers row of opponents. This is a game where the Raiders need to win to solidify their place in the upper tier of the AFC. And I think they can, just based on talent alone. But every year there is a team that somehow manages to stay undefeated that no one believes in, and the Ravens smell like that team. But, I just can’t lay the 3.5 points to a team that talent wise, is not on the Raiders level. Baltimore could squeak another one out, but I like the Raiders to cover.

Lions -3 over BEARS

The Bears are the #1 contender for worst team in the NFL. The Lions are not good but they aren’t that bad either. I know the Lions are without some of their biggest names on defense but I just don’t see how Chicago gets to 23 points without some type a day from hell from Matthew Stafford. It is a division game and nothing about Brian Hoyer and Alson “I’m questionable to play this week” Jeffrey scare me, not even with rookie Jordan Howard getting a full workload. Lions to win and win impressively.

Broncos -3 over BUCCANEERS

These are two teams I was completely wrong on entering the season. Most everybody talked themselves out of Denver repeating the same basic formula that led to the SB 50 win, kicking the living shit out of offenses week in and week out. I was on the Tampa hype train early and still think they have strides to make but if I were betting on this game, I’d look at one thing. The defenses. Denver is competing for the leagues best (with Minnesota) and Tampa has allowed nearly 34.0 points/game to start the season. Including letting the punch-less Rams put up 37 on them. I didn’t know that was humanly possible. Defense travels and QB Trevor Siemian might just be the latest in John Elway’s genius decisions that have made Denver’s roster a living nightmare for the rest of the league. Take Denver laying the 3 points.

CARDINALS -8 over Rams

Last week’s performance in Buffalo validates my gut feeling that Carson Palmer is not an elite QB. I think the Cardinals go as he goes and with him getting up there in age, he can’t be trusted week in and week out. I do trust Bruce Arians to have the words needed to get his team right in time for this week’s divisional tilt with the high flying Rams (sarcasm). This feels like a regression towards the mean game. I expect the Cardinals to lock up Gurley and force Case Keenum to beat them with Tavon Austin passes 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage (thats what $30 million guaranteed gets you Rams). Case Keenum forcing passes into that Cardinals secondary? This could get ugly quick. Take Arizona giving the 8.

CHARGERS -4 over Saints

It’s been a wonky year so far and maybe, just maybe the threat of relocation has riled up the SD fan base into making the Chargers a legit home field advantage again. Or maybe the Saints are fielding the worst defense we have ever seen. It’s a tough call. I don’t like the Saints traveling West and playing outdoors. I like the way Philip Rivers has operated the offense this year while losing cornerstones Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. Despite Brees returning to San Diego for the first time sine he left, sometimes you just can’t outscore a bad defense. And Monday night’s showing has me convinced that the Saints may win maybe 4 games this year? Take the Bolts at home.

NINERS +2 over Cowboys

The Dez Bryant injury news continues to worsen. And after getting burned repeatedly the last two weeks by Carolina and Seattle (both on the road), maybe SF just needs some home cooking to get themselves back on track. Yes the Cowboys looked impressive last Sunday night, against the worst team in the league playing their backup QB, I would hope they played well. Something about this game tells me to go with the Niners. I think it is going to be a close game, I’m banking on Dez Bryant not being a 100% (possibly missing the game), and for Dak Prescott to run into a situation where he has to win a game on his own. Oh, and don’t be surprised if we see Colin Kaepernick make an appearance if Blaine Gabbert struggles again. Niners to cover and possibly win.

STEELERS -4.5 over Chiefs

I should’ve known, never make any statements that say “team such and such is one of the most reliable teams in the NFL” (even though I just did 8 paragraphs up, but different rules apply to Belicheck). This feels like a get right game for Pittsburgh. Le’veon Bell makes his annual return from a September suspension (have him on my fantasy team, fist pump!), the Steelers just got embarrassed by “the pick that saved Philly” and is Kansas City really going to get 6 interceptions from Big Ben? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I like the Steelers to eventually pull away from KC because I just don’t think they can match them point for point. Steelers at home giving 4.5

Giants +5 over MINNESOTA

The surprise of the NFL so far has been that the Vikings haven’t skipped a beat after losing both their starting quarterback and running back. The defense is as good as it gets, and it just may be better than the one in Denver. Zimmer is a great coach who finally got his shot (ala Bruce Arians). Sam Bradford has been the perfect acquisition for a team that relies on not making mistakes. So why am I taking the Giants after last week’s Odell vs. kicking net fiasco pretty much summed up their loss? The Giants live for this game, the Vikings offensive line is banged up and the Giants pass rush is legit. The Giants also have been the second best run defense so far (GB #1) and have suffocated the run game. I see a defensive battle in this game. Eli has been as efficient as any QB in the league and while he can be prone to the dumb turnover, lets not act like Sam Bradford still isn’t Sam Bradford. I like the Vikings to still win but 5 is too much to be laying for a Giant team that usually performs in prime time. The G-Men to cover.

 

 

Best Bets:

Lions -3 over BEARS

PATRIOTS over Bills

STEELERS -4.5 over Chiefs

-MikeV87