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Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preseason Prediction: August 23rd 2014

Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Preseason Prediction: Vikings +4 -110 odds (August 23rd 2014)
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5* graded play on the Minnesota Vikings as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs in NFLX action set to start Saturday, August 23 at 8:05 PM ET. The simulator shows a high probability that the Vikings will lose this game by fewer than three points and has a great shot at winning their third straight preseason game. You may be aware that Week 3 in the NFLX offers some of the best betting opportunities for the season. It is a final dress rehearsal for many teams before the real season begins in ernest. Many opinions focus on the fact that Minnesota is 2-0 and really doesn’t have any great need to play their first units longer than a few possessions. yet, the following system shows otherwise. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 30-11 ATS mark for 73% winners since 2008. Play on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (MINNESOTA) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins. The following game situations match the SIM projections for this matchup. KC is just 2-16 ATS (-15.6 Units) when they allow 300 to 350 total yards since 1993; 5-17 ATS (-13.7 Units) when they allow 100 to 125 rushing yards since 1993; 3-14 ATS (-12.4 Units) when they allow 5 to 5.5 total yards per play since 1993. Take the Minnesota Vikings.

Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 22nd 2014

BEARS VS. SEAHAWKS PRESEASON PICK SPREADThe Chicago Bears (2013: 8-8 SU, 4-11-1 ATS. 2014: 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) won both home games and now go on the road to take on the toughest home team in the league. The Bears did not look impressive in their 20-19 win against Jacksonville last week. The Seattle Seahawks (2013: 16-3 SU, 13-6 ATS, 2014 :1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) destroyed San Diego, 41-14 last week in their first game at home. Seattle is back home to face Chicago from Century Link Field on Friday at 10pmET.

Preseason Point Spread: Seattle opened as a 6-point betting odds favorite and moved to 7 in most books. The total opened at 43.5 and moved to 45 in most books.

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There’s nothing like going to Seattle and playing against the 12th man. Chicago could move to 3-0 in preseason but will have to play a lot better than they did against Jacksonville last week, as they edged the Jaguars, 20-19.

Jay Cutler completed 7 of 9 for 75 yards with one touchdown, but that was in the second quarter as he struggled to get the offense going in the first quarter. The Bears added another weapon for Cutler when they signed veteran receiver Santonio Holmes, the former Jets and Steelers wideout.

Defensively, the Bears allowed 29.9 points per game (30th) and 394.6 yards per game (30th). The Bears allowed 283 yards passing yards and 76 rushing yards last week. The addition of DE Jared Allen should help their pass rush and defense, though he probably won’t see that much time in the preseason due to his age.

Against the Jaguars, the Bears’ pass defense struggled, allowing Chad Henne to throw for 130 yards and for the Jags to pass for 301 yards total.

Seattle struggled in their opener against Denver, but then looked like a Super Bowl contender last week in a 41-14 romp over San Diego.

Russell Wilson completed 11-of-13 passes for 121 yards and added 31 yards rushing on four carries. The other two quarterbacks (B.J. Daniels and Terrelle Pryor) completed three of six passes for 44 yards combined.

Robert Turbin carried the ball for 81 yards on 12 carries, while Percy Harvin caught four passes for 31 yards.

Running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to play a decent amount of time after a rocky offseason that included a brief contract holdout. He did get into the game briefly last week but didn’t run the ball. They also

Seattle allowed just 238 yards of total offense, but that’s no surprise. Their defense propelled them to their first Super Bowl. They led the NFL in points allowed (14.4), total defense (273.6 yards), pass defense (172 yards) and takeaways (39).

They have the best secondary in the game led by cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas. They also kept around defensive end Michael Bennett and that’s key to helping the secondary by pressuring the quarterback.

Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 22nd 2014

RAIDERS VS. PACKERS PRESEASON PICK SPREADThe Oakland Raiders (2013: 4-12 SU, 7-8-1 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) had an offensive explosion last week, even though most of it came in the second half of their 27-26 win over Detroit. The Green Bay Packers (2013: 8-8-1 SU, 7-9-1 ATS, 2014: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) won their first game last week, beating up on St. Louis, 21-7 on the road. On Friday night, the Packers host the Raiders from Lambeau Field at 8pmET in Green Bay.

Preseason Point Spread: Green Bay opened as a 6-point betting odds favorite and moved to 7 in most books. The total opened at 43. 5and moved to 44.

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The Green Bay Packers had most of their full arsenal of talent last week but scored just 21 points overall and 10 in the first half. Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy were all back against the Rams. Lacy returned to carry the ball five times for 25 yards and had two receptions for 22 yards. Nelson didn’t catch a pass but had a touchdown called back due to a penalty.

Rodgers should play about a half in this game, but the bigger decision for head coach Mike McCarthy is finding a backup quarterback. That’s extremely important considering Rodgers was hurt about half the season last year and the Packers fell apart.

Matt Flynn has generated 191 yards, 12 first down and 18 points in the first two games over eight series. Scott Tolzien has generated 299 yards, 16 first downs but only six points in eight series.

The defense allowed 26.8 points per game and 247.2 yards per game in the air (24th) last season. The Packers added defensive end Julius Peppers to complement Clay Matthews on the edge. They also drafted rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to upgrade the back end of the defense. They allowed just seven points against the Rams last week and just a little over 200 total yards.

While the main talk has been about quarterbacks, Oakland still has a problem with their defense. Case in point? Their first-string defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks a passer rating of 145.3, two touchdowns, 14 of 16 for 150 yards and no interceptions.

Oakland allowed 28.3 points per game and 363.7 yards per game overall. Their pass defense was awful last season as they allowed 256 yards per game (28th) so the pass rush should help alleviate the issues in the secondary.

Last week, they gave up 13 points in the first quarter to Matthew Stafford and Detroit. That was without star wide receiver Calvin Johnson as cornerback Tarell Brown was burned by Golden Tate for a 28-yard touchdown.

Quarterback Matt Schaub completed 8 for 13 with an interception in two series before being removed. In the first game, he completed just 3-of-7 for 21 yards in his debut against Minnesota last Friday.

Backup quarterback Matt McGloin was 7 of 15 for 114 yards, while Brice Butler caught four passes for 74 yards.
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr suffered a concussion during the game, leaving with under six minutes left after taking a shot from Detroit’s Larry Webster on a pass attempt.

Carr is listed as the second quarterback behind Schaub in the depth chart and probably won’t play this week.

New York Giants vs. New York Jets Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 22nd 2014

GIANTS VS. JETS PRESEASON PICK POINT SPREADThe New York Jets (2013: 8-8 SU, 9-6-1 ATS; 2014: 2-0 SU, 1-0-1 ATS) are undefeated in the preseason after coming back last week to beat Cincinnati, 25-17. New York Giants (2013: 7-9 SU, 7-9 ATS; 2014: 3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) have won all three games in preseason, but would like more consistency from their starters. Last week, they scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Colts, 27-26. The Jets host the Giants from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Friday at 7:30pmET.

Preseason Point Spread: The New York Jets opened up as a 1.5-point betting odds favorite and moved to a pick-em in most books. The total opened at 42 and moved to 42.5.

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The New York Giants are 3-0 in the preseason, but it’s hard to be happy after the first unit scored no points and allowed 20 in the first half last week. Quarterback Eli Manning completed just 1-of-7 passes for six yards on four possessions.

Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter both threw touchdown passes as they were battling for the backup job. Nassib completed 11 of 15 for 158 yards. Manning is seven for 16 for 49 yards and no touchdowns this preseason, while Victor Cruz has yet to record a reception.

After rushing for 85 yards in Game 2 for the Giants, running back Rashad Jennings had just 17 yards on seven carries against the Colts last week.

The offense committed 44 turnovers last year compared to 46 in 36 games from 2011-12. Manning threw for just 18 touchdowns compared to 27 picks in 2013.

On defense, the Giants lost Jon Beason to a small fracture in his right foot in OTAs and is questionable for the season opener on Sept. 8. At least they did add veteran cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond to a secondary that needed help. That position goes from weakness to a strength in a pass-happy league.

The Jets did win both preseason games as Geno Smith is improving. He did throw for 98 yards on 10-of-13 against Cincinnati last week, but also had an interception.

The Jets were down 17-3 against the Bengals before scoring 22 unanswered points to win the game.

In the opening week, they held on to beat Indianapolis, 13-10 as Smith started and went 4-of-6 for 33 yards and added a 10-yard run.

The running game (134.9 yards per game) gets a boost with the addition of speedy Chris Johnson, who comes over from Tennessee. Johnson ran for 63 yards on 10 carries last week, showing some of the same bust he had in Tennessee.

But the Jets also lost a pair of corners as Dee Milliner suffered a high ankle sprain and rookie third-rounder Dexter McDougle suffered a torn ACL.

The Jets allowed just 88.2 yards per game rushing last season thanks to their outstanding defensive line led by Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.

New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 22nd 2014

PATRIOTS VS. PANTHERS PRESEASON PICK SPREADCarolina (2013: 12-5 SU, 9-7-1 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) got Cam Newton back and the Panthers beat Kansas City, 28-16. New England (2013: 13-5 SU, 9-9 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) came back after a poor Week 1 to beat Philadelphia, 42-35 at home last week. The Patriots host the Panthers from Foxborough at 7:30pmET.

Preseason Point Spread: New England opened up as a 4-point betting odds favorite and moved to 5.5 in most books. The total opened at 43.5 and moved to 45.5.

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Cam Newton returned last week to lead the Panthers to a 28-16 win over the Chiefs. Newton was a little rusty coming off ankle surgery, completing 4-of-9 for 65 yards. He had ankle surgery in March and was held out of the Panthers’ first game against Buffalo.

The Panthers got a strong effort from running back Jonathan Stewart, who scored twice and rushed for 26 yards, Rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin continues to impress with two receptions for 41 yards. The Panthers need a strong performance from Benjamin after losing Steve Smith in the offseason to Baltimore in free agency. Free agent pickups Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery do not exactly scare secondaries so the improvement of Benjamin will be crucial to their success.

They also have to replace left tackle Jordan Gross, who retied with Byron Bell, who moves from right tackle to replace Newton’s blind side.

Defensively, the Panthers ranked second in the NFL in points allowed at 15.1 and second in total yards per game (301.2). This was largely due to Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, who helped lead the Panthers lead the league in sacks.

New England rested most of their starters in the opening week and then unleashed most of them on Philadelphia in Week 2. The Patriots put up 42 points, including 21 in the first half.

Tom Brady was 8-for-10 for 81 yards with a touchdown in his first game. However, he also threw a pick six that was returned for a touchdown by Cary Williams.

Rookie third-string quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 6-of-12 for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Kembrell Thompkins caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown for the Patriots.

The running game was solid as they rushed for 250 yards on 46 carries led by 98 from Jonas Gray.

Ryan Mallett is dueling with Garoppolo for the backup job. Mallett struggled in the first game but played better against the Eagles, scoring a rushing and passing touchdowns.

Defensively, the Patriots allowed 373.1 yards per game (26th) last season and they really missed NT Vince Wilfork, who tore his Achilles. He’s lighter, healthy and should make a big impact on defense. New cornerback Darrell Revis gives them a very physical and talented corner. They struggled against the Eagles, allowing 324 passing yards and 26 first downs.

Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 22nd 2014

LIONS VS. JAGUARS PRESEASON POINT SPREAD PICKJacksonville (2013: 4-12 SU, 5-10-1 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) has played pretty well in both preseason games, which has included improved quarterback play. Detroit (2013: 7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 1-0-1 ATS) lost to Oakland last week, 27-26 but covered the three points. They take on Jacksonville from Ford Field on Friday night at 7:30pmET from Detroit, Mich.

Preseason Point Spread: Detroit opened as a 3-point betting odds favorite and remained there in most books. The total opened at 43.5 and moved to 44.5 in most books.

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Jacksonville went on the road in Week 2 and fell to Chicago, 20-19 due to two late touchdowns by the Bears. But their starters played well and rookie quarterback Blake Bortles shine, going 11-for-17 for 160 yards.

But Chad Henne has played well enough to at least start the season as Henne finished with 12-for-17 for 130 yards.

New running back Toby Gerhart (hip flexor) made his debut last week against the Beras and finished with just 19 yards on six carries, but did have an 18-yard run. He also had two runs in which he was stopped for negative yardage.

The Jaguars’ defense held Chicago to just 79 yards rushing on 26 carries. The previous week, they held Tampa Bay to 249 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers, including a 68-yard pick six from Winston Guy in the first quarter. The defense allowed 28.1 points (28th) and 131.8 yards per game on the ground (29th) last year.

The Lions get Calvin Johnson back this week, though the first-team offense played well last week, putting up 16 points in the first half against Oakland. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 9-of-10 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Golden Tate had a strong effort with three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. Johnson was held out the first two games due to precautionary reasons after undergoing knee and finger surgery in the offseason.

But the Lions fell late int he game at Oakland on a Matt McGloin 19-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler with six seconds left in the game.

Rookie tight end Eric Ebron had a slow start to training camp but has potential to be a Pro Bowler down the line. He showed some of that potential against Oakland with a 23-yard reception.

Defensively, Detroit allowed 23.5 points per game (15th) and just 99.8 yards per game (6th) against the run. However, they struggled against the pass, allowing 246.9 (32rd) yards per game in the air.

Oakland put up 306 yards in the air and over 400 yards of total offense against the Lions.

Giants vs. Cubs Betting Odds & Prediction from Jack Jones: August 21st 2014

GIANTS VS. CUBS PREDICTIONSan Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs
Prediction: Giants -158 odds (August 21st 2014)
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The San Francisco Giants (66-59) hold a slim lead over the likes of Atlanta (one game back) and Pittsburgh (two games back) for the final wild card spot in the National League. Look for them to take care of business against the Chicago Cubs (55-71) tonight due to their motivation and edge on the mound.

Madison Bumgarner has been one of the more underrated starters in baseball since he joined the league. The left-hander has gone 13-9 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.136 WHIP in 26 starts, 9-3 with a 1.72 ERA and 0.906 WHIP in 14 road starts, and 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.583 WHIP in his last three.

Bumgarner is also 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.125 WHIP in eight career starts against Chicago. He’ll be opposed by Travis Wood, who has struggled mightily all year. The left-hander is 7-10 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.524 WHIP over 25 starts this season.

Bumgarner is 9-0 (+9.6 Units) against the money line in road games vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse this season. Wood is 1-10 (-9.5 Units) against the money line in home games vs teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game in the second half of the season over the last three seasons. The Giants are 7-0 in Bumgarner’s last seven road starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Cubs are 10-28 in Wood’s last 38 starts vs. a team with a winning record. Bet the Giants Thursday.

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Red Sox vs. Angels Betting Line & Prediction from Matt Fargo: August 21st 2014

RED SOX VS. ANGELS BETTING LINE PREDICTIONBoston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
Prediction: Boston +121 betting line (August 21st 2014)
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The Red Sox will be out to avoid the sweep tonight as they have dropped the first three games of this series and are riding a four-game losing streak overall. The offense has been able to do nothing during the skid as they have scored a total of nine runs over the four games and while they were underdogs the first three games in this series, those were against C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Garrett Richards and they take a step down in opposing pitching tonight. The Angels meanwhile has won three straight games and seven of their last eight to take over the lead in the American League West by a game and a half over Oakland. They visit the A’s starting tomorrow so there could very well be a lookahead going into that big series. The recent run has given Los Angeles the best record is baseball but it is 5-14 in its 19 road games this season against American League starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.00 or better. Rubby De La Rosa has a 3.79 ERA on the season and that goes down to 3.25 at home in six starts with four of those resulting in quality outings. He is coming off a poor start against the Astros where he allowed six runs in four innings but he allowed six runs in a game about a month ago and followed that up with a quality outing and I expect the same tonight. The Red Sox are 5-1 in De La Rosas six home starts. The Angels go with Matt Shoemaker who has a very comparable ERA but has not been very consistent, especially on the road. He has a 2.72 ERA at home but that balloons to 5.70 on the road and while he has been winning, he has been fortunate to get great run support which I feel comes to an end tonight. Play (966) Boston Red Sox

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preseason Point Spread & Pick: August 21st 2014

STEELERS VS. EAGLES PRESEASON POINT SPREAD PICKThe Pittsburgh Steelers (2013: 8-8 SU, 9-7 ATS; 2014: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) are coming off a 19-16 win over Buffalo, but still need to improve their running game. The Philadelphia Eagles (2013: 10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS; 2014: 0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have given up 70 points in their first two games, losing both. On Thursday, the Eagles host the Steelers from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia at 7:30pmET.

Preseason Point Spread: Philadelphia opened as a 3-point betting odds favorite and moved to 3.5 in most books. The total opened at 46 and moved to 50 in most books.

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There are a lot of things Mike Tomlin would like his team to accomplish in their “dress rehearsal” in Game 3. They’ve faced the likes of Buffalo and the New York Giants, and held them to under 21 points. This will be a bigger test against the high-octane Eagles.

Last week, the Steelers edged Buffalo, 19-16 as their first-team offense dominated, led by Ben Roethlisberger’s two touchdown passes in the first quarter. He ended up playing the entire first half and went 8-for-11 for 128 yards. Number one receiver Antonio Brown led Pittsburgh’s receivers with 93 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown catch.

The bad news was the disappointing effort of the running game as they rushed for just 35 yards on 18 carries.

The good news is that rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier made his debut after sitting out the first week with a knee bruise. The Ohio State speedster impressed with 11 solo tackles and an interception he returned for 27 yards.

Defensively, the Steelers look to be strong once again as they were ranked ninth in pass defense (221.1 yards per game) and allowed 115.6 yards per game on the ground (21st). They did allow the Bills to rush for 150 yards on 38 carries.

Nick Foles is coming off a magical 2013, so when he threw two interceptions in his first preseason game, people began to wonder, Last year, he threw for 27 touchdowns passes and just two interceptions. That offense was able to produce 27.6 points pr game and 41.73 yards per contest (2nd).

In Game 2 against the Patriots, Foles played much better, completing 8 of 10 passing for 81 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.

They also got another solid performance from Mark Sanchez, who completed 11 of 12 passes for 117 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews had a huge game last week, catching nine passes for 104 yards. Defensively, cornerback Cary Williams returned a Tom Brady interception 77 yards for a touchdown.

The Eagles’ second-string defense really struggled as they allowed the Patriots to score 21 points in the third quarter. Last year, the defense allowed 394 yards per game (29th), 289.8 yards per game in the air (32nd) and 23.9 points game (17th). In Game 2, they allowed the Patriots to amass 476 yards of total offense. In the first week, they allowed 399 yards from the Bears, but did force three turnovers.

Texas Rangers vs. Miami Marlins Betting Odds & Pick: August 20th 2014

Texas Rangers vs. Miami Marlins
Betting Pick: Miami -165 odds (August 20th 2014)
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The Marlins will look to win a 4th straight game against the Rangers tonight behind Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi hasn’t received much run support at home, getting 2 runs of support or fewer in 7 of his last 8 starts in Miami. He pitched a solid game against the Cardinals last time out, allowing 2 ER in 6 innings. Miami’s offense should have no trouble putting points on the board against the horrific Nick Martinez.

Martinez in one of the worst pitchers in baseball, going 1-8 with a 7.01 ERA over his last 12 outings. The only reason he’s still in the starting rotation is because Texas is looking to next year. Injuries have absolutely destroyed the Rangers, and they just continue to roll in with Adrian Beltre now hurt with an injured thumb. The Rangers are the worst team in baseball right now, period. They’ve scored 4 runs or fewer in 16 of their last 18 games and aren’t likely to get back on track anytime soon.

Look for Eovaldi to hone in on his breaking ball pitch tonight, as the Rangers bat just .195 in at bats that end with off speed. The Marlins take this one easily.