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Baltimore Ravens +3.0 (-110) – Sunday October 19th ’08 1:00p
The Miami Dolphins are obviously greatly improved this season, but the Baltimore Ravens have not forgotten that they were the only victims during the 1-15 season the Dolphins had a year ago, so some payback is in order here. Besides, do not lose sight of the fact that the Dolphins were able to beat the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers and almost beat the Houston Texans because their running game was very successful. The problem is that all three of those defenses are in the bottom half of the NFL vs. the run, while these Ravens have the best run defense in the league. Thus, look for both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to struggle here, and Chad Pennington does not scare any defense if called upon to win games on his own. It also does not help that Baltimore will be in an ornery mood after getting shredded by Payton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts last week. Also, do not forget that the offensive coordinator of the Ravens is Cam Cameron, who will be looking for a different sort of revenge after getting fired as the head coach of the Dolphins after just one year once Bill Parcells took over as general manager this past off-season. Granted, Baltimore has struggled in recent weeks while quarterback Joey Flacco has regressed, but we expect some improvement this week as Cameron should have a good idea of what the Miami defense wants to do. Besides, the Ravens would have scored more points vs. the Colts if not for turnovers, and that is a problem that should be fixable. Look for a minor upset. NFL Free Pick: Ravens +3 (-110) – Courtesy of LT Profits
Oakland Raiders +3.0 (-110) – Sunday October 19th ’08 4:15p
Now at first glance, it may seem like a no-brainer to back the New York Jets laying just a field goal vs. the lowly Oakland Raiders right? Well, aside from the fact that it seems almost to good to be true, there are legitimate reasons to actually support the Raiders here, not the least of which is that the Jets are simply not good enough to be road favorites. After all, they are 3-2 with the wins coming vs. the Miami Dolphins, who finished 10 yards from pulling the upset at the end of the game, the Arizona Cardinals travelling across the country for an early kick-off and the Cincinnati Bengals with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Furthermore, the Jets did not have that Bengals game covered last week until a touchdown in the final minutes. Meanwhile, as bad as the Raiders are perceived to be, they did have double-digit leads vs. the Buffalo Bills on the road and vs. the San Diego Chargers here at home, and the Jets are not as good as either of those squads. Besides, when you consider that Oakland closed as just a seven-point underdog on the road at New Orleans last week, this line seems much closer to where it should be than most people think. Finally, do not forget that the Jets have always had trouble travelling west, as demonstrated by their blowout loss at San Diego, so they simply cannot be trusted as road chalk here. NFL Free Pick: Raiders +3 (-110) – Courtesy of LT Profits
Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans o46.0 – Sun Oct 19 ’08 4:05p
The Detroit Lions and Houston Texans enter into this head on collision , both exhibiting some horrible defensive tendencies . The Lions are allowing 252.8 total yards per game which ranks them 30thin the league . The Motown stop unit, has been run over for 171 YPG on the ground , which ranks them 31st in the league, and are ranked 30th in the NFL against aerial attacks allowing over 250 + YPG. Meanwhile, the Texans have given up the most touch downs in the league, (20) and have one of the worst pass rushes in pro football , as is evident by notching just 7 sacks. Their lack of any type of blitz, exotic or otherwise ,constantly makes them vulnerable to being torched for big down field plays, gains and scores. The Texans defensive front have also looked shabby against the run, ranking 24th in the league allowing 131 YPG. These teams, despite of frequent offensive inconsistencies will both find plenty of holes to exploit here today for plenty of scoring opportunities. Final notes & Key Trends: Houston is 12-3 OVER hosting a game with a total of between 42.5 and 49 points, with the average combined score clicking in at 51.9 PG. Houston has allowed opponents to score an average of 31.6 PPG this season. Detroit has allowed foes to torch them for 31.8 PPG. Play OVER – Courtesy of Alex Smart
San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills o44.0 (-110) – Sun Oct 19 ’08 1:00p
Buffalo is 4-1 and coming off a bye week. That gave them an extra few days to think about their ugly 41-17 setback at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Trent Edwards was knocked out of that with a concussion but will start today against the ‘Bolts. Edwards has completed 66.4 percent of his passes and has a 93.9 passer rating. Edwards and company will NEED a big game to keep up with this potent Chargers offense. San Diego is averaging 29.7 points, tops in the NFL, and is coming off a 30-10 blowout of New England in Week 6. LaDanian Tomlinson has been hampered by a toe injury and it shows. The Chargers have been one of the NFL’s top 10 rushing teams in each of the last six seasons, but they’re tied for 21st so far this season with just 98.5 ypg. LT’s sore toe equals big problems for San Diego. Tomlinson is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry in his last two games and he hasn’t scored. He could get healthy (at least his stats anyway) given that the Bills are 18th in the NFL in rush defense, allowing 114.2 ypg. With the running game at a standstill, more of the offensive load has been heaped upon the shoulders of QB Phillips Rivers. And so far the former NC State star has been up to the challenge. Rivers is the NFL’s highest rated passer with at 109.4. He’s also tied for the league lead in TD passes with 14. Rivers has also thrown at least three touchdown passes in four of the previous six games. In summary, I’m forecasting a track meet. The Bills last seven games on turf have exceeded the number. Offensively both teams can score and rack up the yards. San Diego has the 12th ranked offense in the league while Buffalo is 18th. It’s likely both teams will get their points with the Bills likely getting more against the Chargers 28th ranked defense. Before their bye week, Buffalo struggled mightily against the prolific Arizona passing offense (#2 in the league). The Chargers passing game was hitting on all cylinders against the Patriots. With a question mark surrounding both running attacks, my guess is that Rivers and Edwards will combine to throw 60-70 passes and that most of the scoring will come via the air. I’m taking the OVER and a serious look at the Bills. By day’s end, San Diego could also be the best 3-4 team in the NFL. – Courtesy of Bob Harvey
Houston Texans -9.5 (-110) – Sun Oct 19 ’08 4:05p
Let’s lay the big number with the Texans. After a couple of heartbreaking losses against Jacksonville & Indy, the Texans finally broke through with a win last week against Miami. The Texans are a lot better than their 1-4 record would indicate. Meanwhile, the Lions come in having another miserable season. They currently stand at 0-5 having basically been blown-out in their first four games & even last week’s last second loss to Minnesota was misleading. It appeared the Lions played a good game, losing 12-10, but a closer look shows they had their fewest first downs in any game so far this season with just eight & were held to only 212 yards of offense while giving up almost 400 yards. Let’s look for the Texans to roll to a big win heading into their bye week, while the Lions drop to 0-6. – Courtesy of JB Sports