2016-NFL-Week 4-Monday night football-Giants at Vikings game preview

Nearly two weeks ago, the Vikings lost their star running back and a key offensive lineman. However, Minnesota hasn’t lost a game in more than eight months. Heading into their Monday night matchup with the New York Giants (2-1), the Vikings (3-0) qualify as one of the early surprises in the NFL. They topped the Tennessee Titans before earning surprise wins over the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers despite an unimpressive offense that is now led by a quarterback who didn’t arrive in Minnesota until the preseason ended. For these Vikings, it is not about offense. With running back Adrian Peterson gone and new signal-caller Sam Bradford doing just enough to move the ball, Minnesota is winning thanks to defense and special teams. Coach Mike Zimmer — a defensive specialist during his six years as an assistant with the Bengals — has a defensive unit that heads into the Read More

2016-NFL-Week 4-Sunday football-Full betting preview

Seahawks (-2 ½, 40) at Jets – 1:00 PM EST SeattleRecord: 2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 UNDERSuper Bowl Odds: 12/1 The Seahawks leave the west coast for the first time this season, while seeking consecutive victories for the first time. Seattle blasted San Francisco last Sunday, 37-18 after being held to 15 points in its first two games. Quarterback Russell Wilson left with a sprained left knee, but he is expected to play on Sunday. Seattle has allowed the second-fewest amount of points in the NFL with 37, 10 behind Philadelphia. However, the Seahawks have struggled on the road against AFC foes under Pete Carroll by posting a 3-9 SU and 3-7-2 ATS record since 2010. New YorkRecord: 1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 OVERSuper Bowl Odds: 65/1 The Jets couldn’t get out of their own way last week at Kansas City by turning the ball over eight times, including six Read More

2016-NFL-Week 4-Thursday night football-Dolphins at Bengals game preview

“We have to move forward and keep doing things better, whether it be protection or anything,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said of preparing a team that fell below .500 for the first time since 2014 with a home loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. “Every time I come in here, there’s something not up to snuff. You’ll point it out to me, which I appreciate. But the key is to win the game.” The short week doesn’t help matters, but Lewis could get two leaders back soon. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict and tight end Tyler Eifert, who had offseason ankle surgery, could be on the field soon. Lewis initially said Eifert is “close”. but the team listed the tight end as doubtful on Wednesday. Miami (1-2) survived the Cleveland Browns in overtime for its first win of the season last week. Burfict’s three-game suspension is over, and on Monday the Read More

2016-NFL-Week 3-Monday night football-Falcons at Saints game preview

When the New Orleans Saints returned to the refurbished Superdome for Week 3 of the 2006 NFL season, the stadium’s dazzling rebirth and the Saints’ 23-3 destruction of the Atlanta Falcons — fueled by New Orleans’ special teamer Steve Gleason’s blocked punt for a touchdown in the opening minutes — became a metaphor for the city’s revival. The stakes are not nearly as high for the Saints this time, but at 0-2, with losses to the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants coming by a combined total of four points, they could use some serious Superdome mojo against the 1-1 Falcons. Saints coach Sean Payton, who was on the sidelines for Gleason’s blocked point, which nearly blew the roof off the Superdome again, is trying to direct his thoughts to a team desperately in need of a win. “It’s the Atlanta Falcons, it’s a division opponent and it’s our first Read More

2016-NFL-Week 3-Sunday football-Games short preview

After seeing the two highest totals go ‘over’ in Week 1, bettors watched the highest numbers in Week 2 go ‘under’ the number. (Saints-Giants 54, Buccaneers-Cardinals 49). Five teams (Buccaneers, Redskins, Jaguars, Raiders, Colts) in the NFL are allowing 30-plus points per game through two weeks and four of them are allowing 395 total yards of defense. The one outlier is Jacksonville (325 YPG) and it’s actually outgained its first two opponents but turnovers (4/1) have been killers. The Chargers are averaging 21 points in the first half this season, which is the best in the league. The Raiders lead the league with 23 PPG in the second-half. For those interested, Cleveland has only scored three points in the second-half this season and Baltimore hasn’t allowed a point in the final 30 minutes of each of their first two games. Cody Kessler will be the fourth rookie quarterback to start Read More

2016-NFL-Week 3-Thursday night football-Texans at Patriots game preview

Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson remembers playing against Jacoby Brissett when both played in the Atlantic Coast Conference. “I remember him being a good player, an athletic mobile quarterback,” Johnson, who played at Wake Forest, said as his Texans prepared for Thursday night’s game at the New England Patriots — and against the rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. “He’s a guy who can make the throws, a great player we have to respect and prepare for.” Brissett, the former Florida and North Carolina State quarterback and No. 3 quarterback on the New England roster, moved up to No. 2 with the four-game Deflategate suspension of Tom Brady. Jimmy Garoppolo started the first two games but a shoulder injury to Garoppolo in the Week 2 win over the Dolphins shook up the depth chart again. While coach Bill Belichick is unlikely to declare it fact, Brissett is almost certainly Read More

2016-NFL-Week 2-Monday night football-Eagles at Bears game preview

Carson Wentz soared in his NFL debut with the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, the strong-armed rookie quarterback will have an opportunity to showcase his skills under the lights. Wentz will play his first prime-time game as the Eagles (1-0) visit the Chicago Bears (0-1) on Monday night. The past week has been a whirlwind for Wentz, whom the Eagles selected with No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft out of North Dakota State. He passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to a 29-10 win against the Cleveland Browns in the season opener. His jersey shot to No. 1 in NFL online sales. Vice President Joe Biden encouraged President Barack Obama to “get on the Wentz wagon.” Instead, Obama — an ardent Bears fan — joked that he would visit Philadelphia “and scout out what all of the fuss is about.” Bears coach John Fox and Read More

2016-NFL-Week 2-Sunday football-Full betting preview

Chiefs at Texans (-2 ½, 43 ½) – 1:00 PM EST Kansas CityRecord: 1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 OVERSuper Bowl Odds: 18/1 The Chiefs pulled off the biggest rally in franchise history last Sunday by erasing a 21-point deficit in a 33-27 overtime triumph over the Chargers. Although Kansas City didn’t cover as 6 ½-point favorites, the Chiefs extended their regular season winning streak to 11. The Chiefs swept both matchups from the Texans last season at NRG Stadium, including a 30-0 shutout in the Wild Card round as three-point favorites. However, Kansas City posted a 1-4 SU/ATS record as a road underdog in 2015, while three of those games eclipsed the OVER. HoustonRecord: 1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 UNDERSuper Bowl Odds: 30/1 The Texans won Brock Osweiler’s debut at quarterback in a 23-14 triumph over the Bears in Week 1 to improve to 4-1 SU/ATS against NFC opponents at Read More

2016-NFL-Week 2-Thursday night football-Jets at Bills game preview

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman stood up and faced the music Monday afternoon, a day after his offense turned in one of the team’s worst performances in recent memory. Buffalo’s total offense output of 160 yards was its worst in 10 years, and its lowest in a season opener since 1979. Roman accepted blame for a game plan that never got into sync. “I will definitely take the blame myself,” Roman said. “I think I can do a better job putting us in positions to be successful.” What was so odd about what took place in Buffalo’s 13-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens is that Roman never allowed the Bills to get into any rhythm. Buffalo did take the last meeting in the series – and the past five – to bump the Jets out of the playoffs in the final week of the 2015 season. “We know each other Read More

2016-NFL-Monday night-Steelers at Redskins to close week 1

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made the postseason 16 times in 24 seasons, played in four Super Bowls and won two of them since 1992. That was also the last time the Washington Redskins made the playoffs in consecutive years. When the two teams meet at FedEx Field on Monday night, it will be a matchup of one of the NFL’s most reliable franchises versus one trying to shed a circus image that has slowly begun to change under second-year general manager Scot McCloughan. For the Redskins, this season is about proving that they are finally building a sustainable winner. For the Steelers, 2016 is about regaining their perch atop the NFL following last year’s tight AFC divisional playoff loss to Denver, the eventual Super Bowl champion. “More Super Bowl titles,” Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said when asked his goals at age 34. “Having two is great, but I think every Read More