NFL: Browns (+7.5) @ Packers $
This is a dangerous letdown game for the Packers. On paper, it would be difficult to even give the Browns a chance to win this game.
But I am telling you this is exactly the type of game the Browns could win or at very least keep within one score. The Browns famously play up or down to their opposition. They can lose to a bad team one week and then knock off the a divisional leader on the road the next. They can look like Super Bowl contenders, then bottom feeders the next.
The Browns welcome back half their team this week after losing an agonizingly close game with a short handed squad against the Raiders. They desperately need this game to stay in playoff contention and I expect to have a quality game here.
The Packers clinched the NFC north last week with a nice win in Baltimore. This may be a spot where the Packers could have a letdown and overlook the Browns ahead of two divisional games to end the regular season. The (7.5) post spread should come into play a high percentage of the time in this matchup so I’m taking the Browns as a dog.
NFL: Colts (+2) @ Cardinals $$$
This is my favourite play of the week pitting two teams moving in opposite direction.
The Cardinals are plummeting down my power ranking after surprisingly being the most dominant team in the NFL the first half of the season. After starting the season 7-0, the Cards have dropped 4 of their last 7 games. They seem to be particularly unsettled by the absence of Deandre Hopkins who is out with a knee injury. The Cardinal’s season hit a low point last week when they were soundly trounced by the lowly Lions 30-12.
My biggest concern about this game is the Cardinals rebounding after a bad performance and playing much better this week. My impression however, is that this team was never really as good as we thought they were. If they can lose focus and play badly one week, it may easy for them to do it two weeks in a row.
The Colts in contrast, started slowly but are now surging their way back into playoff contention. After a 1-4 start, they have won 7 of 9 including a very impressive 27-17 win over the then conference leading Patriots. Carson Wentz has been playing well with a 23/6 TD-INT ratio.
But the real reason for the Colt’s insurgence is their dominant running attack. They have been punishing opposing defensive lines and Johnathan Taylor has a stellar 5.6 yard per carry average. I expect this advantage will be the difference in this matchup as well and for the Colts to continue their march into the playoffs.
After only a couple of picks last week due to many teams being short handed, I am excited for a big NFL card this week with many quality plays on this ticket. I also have started my daily NBA picks and am 7-2 to start the season. Be sure to check my Daily Picks page every day for all my free NFL & NBA selections.