Ultimate Pick 6: Chicago Bears Defense to Feast on Thanksgiving
Another week, another dumpster fire. We were looking great through three quarters in a few of our losses until the Saints and Broncos decided to fall apart, but hey I’m not mad about it. No, not at all. I mean my season record speaks for itself, not good. The only thing I can do at this point is try to convince you to comeback with my analysis of this week’s picks and take the rest of this season one week at a time. The new year starts now. With that being said I’ll save you the BS and just get right into it:
Chicago Bears -3 vs. Detroit Lions
This game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions is not one football fans want to watch as they enjoy their Thanksgivings this year. To put it frankly, neither one of these teams have a lot to be thankful for during their dreadful 2019 campaigns.
Early on this season, the Lions looked like they finally had turned a corner under the efficient play of franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford and a surprisingly good defense. However, injuries have totally torn this team apart as Stafford has been out for the last three weeks and other key losses to Trey Flowers, Frank Ragnow, Kerryon Johnson and Jermaine Kearse have not made things easier.
The Bears have also been bitten by the injury bug this year with a major loss coming in the form of Pro-Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, but unfortunately for the Bears, that hasn’t been their biggest problem as their offense has been horrible. Although Mitchell Trubisky and the rest of the offense looked better in their win over the New York Giants, they still only managed to put up 19 points. As bad as the Bears O has been, I’m betting on the solid Bears D going up against a beaten-down Lions’ offense that is being led by career backup quarterback Jeff Driskel. If the Bears can find a way to just eclipse 20 points, I think they cover the -3 easy.
**The Bears are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games against the NFL North. The Bears are 5-1-1 in their last 7 games against Detroit. The Lions are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games. The Lions are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against the NFC North
Green Bay Packers -7 vs. New York Giants
The Green Bay Packers got absolutely punched in the mouth last Sunday night against the Super Bowl favorite San Francisco 49ers, leaving doubts in many critic’s heads as to if the Packers truly have what it takes to compete for a title in 2019. In my opinion they do, and the injury to offensive lineman, Bryan Bulaga mid-way through the first half made matters much more difficult for them as they had to ask one of their backup linemen to come in and neutralize one of the best pass-rushing units in the league made up of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.
I think the Packers go out and use this week’s matchup against the New York Giants as a “get right” game by absolutely running up the score on one of the NFL’s worst teams. Aaron Rodgers was held to just 104 yards passing last week, something that the Giants could not even do in their dreams, especially without their starting safety, Jabrill Peppers. I like for the underrated front seven of the Packers in this one to make life extremely difficult for an already awful Giants’ offensive line, making it next to impossible for the Giants to move the ball. I think the Packers absolutely blow out the Giants in this one while having a lot of fun in doing so and that is why I am hammering the Packers -7.
**The Packers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss. The Giants are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games. The Giants are 1-7 in their last 8 games at home.
New York Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 41
This week’s matchup between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals is one that I have absolutely no intention of watching. The Bengals’ season has been over for a few months now and although the Jets have won three straight games, one of which came in the form an absolute blowout against the playoff-contending Oakland Raiders, I still don’t want to spend my Sunday watching them play football just yet.
Now, I’ve never been a big “weather is a major factor”, but when you mix poor field conditions with two teams who struggle to score points, it doesn’t take much convincing on my end to take the total of under 41 points. Conditions call for the games to be rainy, windy mess as the forecast for Cincinnati is rainy with a 14-15mph crosswind.
Andy Dalton is back in the saddle for the Bengals, but I still don’t think that’s enough to move the needle for me as the Jets defense, although in the bottom half of the league statistically, are more than capable of stopping an average (at best) quarterback. I’m starting to believe more and more in Sam Darnold, but the Bengals defense has done a decent job of keeping games close this year as they have only been blown out a few times despite having 11 losses. Again, I’m not thinking too hard in this one as I’m taking the Under 41 total points.
**The total has gone under in 8 of the Bengals' last 12 games.
Cleveland Browns -2 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
All of a sudden this game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers has a much different look and feel than it once had two weeks. The Browns’ defensive centerpiece Myles Garrett is suspended for the season and Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph has been relegated to the bench. One thing that these two teams do share in common is the fact they are both in the hunt for a playoff berth.
With that being said, I don’t think the focus will be on getting physical revenge against their opponent, but more focused on winning the ball game, picking up a game in the playoff race, while also knocking a division foe one step back. In my opinion, the Browns have greatly underachieved this season considering how much talent they have on offense. The Steelers, on the other hand, have greatly overachieved considering how many injuries they have faced this season.
As of late, both teams have been running with some solid momentum, but I think the Browns have too much talent to ignore. I know that winning a mid-season road game in Pittsburgh is not something that many teams can do, but I’m taking focusing on the quarterbacks in this one as I’m gambling on Baker Mayfield over Duck Hodges. I think the Browns find a way to squeak by their rivals, covering the -2 and keeping their playoff hopes alive.
**The Browns are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games vs. divisional opponents. The Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Steelers.
Tennessee Titans +3.5 vs. Indianapolis Colts (LOCK)
At first glance, this isn’t a game that many people would consider watching, but on paper, this matchup plays a crucial role in the AFC playoff picture. Not only are both teams hunting to grab one of the two AFC Wild Card, both teams still have a shot to take the AFC South division title.
One thing that I never thought I would have said this year is that the Titans offense looks much better under veteran quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. At the time of the switch, I didn’t think there was much point in benching Marcus Mariota in favor of a guy who hasn’t proven much during his time as a starting quarterback, but boy was I wrong.
The Colts, on the other hand, have really struggled to regain the rhythm they once had early on this season as they have dropped three of their last four games. Injuries have not been kind to Indy as they lost quarterback Jacoby Brissett for a few games and now their two biggest playmakers are out in Marlon Mack and Eric Ebron. Their window seems to be slowly closing. For this game, I have to ride with the hot hand and the team that is just simply healthier. I think this game will be a close one, but I’m betting on the Titans to cover the +3.5 while also considering them straight up on the ML.
**The Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games. The Titans are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks -3
As you can see from my yearly record, I clearly don’t know much about the NFL, but one thing I do know is that the Seattle Seahawks continue to get disrespected and slept on. Week after week I look at their lines and I just can’t believe my eyes.
However, for this week, this also may be a case of the Minnesota Vikings being overrated here. Don’t get me wrong I still think the Vikings are a solid team that probably ends up in the playoffs, BUT I still think the Seahawks are a much better team than them. The Seahawks being a three-point favorite at home tells me that Vegas thinks this is a pretty even matchup, but Seahawks get the three-point edge since their at home. No chance.
The Seahawks should be giving the three points and then some. I would have expected to see this line sitting -4.5 or -5 by this point. Again, I think both teams are solid and these will most likely be your two NFC Wild Card teams, but much like my Browns vs. Steelers pick from earlier, I’m looking at the quarterbacks in this one. Russell Wilson at home, in primetime, is one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen. Kirk Cousins on the road, in primetime, is something you have to watch between the cracks in your fingers. It can be some scary stuff. I’m keeping it simple here and taking the home favorite. Give me the Seahawks -3 all day.
**The Seahawks are 4-2 in their last 6 games. The Seahawks are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games. The Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the Seahawks.
Season Record: 25-41
Season Locks Record: 7-3
Cover Photo via USA Today