Last week paid off for our loyal followers in a big way with a 4-1 week from the Roundtable. Sean hit his third straight 1Q under. Nick got a big win in the Baltimore-Kansas City under even with that game going to overtime. Patrick hit his second in a row putting his weight behind interim coach Joe Philbin and the Green Bay Packers. Lastly, Jeff came after a couple week layoff with the Browns play over the Panthers. You can’t ask for much more than an 80% clip.
It wouldn’t be right to leave out that I gave out the sole loser for the group last week but I’m feeling good about my play this week. My mantra I proclaimed a few weeks ago of not backing horrible teams is clearly out the window though. I apparently love to get sucked into watching bad football as I did it last week and you’ll see that I am doing it again this week.
Also this week we have the return of Joe to the Roundtable – he of the rocky 0-4 start. I can assure you all though – I have been playing games with this guy for nearly 20 years. When he gets hot he gets scorching hot – and I have a great feeling we’re going to see the tide turn for one of the most prepared cappers I know. Plus he went in for some reinforcement on his research this week that you absolutely cannot fade.
Nick’s Pick (@PetroTLS; 39-35-3) Philadelphia Eagles +13 @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun. 12/16 – 7:20pm CST)
Had a very nice week last week with the under in the Chiefs-Ravens game and the Bears money line on Sunday night. This week I again like the underdog in the Sunday night football game. This time it’s the Eagles, who I believe will get a boost from Nick Foles.
Carson Wentz is going to miss the rest of the year with a broken bone in his back. To be honest, Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to win right now. He’s not going to turn the ball over and he is going to be consistent.
We saw last week that the Rams can be pushed around. E-A-G-L-E-S. EAGLES!
Matt’s Pick (@schools_01; 2-3): Oakland Raiders (O/U 46) @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3) (Sun. 12/16 – 12:00pm CST)
As I mentioned above I’m sticking to the dregs of NFL society and heading to southern Ohio. The Bengals at one point this season were looking like a dangerous team at 5-3 and looking like a team no one wanted to dance with. Then they did what the Marvin Lewis’ Bengals often do and lose 5 straight and fall to 5-8 destroying any chance of earning a chance to lose an AFC Wild Card game. Is it any coincidence this team fell apart when Hue Jackson came into the building after being canned in Cleveland? The Raiders on the flip side have actually played their best football the last two weeks hanging with the Chiefs two weeks ago and beating the Steelers at home last week.
However, I think this week we see a little dip back to what these two teams looked like in September and early October. Bengals RB Joe Mixon is fresh off his second 100-yard game of 2018 racking up 31 total touches and a score in last week’s loss to the Chargers. Mixon is a dual-threat back and one of the few guys that dominate shares an NFL backfield these days. The Raiders allow 144 yards on the ground per game so Mixon shouldn’t have any issue getting to the second level and controlling the flow of the game for Cincy. He’ll be the primary focus for the Bengals offense with backup QB (and not good at all) Jeff Driskel behind center yet again.
The Raiders are traveling eastward after two grueling home games against some of the NFL’s best in the Chiefs and Steelers. They still don’t have a ton of talent despite hanging around with a couple of good teams. The public betting has pushed the consensus line down to 3 which is always a nice indicator to go oppo. According to the Action Network, sharp money is coming in as well on the Bengals at a 7% clip. As long as this one stays under 3.5 when you lock in, the Bengals are the play as I think the team with overall talent will shine through.
Pick: Cincinnati -3
Joe’s Pick: (@abes34; 0-4) Arizona Cardinals (O/U 44) @ Atlanta Falcons (-10) (Sun. 12/16 – 12:00pm CST)
I took a step back last week from the Roundtable after a rough stretch and I’m feeling good with a clear mind and refreshed look at the NFL slate as the season winds down. When I see 56% of the public money coming in on one of the worst teams in the league traveling across the country it piques my interest. Arizona is averaging a robust 10 points per game in their last three road contests. Atlanta got the running game going last week and although they got clobbered, I see the Falcons defense finally going up against a team that they should be able to stop. Josh Rosen hasn’t looked like much of an NFL quarterback and this isn’t the week he finds it. In this battle of the birds, Atlanta should have no problem covering the nine points, especially with the Cardinals barely scratching out 10 of their own.
Among all this though, I wanted some extra reassurance after diving into the numbers. I went no further than the brain my four old son and animal aficionado Brock. I threw out the scenario to him – the Falcons or the Cardinals. He said a falcon would destroy a cardinal. He actually called the falcon a Cooperhawk but hey, it’s close enough for me.
Pick: Atlanta -9
Sean’s Pick: (@Sean_Trader; 4-2) Cleveland Browns (O/U 45.5) @ Denver Broncos (-2.5) (Sat. 12/15 – 7:20pm CST)
I am backing away from the 1Q under trend I railed on the last three weeks, but don’t think we won’t be heading back there again sometime. This one is a game of teams headed in opposite directions. The Browns have played great since their Week 11 bye. Baker Mayfield is playing like the No. 1 pick you’d expect. The defense has played great since Gregg Williams took over the reins from Hue Jackson. They aren’t only playing for pride even after a horrid start but they are also still alive in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Likewise, the Broncos are still alive in the hunt but injuries are starting to take their toll. Losing players the caliber of WR Emmanuel Sanders and CB Chris Harris is a hit to any team but when you are hanging by a thread for the postseason those can be back-breakers. This line has trended downward from a 4-point open. It’s never easy to go to Denver to win on the road but the Browns are the better team right now and getting them at 2.5 is a steal.
Further, if you are a teaser player, the Browns have to be one of your anchors this week. The swing in points along with a large line shift is unavoidable.
Pick: Cleveland -2.5
Patrick’s Pick: (@TCFPGoy and @typical_chicago; 2-2) Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) @ San Francisco 49ers (O/U 44) (Sun. 12/16 – 3:05pm CST)
That’s two in a row for your boy after we saw the Packers absolutely DESTROY the Falcons last week. It wasn’t the 400 point victory margin like I had predicted but I’m sure it felt like that for the Falcons who got off to an early 7-0 lead but again couldn’t keep Julio Jones involved enough during the game and had a tough time finding the end zone.
I will leave the Atlanta alone this week after winning some cash at their expense the last 2 weeks and will head out west for my Week 15 Roundtable pick of the week. The game I have my eyes on this week is is Seattle at San Francisco, specifically the 49ers catching 4.5 at home in a potential letdown & spoiler spot.
Despite Seattle being on a bit of streak since the calendar turned to November (4-2 and have won 4 in a row), the Seahawks have been out-gained by their opponents in those collective games by 244 yards. The only game in which they had more total yards than their opponent was at home vs Green Bay on Nov 14, a game in which they out-gained the Packers by just 19 yards and won by 3.
In Seattle’s previous match-up with the 49ers on December 2nd, the 49ers out-gained the Seahawks by 121 yards but coughed the ball up three times to the Seahawks zero and wound up getting pantsed by 27. This 49ers team in Week 15 is different now though with QB Nick Mullens having a nice grasp on the offense and the pieces of this team are complementing each other well. Last week against the Broncos we saw San Fran cruise to an easy victory with a +1 differential in the turnover battle and out-gained Denver by 115 yards.
Lastly, Seattle doesn’t “need” this game either this week after that hard fought, grind it out win against the Vikings on Monday night has almost certainly secured their spot in the postseason (95%). The Seahawks can’t keep getting outplayed every week but still come out on top, this trend has got to catch up to them and I think they lay an egg this week in San Fran. A great let down spot here for Seattle, take the home dog with the Niners.
Pick: San Francisco +4.5
Follow the Roundtable guys on Twitter: @PetroTLS; @schools_01; @typical_chicago; @TCFPgoy; @RealJeffKerr; @Sean_Trader; @abes34; @TheChalksTLS