NFL Picks Week 17 – Del’s Selections

This is it, folks.  The end of a long and successful season for Doc and Del is in sight.  Currently sitting at eight games over .500, it would take a miserable week 17 for Del to finish below .500 for the season on picks against the spread.  That means if you took the picks to the bank all season long, you would have come out making some money — especially if you focused on the Top 3.  Week 17 is always a tough week for picks since we don’t know who will play and who will rest, but we’ve done our best to sort through the nonsense and pick some good ones for those of you hoping to end on a solid note.

Selecting three locks was obviously a little tougher this week, but Del thinks the playoff picture can help you in certain situations.  Todd Haley said he plans to play his starters this weekend against the Raiders, but he wouldn’t say how much.  The Chiefs are locked into the No. 3 seed and can gain absolutely nothing from beating the Raiders on Sunday.  It’s tough not to love the opponent of a team who has nothing to play for, so I love the Raiders getting 3.5 this weekend.

The second game Del likes this week is the Chargers -3.5 at Denver.  San Diego is out of the playoff picture, but they have a quarterback who hates to lose in Philip Rivers.  The Broncos will start Tim Tebow again and while he looked great last weekend against the Texans, he’s bound to experience some growing pains.  The Chargers should be able to keep him in check and should cover the spread here if they have any pride.

For the third and final Top 3 selection, Del is taking the Giants -3.5 at Washington. The Giants looked completely gutless in back-to-back losses the past two weeks, yet they somehow remain in the playoff hunt.  If the Giants beat the Redskins and the Bears beat the Packers, New York would get in.  There are enough Super Bowl champions on the Giants roster that they should be able to appreciate the urgency of Sunday’s game.  If they can’t pull out a big win in Washington, Coughlin could be out of a job.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL Picks Week 16 – Doc Brown Special

Doc got back on track with a 2-1 week in the Top 3 last week including two wins so easy you never had to sweat. It was another strong week ATS and straight up, and the season percentages remain quite strong for both Doc and Del. In other words, keep listening to our picks because we’ve been kicking some butt and taking names.

Doc absolutely loves the Cowboys in his Top 3 this week. Dallas has gone 4-2 since Jason Garrett took over as head coach, with each of their losses being just 30-27. Jon Kitna has proven he’s a reliable quarterback, and he’s played well against good defenses. The Cowboys get a plush matchup against the horrible Arizona Cardinals who struggled moving the ball at Carolina. This is a bad, bad football team that pulled one out against Denver but won’t be as lucky against Dallas.

The last time the 49ers and Rams met the spread was six. The Doc locked in on the Rams saying “if the Rams don’t beat the spread I don’t know anything about football,” and of course they won the bet losing by three. Now St. Louis is at home where they’ve played well and San Francisco is on the road where they’ve struggled. The 49ers made the right call going to Troy Smith and that will make them tougher to beat since he doesn’t make as many mistakes as Alex Smith. Still, with the division on the line, I expect the Rams to seize the day.

After swinging and missing with the Saints last weekend at Baltimore, the Doc is going against them. Actually, Doc has realized how good the Falcons are this year and how much everything is going in their favor. This is more of a pick of Atlanta rather than one against New Orleans. End of game plays, funky fumbles, challenge calls, and pretty much everything seems to be going in Atlanta’s direction. They just seem to be a regular season team of destiny and they’re a highly-skilled bunch. New Orleans is a darn good team and this won’t be easy but Atlanta should pull it out by a field goal at home, especially with what they now have on the line.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL Picks Week 16 – Del’s Selections

Last week was nothing to brag about with an 8-8 record against the spread and a 10-6 record straight up, but Del is keeping his head above the water as the season winds down.  The important thing is we’re still above .500, and while the Top 3 have struggled going 1-2 the past two weeks, you’re still in the green area if you’ve been betting the locks consistently all year. 

As was the case last week, Del is going to sleep on a couple of his Top 3 selections and give it some thought.  I wanted to get the picks out before the Thursday night game begins in case some of you are in pools.  For the record, the Thursday night game is not going to find it’s way into Del’s Top 3 this week, so don’t worry about that.

One game Del feels strongly about is the Ravens -3.5 at Cleveland.  The Baltimore team we saw against the Saints last weekend looked a lot better than the one we watched almost blow a lead against the Texans the week before.  The Saints are one of the best teams in football, and the Ravens handled them.  The Browns, on the other hand, are headed in the wrong direction.   Since a stretch of great football against some of the league’s best teams, Cleveland has squeaked by Miami and Carolina and lost to two of the worst teams in football — the Bills and Bengals.  Having Colt McCoy back will help, but I think the Ravens are a much better team. 

The other two Top 3 picks this week are the Cowboys -6 in Arizona and the Bucs -6 at home against Seattle. The Cardinals are coming off a loss to the Panthers and have become one of the worst teams in the NFL. Jon Kitna is coming off a strong performance against Washington and Jason Garrett has been able to get Dallas to buy into his system. As for Tampa Bay, the Lions surprised a lot of people by defeating the Bucs in overtime last weekend. Tampa will be looking to bounce back, and the Seahawks could be a worse team than Detroit at this point. I don’t see the Bucs losing back-to-back games to terrible teams.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL Picks Week 15 – Doc Brown Special

The public got hammered last weekend when it came to their NFL betting, starting with Tennessee’s backdoor cover against Indianapolis. The Doc checked in at a game below .500 and the Top 3 went 1-1-1, but should have been 2-1 if it weren’t for a mistake by the chain gang with 20 seconds left at FedEx Field. That’s no matter, because Doc has been proving his knowledge all season with uber strength percentages.

In what probably marks a first in the Doc vs. Del NFL picks, the two savants oppose each other in their Top 3s. The Doc likes Tennessee at home against Houston. Doc believes Houston has to be somewhat defeated after their heartbreaking loss Monday night to the Ravens. The Titans have been brutal but that’s because they’ve had several injuries. With Kerry Collins recovered from his foot and ankle problems, and Kenny Britt back from his hamstring injury, the Titans are coming closer to resembling the team that started off the year well. The two of them should be able to pick apart Houston’s pathetic secondary. Lastly, Mario Williams was placed on injured reserve meaning the Texans will have a weaker pass rush than usual, giving Collins even more time to throw. The Doc likes the Titans to prove they’re not chumps with a win at home.

The Doc also likes the Saints at Baltimore. The Ravens are a very good team, but their defense isn’t invincible. Their secondary is vulnerable (as you can see checking the NFL pass defense stats) and the Saints have the type of passing game to exploit that weakness. Despite being a dome team, New Orleans has played well on the road this year, even if it was against weak competition. It won’t be easy, but the Doc thinks the defending Super Bowl champs are hot and will continue their streak in week 15.

Rounding out Doc’s top 3 is Atlanta -6 at Seattle. Though the Seahawks are infinitely better at home than on the road, they’re still a bad team. They don’t have a reliable running game, their passing game turns the ball over, and their defense isn’t strong. The Falcons are a much better team and the only thing that can keep them from covering is a lack of desire. They’ve won seven in a row and should make it eight as they inch closer towards clinching a playoff spot. Here’s a look at the rest of Doc’s picks:

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL Picks Week 15 – Del’s Selections

Del hit a bit of a speed bump last week with a 6-9-1 record against the spread and 1-2 in the Top 3.  It was a rare week after having ripped off several weeks of above-.500 action, so let’s hope we can bounce back here with the season winding down.  Unfortunately, this week has a lot of really tough lines.  As usual, Del will do what he can to win you some money and has worked hard to analyze a week filled with tough match-ups.

As of right now, injuries across the league have prevented three lines from being posted.  For that reason, Del has only chosen one Top-3 selection, with the rest to come when all of the lines are posted.  That one game is Houston +1 at Tennessee.  Oddsmakers are probably banking on the fact that the Titans are due for a win and could get it against a 5-8 team at home, but the Texans are a far superior team.  They showed a lot of toughness in coming back to force overtime against the Ravens.  Houston was a Matt Schaub pick-six away from a tremendous comeback victory that could have kept their AFC South hopes alive.  I expect them to take it to the Titans this week, as Tennessee has completely lost its mojo — if it ever had any.

Another game I love this week is Dallas -6 at home against the Redskins.  Now that Mike Shanahan has decided to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman, there’s no reason the Cowboys shouldn’t turn this into a blowout.  In fact, the Cowboys defense has openly stated their excitement with having to face Grossman instead of McNabb.  Dallas should win by two touchdowns.

Rounding out the Top 3, I’m taking Atlanta -6 on the road against the Seahawks.  Qwest Field may be a tough place to play, but the Seahawks are not as good as their 6-7 record indicates.  The Falcons, on the other hand, are every bit as good as their 11-2 record indicates.  It’s almost like people are waiting for them to hit a skid and it isn’t happening.  They should roll again this week against a weak Seattle team and help the Rams inch closer to an 8-8 NFC West division title.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL Picks Week 14 – Doc Brown Special

The Doc is still cruising through the season posting up strong percentages. In fact, if you’ve been taking advice here at LBS on your picks from Doc and Del you’re doing quite well for yourself — both are over 69% on their Top 3, over 59% on straight up picks, and over 53% ATS, including 55% by the Doc. As usual, your guides see things pretty similarly in their NFL predictions so that must be good news.

Much like Del, the Doc loves the Colts on Thursday night. Indy has lost three in a row largely because Peyton Manning has been having one of his worst streaks ever throwing the ball. We expect the interceptions to come to an end and the Colts to score plenty of points. Tennessee meanwhile has lost five in a row and hardly has any semblance of an offense. The Colts should probably be a 6-7 point favorite in this one.

The Giants seem to be a good bet at Minnesota. The Vikings have been playing much better since making a coaching change but we’re hoping Brett Favre is healthy enough to play. Tarvaris Jackson will struggle against a good Giants defense if he makes it into the game while Favre will be eaten alive. Hopefully #4 plays plenty so the Giants can crush him. The only reservation we have in picking the Giants is Eli’s record against the Vikings. He’s 0-4 lifetime with 2TDs and 9INTs against them. Hopefully his struggles at Minnesota won’t stay with him on Sunday.

Lastly for the Top 3, Doc is going back to his beloved Bucs. Tampa Bay has gone 3-1 when the Doc has made them a part of his Top 3, and they even lost last week when Doc went against them. They were up 10 in the 4th quarter against the Falcons at home and blew the lead. They’re gritty, they’re competitive, and they can play. Josh Freeman keeps them in games and helps them pull victories out late. We have plenty of trust in him and are picking them against a Redskins team that has completely gone down the drain.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

Keep in mind now that we’re in the heart of December, weather will be a major factor in many of these games. There’s a 50% chance of precipitation at many game sites so teams that like to pass the ball may struggle.

NFL Picks Week 14 – Del’s Selections

Ever since Del dominated against the spread a few weeks ago with a 13-3 week, winning weeks have become the norm.  Last week, Del was 9-7 against the spread once again.  Doc Brown and Del both continue to dominate in picking games straight up, as they both went an impressive 13-3 last weekend.  You never know with Vegas, but a lot of the lines feel friendly this week, so picking the Top 3 was difficult — in a good way.  Just a reminder that Del is picking his Top 3 correctly at a 68.8 percent clip, so if you’re betting these games consistently you’re making phenomenal money.

My favorite game of the week this week happens to be the first one you’ll see.  The Thursday night game feels like a layup this week with Indy only giving up three points.  The Titans are horrible.  They don’t have a quarterback, haven’t been able to get Chris Johnson going, and Randy Moss looks like he cared more about winning in Oakland.  The Colts have lost four out of five, and the main reason for their struggles is Peyton Manning’s decision making.  He’s thrown 11 interceptions in three games and there’s just no way that can continue — especially with the Colts fighting for a playoff spot.

The Giants -1 at the Vikings is another great line this week.  I don’t know what’s worse, the “will he or won’t he play next year” or the “will he or won’t he play next week” talk surrounding Brett Favre.  Favre’s shoulder is supposedly messed up — again — but you know he won’t risk his streak.  That could be a good thing for a Giants defense that has been playing well.  In the rare event that Tarvaris Jackson starts, there’s nothing scary about that either.  The Giants are pretty much a pickem this week and they should win by a touchdown.  More analysis after the chart.

(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

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