Last Week: 10-4 ATS
Season To Date: 75-58 ATS
Friday Five Confidence Picks: 13-3 ATS, including a perfect 5-0 last week.
I tried to find a cool term for winning streak at Urban Dictionary, but somehow ended up at "slutty rampage," which is the promiscuous after-math of a nasty break-up. So to translate, if The Spread Zone had been dating a celibate nun named Sister Breaking Even until four weeks ago, then we're on what gamblers might call a Slutty Rampage. To translate again, that means we're a lucrative 36-19 ATS over the course of the past month of NFL games.
Everyone is saying that the NFL's Week 10 schedule is the type that will separate the Andrew Luck start-up, Internet-blogging handicappers from the RG3 quick-start, fizzle and plan for next year type. Neither Marco nor I went to Stanford, but we're both huge fans of the frozen yogurt at Palo Alto's Cafe Fraiche, so I'm pretty sure we'll be fine.
Remember, if you want to contribute to the cause at The Spread Zone, visit our Coffee for Vinny and Marco Button and send us a macchiato. Thank you. We'll be surprised, excited, and immediately caffeinated when someone actually does this. Please leave us a note, so we know whom to thank.
Now, let's get to work on this alleged tough NFL Week. Winners in bold, HOME TEAMS in CAPS.
Indianapolis Colts -3.5 over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: The main flaw with the Colts is their run defense, so with MJD out again this week they will have no weaknesses at all and will hand the struggling Jags their eighth loss in nine games. That's right, we're predicting back-to-back wins for favorites on Thursday Night Football. I'd give you stats, but I feel like most of them would have the smell of Peyton Manning all over them. This one is interesting, though: the UNDER is 7-1 in the Jags past 8 games within their division.
It's funny now, because it's true.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -11.5 over Buffalo Bills: Remember when the Bills jumped out to a 21-0 against the Pats at home in Week 4? New England came back and won 52-28. Even with Stevan Ridley sharing carries in the backfield, he is poised to have a monster week against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Patriots D ranks eighth against the run, which is Buffalo's game, so Fitzpatrick will have to take to the air early again, but some key mistakes will result in another runaway by the Patriots. The Bills are 1-17 SU in recent history against their division rival, and although New England doesn't play well ATS in November (3-11-1 in 15), I'll bet those 3 were coming out of bye weeks.
New York Giants -4.5 over CINCINNATI BENGALS: Giants are coming in undervalued after the loss last week to Pittsburgh, while the Bengals are merely valued with yet another loss to a prospective playoff team. Cincinnati continues to struggle at home 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine, while the Giants love the road at 8-1 SU and ATS in the same span. With great confidence, we say Eli and his weapons win this one by at least one touchdown.
San Diego Chargers +3.5 over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: The Bucs appear to be the most overvalued team coming into Week 10. The Doug Martin hype will take a sabbatical when he slams into the wall that is the Chargers run defense. The Chargers have stats on their side, too, 6-1 SU/ATS in their last 7 with the Bucs, while Tampa Bay has not fared well at home going 2-6 SU/ATS in their last 8. If anyone on the Chargers is a gambler, they'll get the rest of the team fired up about them getting disrespected to the tune of 3.5 points.
Denver Broncos -3.5 over CAROLINA PANTHERS: Denver is better in every aspect- offense, defense, and special teams. If they don't give their opponents big leads, they're tough to beat. We see Peyton coming out aggressive and forcing Cam to play catch up football. Vince Young comparisons and suicide watches ensue as the Panthers (6-14 ATS in their last 20 at home) fall big to the Broncos who have won and covered their last four as a favorite.
MIAMI DOLPHINS -6.5 over Tennessee Titans: The Titans turned the ball over a ton against a great Bears defense, and the Dolphins have the talent to create similar results. Miami has one of the best red zone defenses in the league, making it difficult for a conservative Tennessee offense to score anything more than field goals. Numbers don't favor Miami with their 2-11 SU record in their last 13 against the AFC South, but half of those losses were probably to the Colts and Texans. This is a big line, but Miami only needs one touchdown against an anemic Titans team to cover. Dolphins win 7-0. Okay, maybe 21-6.
BALTIMORE RAVENS -7.5 over Oakland Raiders: If Doug Martin can run for 250 yds and 4 TDs, what can Ray Rice do? This spells disaster for Oakland, because Baltimore took the bye week to refocus on their strength, which is running the ball. Even though the Raiders are stellar dogs ATS at 12-4 in their last 16 and the Ravens have struggled as a favorite 3-8 in their last 11, when you pit the ATS stats against each other, Baltimore is 8-2 ATS in their last ten against Oakland. Run to the bank on this one, Mr. Rice.
Atlanta Falcons -3.5 over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: "Let's stop selling the Falcons short," Marco and Vinny said aloud at the same time. Their improved defense and pass-first offense has landed them the best record in the NFL. To top that off, Michael Turner is actually looking capable as a contributing running back. They are extremely well-balanced and tough to beat. New Orleans will be the bandwagon pick of the week, but let's face it, we knew their offense could score but stopping a Philly team in disarray is not preparation for a Falcons team running on all cylinders. Look for the Saints to score in garbage time to make this closer than it should be, but the spread is safe. The only ATS stat that is relevant between these two teams right now is Atlanta's 4-0 record on the road this year.
Detroit Lions -1.5 over MINNESOTA VIKINGS: The Lions are looking like a sleeper for a wild card spot right now. With the receivers playing well along with Mikel Leshoure showing signs of consistency, they're showing glimpses of the offense we got used to last year. It looks like Percy Harvin will be out this week, so put all 11 guys in the box to stop Adrian Peterson and call it a day. The Lions ended a 13 year losing streak in Minny last year, so look for them to build a 2 game winning streak on Sunday.
New York Jets +6.5 over SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: The Jets are 9-2 ATS coming out of bye weeks, which makes this line is way too big. Even though Marshawn Lynch will have another big day, the Jets will do enough for this to come down to a field goal. Yes, the Seahawks play incredibly well at home - 12-2 ATS in their last 14 - and if this line were 3.5 we might take them. The New York Jets get up for challenges and then lose by less than the Vegas line. If it's not a road upset, we're looking at a 20-17 kind of game with defensive touchdowns scored by both teams.
Dallas Cowboys +2.5 over PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: As any dog fighter would, Mike Vick wants to make his money from the sidelines. If you can't tell by his comments, look at his play- he wants to ride the bench. The Cowboys need to find ways to score TDs and not settle for field goals, and Romo will rise to the occasion for this rivalry game. The numbers do not support our prediction, but they also don't play on the Philly offensive line. Until those holes are filled, the Eagles 12-2 ATS record and Dallas's 1-9 ATS record against division foes doesn't mean a thing. Especially when the line 2.5.
St. Louis Rams +11.5 over SAN FRANCISCO FORTY NINERS: Fisher always has his guys ready for games against top opponents. Except when playing AFC teams in foreign countries. We blame jet lag. The stats don't support our pick here with the Rams going 3-10 ATS in their last 13 while the Niners are 6-1-1 in their last 8 as a double digit favorite. We just see Jeff out-coaching Jim here just enough to lose by 11 points. We imagine this line will get smaller, so be careful when it creeps under 10.
Houston Texans +1.5 over CHICAGO BEARS: In the November ATS game of the week, the 7-2 November ATS Chicago Bears play the 6-0 November ATS Houston Texans. In these types of match-ups, we generally say take the points, and if the Texans ever get points, you take them. The Bears are overvalued because they put up college football type scoring last week in Tennessee. Houston will control the football and our very biased Cutler-hating money says Grumpy Jay makes a mistake that decides the game. And then he blames it on the smallest guy he can find. Houston rolls, making Texas happy they have at least one playoff bound team.
Kansas City Chiefs +12.5 over PITTSBURGH STEELERS: WWJTWD? What Would Jimmy The Weasel Do? He would take all twelve and a half points to the bank. I know, why would anyone take the Chiefs this year? If you want to find out, buy us that cup of coffee and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have to keep some information from our blog-reading fellow football poolers.
Disclaimer: You can absolutely find our KC-PITT stats on the Internet, just trust our pick for free because we're awesome, or buy us a cup of Joe and still go your own way. We're just trying to have fun with this.
Shamelessly addicted to caffeine and gambling,
Vinny and Marco