Thanksgiving Picks

Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions Pick

Calvin Johnson,  Cedric Griffin, Benny SappGame time: Thursday 11/24,12:30 PM

Lions have won 4 our of last 5 games. Vikings have dropped 4 out of last 5 games overall and against the spread. The Lions have won their last 4 home games against the spread.

Lions won earlier this season at Minnesota 22-16. Lions are 11-4-1 against the spread. in their last 16 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0.

Minnesota ranks last in NFL in total offense

My PICK: Detroit Lions (-2.5)

 

LSU vs Texas A&M Pick

Game time: Thursday 11/24, 7:30 PMlsu-texas-am

I expect a low scoring game.

Under is 7-1-2 in LSU last 10 games overall.

Under is 15-5-1 in Aggies last 21 games overall.

Under is 9-1 in Tigers last 10 games in November.
Under is 7-1 in Aggies last 8 games in November.

Under is 16-5-1 in Tigers last 22 conference games.

 MY PICK: Under (+48.0) 

 
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Get Sports Strong Podcast Episode 2 (An honest conversation about Colin Kaepernick)

On the second episode of the Get Sports Strong Podcast we have a detailed discussion on their views of San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick and The Star-Spangled Banner. 

Check out the show and let us know what you think.

 

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Super Bowl 50 Prediction-Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos

 

untitledThe Carolina Panthers (17-1) led the NFL in scoring, averaging over 31 points per game this season. The Panthers as a team, rank 1st in the NFL for turnover differential, total takeaways and 6th in total defense.

The Denver Broncos (14-4) come in with the number one ranked defense in the NFL, and statistically the best defense in the franchises history.  Teams with the NFL’s number one defense are 9-2 all-time in the Super Bowl.

The Carolina Panthers have only been held to under 20 points once this season.

The Broncos have held their opponent to under 20 points 11 times this season, including in both of their playoff wins.

chargers-broncos-football

Defensively, The Broncos rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing defense and 1st in passing defense.

If you’re looking for a comparison of how the Panthers has fared against some of the leagues better defenses; Carolina did defeat Seattle, who had the number one rushing and second ranked passing defense in the league, twice this season. Arizona had the 6th best rushing and 8th best pass defense in the league.

The Broncos however will still pose new threats to the Carolina offense. The Broncos led the NFL with 52 sacks this season and have added 7 more sacks in two post season games. The Panthers will have to continue to get good production from their running game, which ranks as the 2nd best in the NFL, to keep the Broncos pass rush honest. The Broncos defense was able to hit Tom Brady 23 times in the AFC Championship, although due to the Patriots almost non-existent threat to run the ball, Brady and the Patriots did attempt 60 passing plays.

As good as the Broncos defense has been, I expect the Broncos offense to struggle against the Carolina defense. The Broncos rank 19th in the NFL in scoring and 16th in total offense. The Broncos have also turned the ball over 31 times this season, which is the 3rd highest total in the NFL. The Panthers are no slouch defensively themselves, coming in with the leagues 4th best rushing and 11th best defense against the pass to go along with 44 regular season and 8 post season quarterback sacks. The Panthers also lead the league in points off of turnovers.

This game is about so much more than Peyton Manning versus Cam Newton, however of course the quarterbacks will have an impact on this game. For Denver to win, the Broncos must be able to run the ball effectively and allow Peyton Manning to make the smart throws at the right time.  The Broncos defense also must slow down the Panthers running game and cause Cam Newton to make some mistakes.  Peyton Manning must continue to make smart decisions and protect the football. If Carolina can get off to an early lead, and the Peyton Manning who threw only 9 touchdowns to 17 interceptions during the regular season shows up, then it could be a long day for Denver.

I know defense wins championships, just don’t forget that the Panthers also play defense. I expect the Panthers running game to keep the Broncos pass rush honest, and for a mobile Cam Newton to be able to get out of the pocket and make enough plays to win. I love the Panthers in this match-up both straight up and against the spread.  As for the over/under, which is currently 44, I see this game right around that mark making it a risky play on either side.

Carolina 27 Denver 16

(Carolina -5.5)

 

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NFC Championship -Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Preview (Jan. 24)

The NFL’s two highest scoring teams will face each other in the NFC Championship. The 16-1 Carolina Panthers come in a perfect 9-0 at home this season, the Arizona Cardinals have a 7-1 road record, with the lone road defeat coming week 6 at Pittsburgh.

Looking at both teams, its hard to find a clear advantage on either side. Led by Carson Palmer, Arizona has the 2nd ranked passing offense in the NFL and also the 8th ranked rushing offense.  Carolina comes in as the leagues highest scoring team, ranking second in rushing yards per game, and first in turnover differential. The Panthers had a league high 39 take-aways during the regular season and added two interceptions against Russell Wilson and Seattle in a 31-24 divisional playoff win.

Arizona ranked 2nd behind Carolina with 33 take-aways during the regular season and 4th in turnover differential. Both teams gave up slightly over 19 points per game during the regular season.

I see this game as a toss up. The Cardinals were my Super Bowl pick well before the regular season ended, so I almost feel obligated to pick them. However, I am picking the PANTHERS -3.  For betting purposes however, smarter money is on the OVER 48.

(Carolina 34 Arizona 30)

***Bet Sports Strong Rating D****

A-Bet with confidence

B-Strong lean, but bet with caution

C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money

D-Prediction but not a good feel either way

 

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AFC Championship -New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Preview (Jan. 24)

If the Patriots trip to Denver on Sunday turns out to be the final AFC Championship appearance of Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame career, then no other match-up could be more fitting with history on the line. Brady versus Manning; one more time, likely for the last time.

Tom Brady leads the all-time series of Manning versus Brady 11-5, but the series is tied at five wins a piece since the 2005 regular season.

Tom Brady, who already ranks number one all-time for Super Bowl starts as a quarterback, will be looking to win his seventh AFC Championship. A victory over the Broncos, would also move the Patriots franchise ahead of the Cowboys and Steelers for first place all-time with nine Super Bowl appearances. 

The Denver Broncos, who have made seven Super Bowl appearances in franchise history, can force four way tie for the top spot with a win over New England.

The Broncos defeated the Patriots in Denver 30-24 in overtime during week 12.  In that match-up the Broncos rushed for 179 yards on 5.6 yard per carry, while holding the Patriots to only 39 yards on the ground.

The Broncos defense ranked number one in the NFL for yards allowed per game, the Patriots come in with the 3rd ranked scoring offense in the NFL.

For the Patriots to win, Tom Brady will have to come up big for the Patriots offense, just as he has done so many times in his career. The Patriots running game has struggled since losing LeGarrette Blount in a Dec. 13 win at Houston, and New England only managed to rush for 38 yards against Kansas City in the divisional round.

The Broncos will rely heavy on their running game and try to allow Manning to manage the game. Defensively, the Broncos must be able to put pressure and some good clean hits on Tom Brady. The Broncos also must finish drives with touchdowns instead of field goals; kicker Brandon McManus made five field goals last week against Pittsburgh.

While I think the Broncos will be able to run the ball against the Patriots, I expect the Patriots defense to hold up against the Broncos passing attack, and force at least one turnover. Statistically Peyton Manning has been one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks this season with a 9:17 touchdown to interception ratio.

Despite the Broncos strong defense and Patriots lack of a running game, with a healthy Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, I see Tom Brady and the Patriots  generating more  offense than the Broncos will be able to match.

Tom Brady is only 2-6 in his career at Mile High Stadium, but he is also 3-0 in his career when facing the NFL’s number one defense in the playoffs.

I believe Peyton Manning’s hall of fame career as a player will end Sunday in Denver.

New England 27 Denver 20

Patriots -3

 

***Bet Sports Strong Rating B****

A-Bet with confidence

B-Strong lean, but bet with caution

C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money

D-Prediction but not a good feel either way

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NFL Playoffs Jan. 17 – Seahawks at Panthers/ Steelers at Broncos- Quick Predictions

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

The defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks will look to hand the 15-1 Panthers their first home loss of the season Sunday.

This game matches the NFL’s number one scoring offense, Carolina, against the leagues best scoring defense, Seattle.  Week 6, Carolina pulled out a 27-23 victory at Seattle.  This is also a rematch from last seasons divisional playoffs where Seattle ended Carolina’s season 31-17.

Both teams have great players defensively. With the big game experience and return of Marshawn Lynch, I’m leaning towards Seattle pulling this one out.  With a game that I expect to be this close, I’m taking the underdog, because being able to get the spread over a touchdown is an excellent play for a two team teaser.

Seattle 27 Carolina 24 (Seattle +9)

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

 

At 39 years young, Peyton Manning will look to win his first career playoff game in sub 40 degree weather. Manning and his teams have failed in the previous five attempts.

I’ve liked the Steelers all week in this game, but there are so many question marks about the team. Even without Deangleo Williams and Antonio Brown, I think the +9 the Steelers are receiving, is a gift. The fan in me would love to see Peyton Manning pull this out, however, as a gambler I can not trust him to cover that many points, in what I expect will be a low scoring game.  Do not be surprised if Gary Kubiak goes to Brock Osweiler if needed. The -9, is way too many points for me to recommend anyone betting on Denver. Even without Williams, Brown and a bang up Ben Roethlisberger, I see the Steelers competing and covering.  A Pittsburgh victory would not surprise me, but in the end, the Denver defense will lead them to victory. I’m taking an easier approach and teasing +6.

Denver 21 Steelers 17 (Steelers +15)

Two Team Teaser +6 Play of the Week

Seattle Seahawks +9

Pittsburgh Steelers +15

**Bet Sports Strong Rating  for two team teaser A****

A-Bet with confidence

B-Strong lean, but bet with caution

C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money

D-Prediction but not a good feel either way

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NFL Playoffs Jan. 16 – Chiefs at Patriots/ Packers at Cardinals- Quick Predictions

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

This match-up features the AFC’s hottest team against the dynasty of the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady has four super bowl rings and 21 career playoff wins, Alex Smith has two playoff wins.  The Patriots seem to be getting healthier but there are still real issues on the offensive line.

The Patriots, finished the regular season 2-4 after a 10-0 start. The Chiefs have now won 11 straight games after an 1-5 start.

I maybe a fool for beating against Brady and Bill Belichick, but I believe the Chiefs will be able to stop the Patriots running game and get pressure on Tom Brady.  I’m calling the upset. Even if Pats prevail straight up, I like Chiefs +6.

Kansas City 28 Patriots 24

**Bet Sports Strong Rating C **** It’s the NFL Playoffs, anything goes

 

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay will be looking for revenge from a 38-8 throttling that took place week 16 in Arizona.

The Packers were very impressive in last weeks 35-18  playoff win at Washington.  The Cardinals have now had two weeks to think about a 36-6 home loss to Seattle which cost them the number one seed in the NFC.  Ironically, that defeat to Seattle has helped the Cardinals avoid Seattle and instead re-match the Packers.

Not going to overthink this. Cardinals are my Vegas bet to win the Super Bowl since week 6. Cardinals -7

Arizona 34 Green Bay 24

OVER 50

 

***Bet Sports Strong Rating A****

 

A-Bet with confidence

B-Strong lean, but bet with caution

C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money

D-Prediction but not a good feel either way

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