December 6th, 2015 (11:00 AM ET)
There are two NFL picks today. Both were released on Saturday night.
Note: The wager on Titans is a Money Line (not spread) bet meaning they simply need to win!
1) Take Oakland Raiders at +3 spread against Kansas City Chiefs for 3% of the bankroll.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the hottest teams in recent weeks, putting together a string of 5 consecutive wins! They are playing well at the moment, but there is no question that their recent streak is forcing the betting public to pay a premium to back them and as such has inflated this number. That is something that we plan to take advantage of.
Looking deeper into how the Chiefs have been playing during this run, they have actually been fairly fortunate since they have turned the ball over exactly zero times! That is important to note because that is extremely unusual for even championship teams to do that. It is a big reason why they have had so much success over the last few weeks but also why it is not sustainable. The issue is that turnovers are simply part of the game and even teams with good ball protection and football experience get intercepted or fumble from time to time. The fact that the Chiefs have not turned the ball over even once in 5 games is an anomaly and not something that will continue! We wouldn't be surprised if that catches up with them in in this contest and they suddenly have a couple of them. When that happens, Derek Carr and his talented set of receivers such as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will be ready to turn those miscues into points.
Despite their recent success, the Kansas City Chiefs are a team that is extremely banged up at the moment and lacking depth. It's well known that Jamaal Charles is done for the season. His backup Charcandrick West has proven to be a suitable backup, however he is also banged up as well and not 100%. Justin Houston, De'Anthony Thomas, Mike DeVito and Hussain Abdullah are all out for this contest and Allen Bailey who has been great this season is listed as questionable. Then there are many othres that will play but are carrying knocks and are not at their best. The Raiders on the other hand have a fairly healthy roster at the moment.
Derek Carr has grown leaps and bounds in his sophomore season and has shown his ability to lead this team. Carr is the type of quarterback that makes teams pay for their mistakes and has a passer rating of 101.5 which is good for 6th best in the league! The Raiders kept their playoff hopes alive with their late come-from-behind win over the Tennessee Titans. That once again showed their heart and tenacity! They have been involved in numerous closely contested games this season and that may be something that they can use to their advantage this afternoon. It takes experience and composure to win such games and make the plays when needed. Carr has shown his ability to do just that while veterans like Charles Woodson continue to come up with timely interceptions! This group is now battle-tested.
Head coach Jack Del Rio has done a great job with this Raiders team in his first year in charge and brings a lot of knowledge of the AFC West having served as the Bronco's defensive coordinator! Kansas City is a team that he knows extremely well having gone a perfect 6-0 and 4-2 ATS against them during his time in Denver. He knows what it takes to beat this team and there is no question that he is going to use that knowledge to help the silver and black get the win in this contest. We believe both teams will be sporting 6-6 records when this game is over but even if the Raiders fail to get the outright victory, this is a divisional contest and one that we expect to be closely contested. If that is indeed the case the points could prove to be valuable in this matchup. Oakland has thrived as home underdogs recently going 5-2 both straight up and ATS in that situation!
2) Take Tennessee Titans on the Money Line (-131) against Jacksonville Jaguars risking 3.93% to win 3%.
The Titans aren't gonna finish the NFL season without a home victory! They are currently 0-6 in Nashville but have lost a number of close games that could have gone the other way. They've learned a lot from those mistakes and should be able to close out this one against the Jags. Tennessee isn't going to get any better chances to snap this ugly skid than when hosting Gus Bradley's Jacksonville. After this contest, they travel to East Rutherford to play the Jets before taking on Super Bowl champs, Patriots in Foxboro! As if that wasn't daunting enough, they also square off against the surging Texans who've already beaten them and have a road trip to Indianapolis to survive as well. It's safe to say that if the Titans don't get it done on Sunday, they may have a very difficult time getting another W all year! The fan-base has been patient and loyal but has been left frustrated by the team's lack of success on the field and the entire organization including players and coaches realize that. Look for an inspired performance against their AFC South opponents to capture that elusive but ultimately sweet first home win of the season!
The Jaguars had a great chance to stay in the thick of the division race and remain in playoff contention but blew it by losing at home to a 2-8 San Diego squad! They showed their losing mentality once again when it mattered most as their defense failed to limit Phillip Rivers and the Chargers on 3rd downs and especially in the red zone. They traded field goals for touchdowns and their red zone problems were on full display! The Jax defense was supposed to be improved under a coach like Bradley but it has taken a step backward and ranks near the very bottom when it comes to limiting opposing offenses to FGs as opposed to giving up TDs. Players like Cyprien are having a tough time out there and it doesn't help that this secondary is banged up and full of players that will play but are hardly 100%. Jacksonville also doesn't have much of a pass rush and they could find it even tougher against the agile and athletic Marcus Mariota! The rookie QB got off to a hot start this season but has had a few poor games recently and is determined to bounce back! His maturity, poise and character are more developped than a standard 1st year quarter-back and we believe that'll help him respond to adversity better than most others would.
The Titans' defense does not get much attention given the team's overall record and their small-market nature but they have been surprisingly solid this year and have kept Tennessee in most games. They rank 7th in the league in YPG (yards per game) allowed and are especially good at slowing down passing offenses (6th in NFL) which is primarily what Blake Bortles' Jacksonville are. They do hand it off to TJ Yeldon at times but Bortles has stood in the pocket and looked for his receivers more often than not. It doesn't bode well for him that he won't have Allen Hurns to target on Sunday. Hurns was knocked out of the game last week against San Diego and had to be carted off! Bortles will still have the athleticism of Allen Robinson at his disposal but the absence of Hurns takes away a quality option and allows the Tennessee defense to pay Robinson extra attention. The Titans' pass rush is far superior to Jacksonville's and that is one of their distinct advantages in this matchup.
The Jags have only 1 rushing TD on the season which marks the fewest in NFL! Unless they can establish TJ Yeldon and the running game very well in this contest, we forsee them turning the ball over. They are still no doubt deflated by what happened last week when Rivers and his make-shift receivers (no Keenan Allen) tore up the Jacksonville secondary, essentially eliminating them from contention. While they are mathematically still in the race, their playoff aspirations suddenly took a huge hit, especially since the Texans and Colts both won last week! These two teams won't be in the post-season and are very much building for the future therefore but one is desperate to celebrate a home win and will fight tooth and nail to make it happen. The fact that they also possess the superior defense is what gives them the necessary edge.
If interim coach, Mike Mularkey wants to keep the Tennessee job and he certainly does, he knows his squad must deliver a win at home! The fact that he used to be in charge of the Jaguars, will only give him and his players further incentive and motivation, especially since they were narrowly beaten by this same team recently on Nov 19th in a game that they actually outgained them! A huge punt return was the main difference in that tight midweek matchup. The Titans have an atrocious record and yet are installed as basicaly a field goal favorite! There are reasons for that. Look for them to split the season series, as they've done every year since 2008 and avoid an embarrassing sweep to the Jax, which would be their first since 2005 if it happened! Mariota and company have learned a lot over the course of the season and are finally ready to secure a W in Nashville as they get revenge on their division opponents. The return of Kendall Wright has bolstered Mariota's options while Hurns' concussion takes a dynamic playmaker out of Jacksonville's offense.
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