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November 20, 2016

There are two NFL picks.
 

#1: Take Philadelphia Eagles +7 spread (buy half a point) against Seattle Seahawks for 3% of the bankroll.

The Seattle Seahawks did something that not many teams have been able to do and that is walk into Foxboro and knock off the New England Patriots on their home field. Seattle put on an impressive performance against New England and have to be feeling extremely confident about their chance of making a run in the second half of the season.

As impressive as Seattle was in that contest, they now find themselves is an interesting position as they head back home to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. After an impressive performance against a high-profile opponent on primetime television, the Seahawks could find themselves in a bit of a flat spot in this contest.

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a much needed (and impressive) victory themselves over the Atlanta Falcons. While we believe, Seattle will fall victim to a flat spot, we believe the Eagles' victory will have a much different effect. Their win over Atlanta was just Philly's second win in the last 5 weeks. That victory will likely have provided that spark that this team had been missing over the past few weeks.

This matchup also has all of the makings of a defensive battle. Seattle's defense has been well known over the past few seasons and while Philadelphia isn't necessarily known for their defense, but have been playing extremely well this season. Both are opportunistic and have the ability to force turnovers. IF the Eagle can force the Seattle offense into mistakes, they will have a great chance to not only keep this game close, but potentially challenge for the outright win.  

While Seattle is an incredibly tough place for opposing teams to play, the odds on the Seahawks are often slightly inflated and we believe that is what is happening here. We expect both teams to try and run the football and while there likely won't be a ton of success by both teams, it will speed up the game by keeping the clock running. Seattle will likely win this game, but we expect Philadelphia will come into this contest extremely motivated and should do enough to keep this game within the generous touchdown spread. 
 

#2: Take Miami Dolphins -1 spread (buy half a point) against LA Rams for 3% of the bankroll.

Coaching changes don't always pay immediate dividends. Adam Gase took over Miami in the off-season and it took some time for the head coach to fully instill his philosophy on this squad. They got off to a poor start and were soon written off by just about everyone. Since then, they've put together 4 straight wins and now head into this game as one of the hottest teams in NFL. Their self-esteem has had the necessary boost after the disappointing first few games. They head to LA with confidence and momentum on their side and should find a way to walk out with another 'W'.

This might be a closely contested matchup but we believe the visitors have several unique edges. Rams QB Jared Goff will be making his NFL debut and all eyes will be on him as the #1 draft pick! We certainly didn't think Goff was the best quarterback among last year's draftees and disagreed with the notion that he should be the #1 pick but perhaps we'll be proven wrong in time. Nonetheless, there's no denying that he is a talented individual and one that may have a bright future. Having said that, we don't expect him to set the world on fire in what is only his first taste of NFL football. It'll likely take him a couple of starts under his belt to get comfortable with the added pressure and media hype that comes his way and to fully get on the same page with his teammates. He'll naturally be somewhat anxious today and it wouldn't surprise us if nerves got the better of him in one or two moments. Case Keenum isn't a quality NFL starting quarterback but he's vastly experienced at this level and did a good job of limiting mistakes. He rarely turned the ball over and that kept the Rams in games despite a lackluster offense. We believe Los Angeles will turn the ball over a couple of times this afternoon and that'll make it difficult for them to get the victory.

The Dolphins O-line is doing a better job of protecting Ryan Tannehill than it did at the start of the season but has a tough task ahead today facing a solid LA pass rush. Aaron Donald and company are virtually impossible to contain the entire game and while we foresee them sacking Tannehill a couple of times, we don't believe it'll ultimatley be enough. This Miami team is playing with swagger now and has improved as the season has gone on. For us, they're not the real deal and will still fall short of contention but on this particular day, they are the better team and have an excellent chance of securing their 5th consecutive victory! Cameron Wake and the defense are starting to cause problems for opposing QB's and should give the rookie Jared Goff problems. They created 4 turnovers against the highly experienced Phillip Rivers and should be able to get at least a pair against Goff.

Travelling across the country is often overlooked by casual bettors but is very much a decisive factor. The Dolphins were in San Diego last week and this marks their second straight week in California. The Rams, on the other hand, were all the way on the East coast last Sunday, playing the NY Jets and then had to fly cross-country back home to LA for this game. They will have had less practice time on the field and might just be feeling the effects of long recent travels. If they can get Todd Gurley going, they'll have a good chance of winning but that's rarely been the case so far this season. Last week's win saw them only score 9 points, and was one of the few occassions where they topped 100 rushing yards. They had failed to rush beyond 76 yards in each of the previous 3 contests. The Dolphins, on the other hand, have had a nicely balanced offense thanks to Jay Ajayi and Tannehill, frequently rushing for 100+ yards in each of the last 4 games, including two of those games seeing the RB's gain 200+ yards! At the moment, they are the more cohesive and balanced unit and that can make the difference.




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