November 19, 2017
There are two picks on Sunday.
#1: Take Washington Redskins +8 spread against New Orleans Saints for 3% of the bankroll.
The Saints are a very good team but they are also heavily overvalued at this point in the season. Winning 7 games in a row does that to most teams but that’s even more the case here given that Sean Payton’s squad has also covered the spread in each one of those games! After opening the season with two losses, New Orleans has been basically unstoppable but we believe they have a tougher task on their hands than it looks at first glance on Sunday.
The Redskins have a solid defense and quite a lot of talent. Josh Norman may be the only household name out of the bunch but Zach Brown leads the NFL in tackles while Kerrigan and Preston Smith have been pressuring opposing QB’s! In the back, you have the leader in DJ Swearinger who’s been anticipating opposing signal-callers every move and growing in confidence. Washington is an under-rated squad that has enough playmakers on both sides of the ball to make this a competitive game.
Kirk Cousins ranks 4th in the NFL in passing yards and has done a great job of distributing it to just about everyone. The fact that Washington doesn’t have a clear go-to player actually makes their offense a lot more unpredictable! Cousins gives each and every receiver opportunities and will also connect with veteran TE Vernon Davis. The former 49er has played a big role in Jordan Reed’s absence while Chris Thompson leads the NFL in receiving yards among RB’s! And given how vulnerable this Saints defense has been to screen passes for running-backs this season, this presents a matchup problem for the hosts.
We believe Cousins has enough around him in this offense to put points on the board on Sunday. And with a solid defense behind him as well, we think Washington is a live underdog in this contest. They need wins to stay in the hunt while Drew Brees and company are in a lot more comfortable position after 7 straight victories! Those betting on the Saints at these inflated lines are bandwagoners who have jumped on too late. They see a hot team and want to ride that winning streak but it may be too late. It wouldn’t surprise us if the hosts found a way to edge a close game and win it right at the end but it would surprise us if they did it with ease and covered the spread. For them to cover this inflated spread, they’d have to win by more than a touchdown, quite possibly by double-digits and we just don’t see that being very likely. Look for the undervalued underdogs to put up a fight and stay within the generous point-spread even if they fall short of the outright win.
#2: Take Miami Dolphins +1 spread against Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 3% of the bankroll.
The Dolphins have been embarrassed over the last few weeks and have a point to prove on Sunday. They were humiliated 40-0 by the Ravens three weeks ago and followed that up with a narrow defeat at the hands of the Raiders. Then on Monday Night Football, they were blown out by the Carolina Panthers meaning they come into this game on a 3-game losing streak and pretty much the laughing stock of the league next to the Cleveland Browns! That can’t sit well with Adam Gase and his players and they are no doubt determined to bounce back.
For all its recent troubles, Miami is at least still in the Wild Card race. Therefore while their chances of making the playoffs are slim, there is still that possibility. The same can’t be said for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Sitting at just 3-6 at the bottom of the NFC South division, they are all but done and will once again miss out on the post-season. They are simply going through the motions between now and the end of the season and without starting QB Jameis Winston, we don’t see them breaking too much of a sweat. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a serviceable backup and we don’t have much negative to say about him but all in all, this Tampa team is no better than the Dolphins and should not be favored on the road.
Jay Cutler has performed better than he’s been given credit. He does leave a lot to be desired and has opted for short-yardage passes but all in all, he’s not been as bad as some would describe. As for the Dolphins’ D, it has underwhelmed and was thought to be a lot better than it has been. Having said that, Ndamukong Suh and company can’t be happy with their recent performances and will want to atone for that! Cameron Wake can after quarterbacks and Kiko Alonso is starting to find his rhythm as well. This Fins defense has enough talented players to make some plays down the stretch and get better. If they can do their job, we believe Cutler and his new RB tandem of Drake and Williams might just do enough to win this matchup.
It’s also worth noting that the Buccaneers have owned this Florida rivalry in recent years and that gives Miami another incentive to go out and do well. Playing in front of their home fans, against a local rival, we believe they’ll find a way to edge a close game. Mike Evans should be back for the Dolphins but he’s had very little time with QB Fitzpatrick and might need time to build that rapport. On the other hand, Cutler has a good thing established with his receivers and in particular Jarvis Landry who is among the league leaders in targets and receptions! An additional boost for this offense is the fact that speedster Kenny Stills is questionable heading into this game but should suit up. We believe he’ll play and can stretch the field allowing DeVante Parker and Landry to do some damage. This won’t be a pretty game to watch but all in all, it should be a closely-fought Miami victory when all is said and done.
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