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November 26, 2017

There are two NFL picks today.

#1: Take Chicago Bears +14 spread against Philadelphia Eagles for 3% of the bankroll. 

This is a mismatch on paper and while we believe Philadelphia could run away with it if they wanted to, we're not so sure they will. The Eagles are flying high and for good reasons. They are balanced on both sides of the ball and have no glaring weaknesses. They own the best record in the NFC and are likely to add to that mark on Sunday afternoon. Having said that, we don't necessarily seeing them covering this massive spread in the process. This is a game that could see them take their foot off the gas pedal a bit and play down to the level of their competition. After all, they took care of Dallas Cowboys via a blowout because they are a divisional opponent and a long time rival. Against the lowly Bears, they don't have much to prove. That matchup against Dallas was also a prime time showdown between two of the better young QB's in the league in Carson Wentz vs. Dak Prescott! Wentz and company had a lot to prove and did so with ease. Now against a rookie signal-caller in Mitchell Trubisky and a struggling Chicago side, they're not exactly on high alert.

We believe the Eagles will take a comfortable lead in this one and then take their foot off the gas pedal. And if they do, they might just be surprised at how much of a fight the Bears put up. Because while not the most talented squad, John Fox' team always fight through the end! They have a lot of determination about them and an above average defense. Their defense can create plays and limit opponents and we could see them limit this Eagles offense to field goals at times instead of touchdowns. If the offensive-coordinator shows a little more confidence in Trubisky and allows him to go for something other than short throws, they might just put up points in the board themselves and remain competitive. The high draft pick has by now had quite a few starts in the NFL and is a little more comfortable than he used to be. Look for him to hook up with Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright while looking for speedy RB Tarik Cohen on passing-downs. Jordan Howard will once again be relied on by this offense but against the best run defense in the league, the Bears might just have to let it fly a bit. 

All in all, this won't be a pretty game to watch but we do think the value is with the underdogs in this one. This point-spread is a massive one and the betting public is all over it. The Eagles are a great team but they are not a sharp pick in this situation. The average fan is betting them no matter what line the Vegas sets and for that reason, the number is inflated. Being spotted two touchdowns in the NFL doesn't happen too often and when it does, it often presents value on the unfancied team. The Bears are not a good team but they're not a bad one either. They at the very least have a good defense and a hard-working attitude. We believe they might find a way to keep this closer than people expect and stay within the generous point-spread.

#2: Take Tennessee Titans -3 spread against Indianapolis Colts for 3% of the bankroll.

The Titans need wins to keep up with the surging Jaguars and we believe they'll get one at Lucas Oil Stadium today. Historically, trips to Indianapolis haven't served them well over the years with the Colts often leading the division and Tennessee being a punching bag for them with the likes of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck under center but that is no longer the case. Jacoby Brisset is a good young QB but he still has a lot to learn and this Indy team as a whole has regressed. 

The Colts defense leaves a lot to be desired and has been shredded time and time again this season. Their secondary in particular is among the worst in football when it comes to coverage while the front 7 rarely put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Marcus Mariota still has room to develop as well and is far from perfect but he's been excellent in the red zone throughout his career and at the very least doesn't turn the ball over. And given that he's an extremely mobile QB who can run into the end zone and score TD's with his legs, that bring a whole different dimension into this offense. It makes the Titans much more unpredictable and harder to game plan for. And with two legit running-backs in DeMarco Murray and Derick Henry to ride as well, it wouldn't surprise us if the Indy run defense continued to struggle.

If they try to stack the box against the Titans, then the likes of Delanie Walker will likely find room in the middle of the field. Walker has been Mariota's security blanket for a few years now and is by far his favorite target. And as reliable and involved as he's been in the offense, he has surprisingly yet to catch a touchdown pass this season! It wouldn't shock us if he torced the Indianapolis defense for big yards and potentially a score or two today! Highly-drafted rookie Corey Davis is also starting to find his rhythm after missing the first part of the season through injury and with him and Mariota's rapport growing, this secondary could be in trouble.

These two teams met a few weeks ago in a game that that the Titans constantly put pressure on Brisset. The young signal-caller had no idea what was coming to him as Dick LeBeau kept him guessing all day. It didn't help that he held on to the ball too long at times while getting very little protection from what might just be one of if not the worst offensive-line in football! We believe Brisset will get rid of the ball quicker this time around btu that doesn't mean he'll have the necessary completions to move the ball down the field. On the other hand, we think Mariota and company might be a bit more efficient in the red zone than they were last time around when facing the Colts. In that matchup, kicker Ryan Succop was heavily relied on and ended up with 5 field goals! He's certainly a good kicker and could come in handy again but we believe one way or another the Titans, fresh off their bye week and off an embarrassing loss against the Steelers will bounce back to keep pace with Jacksonville atop the AFC South division. The Colts are playing for pride at this point and will not be making the playoffs. Look for them to put up a fight but ultimately fall short. Given the short spread and the fact that we're getting the key number we wanted (-3), the value is with the superior team in this one.

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