So you went with the Buccaneers because Cam Newton was out huh? There was no way the Browns would stay within six of the Steelers right? I’m sure you had the Bears to cover over a pathetic Bills’ team too correct?
The nice thing about Monday night football is that it gives you a chance to re-coop some losses from Saturday and Sunday. This is opening week though and that means we get not one, but two Monday night games to consider. Let’s get to it!
NY Giants (+6) at Detroit (O/U 47) – The Giants went 5-0 in the preseason yet their offense struggled more than anyone else in the NFL. The Lions looked very good throughout the preseason but were victimized by that same old problem of stupid penalties. New York has a huge opportunity with both Dallas and Washington losing yesterday to get to the top of the NFC East with Philadelphia who won.
The Lions have a similar situation in front of them. The Bears and Packers both lost while Minnesota routed the Rams. Getting a head start on the NFC North is always a good way to begin things. The secret for Detroit is simple; Matthew Stafford needs to get the ball to Calvin Johnson and the defense needs to make plays and not shoot its’ self in the foot with penalties.
The Giants have to run the ball with Rashard Jennings in order to get Eli Manning an opportunity to use play-action. His receivers are limited so he needs to have time to spread the ball around. The New York defense will have to get pressure up the middle in order to disrupt Stafford.
Trends: Detroit is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games at home… The Giants are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games on the road… The total has gone OVER in six of the Lions’ last nine games at Ford Field… The Giants are 9-3 straight up in their last 12 games against Detroit.
The Pick: Road teams have been spectacular this weekend which makes me think the Giants sneak away with a win but I’m not buying it. Take the them with the points but the Lions win and take the OVER as well.
San Diego (+3) at Arizona (O/U 47) – The Chargers finished 9-7 last year while the Cardinals went 10-6 yet it was San Diego that headed to the playoffs while the Cards were stuck at home because of their ridiculously tough decision. Arizona lost stud D-lineman Darnell Dockett to a season-ending injury in the preseason and need someone to step up in order to keep the defense near the top of the rankings.
My major question for the Chargers is how will Philip Rivers do without QB guru Ken Whisenhunt helping the offense? The first thing to do is get Ryan Mathews involved. He stayed fairly healthy in 2013 and needs to do the same this year. Rivers will focus on Keenan Allen and his other receivers while trying to avoid the very good Cardinals’ secondary.
Arizona is most likely without running back Andre Ellington who they have high hopes for this season. If he can’t go, former Steeler Jonathan Dwyer will get the call and he’s a nice fit for a game or two but not long-term. Obviously Carson Palmer needs to focus on Larry Fitzgerald and company in order to keep the Chargers’ D honest.
Trends: San Diego is 5-1 straight up in their last six games… Arizona is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games… The total has gone OVER in four of the Cards’ last six games at home… The total has gone UNDER in five of San Diego’s last six games on the road.
The Pick: I like the Cards to cover but I do like the UNDER in this one.