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Smooth’s NFL Football Picks – Super Bowl 52 Prediction

patriots eagles

After 6 months and 544 games, it’s down to the final two teams for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. For one team, it’s a chance to cement their legacy as one of the greatest teams in NFL history. For the other, it’s a chance to break nearly 60 years of heart break. Here’s our final edition of smooth’s NFL football picks for the season.

All odds courtesy of oddsshark.com

Sunday February 4th
Super Bowl 52
US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
New England vs. Philadelphia
Line: Patriots by 4½

The line on this game keeps getting lower. Probably because they saw the Eagles destroying Minnesota as a sign that they could give the Patriots a run for their money. That includes New England’s come from behind victory against Jacksonville.

We’re gonna take a look at both teams starting head to head with the Offense. New England gets the edge with total yards per game, they were #1 in the league. But when it comes to points, it’s pretty much even at 28 per game this season. The Pats get the edge in the passing game, the Eagles the edge in the rushing game.


QB – The edge goes to Tom Brady. Now in his 17th season, he has had his share of success in the big game, 5 times to be exact, minus a couple of Giants losses. For Nick Foles, he’s in relief for Carson Wentz and so far, he’s kept the Eagles out of trouble in all of his starts. In last week’s win against the Vikings, he was spectacular, throwing for 3 TD’s.

Advantage – new-england-patriots-logo-transparent.png


RB – The edge goes to the Eagles. Jay Adjai acquired mid-season from Miami gave them a distinctive run game, rushing for 408 yards. LeGarrette Blount is their bruising red zone back. He leads the team with 766 yards rushing. Corey Clement gives them options on rushing or passing with 6 TD this season. The Patriots have Dion Lewis, who rushed for nearly 900 yards this season and 6 TD’s. Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead have 5 TD’s each between them.

Advantage –


Receivers – The Patriots have the big edge. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is THE go-to guy for Brady and leads the team with 8 TD’s and over 1,000 yards on the season. Brandin Cooks, the free agent pick up from the Saints went over 1,000 receiving yards as well and grabbed 7 TD’s. Danny Amendola, James White and Chris Hogan are the other options at receiving. The Eagles receivers are led by Zach Ertyz, who had over 800 yards and 8 TD’s. Nelson Ag-holor and Alshon Jeffrey each had over 750 yards receiving, with Jeffrey grabbing 9 TD’s to lead the team and Agholor with 8. Torrey Smith and Trey Burton and Brent Celek are the other go-to guys at receiver.

Advantage – new-england-patriots-logo-transparent.png


Offensive Line – Both teams have allowed few sacks to their Quarterbacks. The Eagles front four were able to get their offense 338 total first downs on the season with over 5,800 total offensive yards. The Patriots O-line was better, with over 389 total first downs and over 6,300 total offensive yards on the season, giving New England the edge in this category.

Advantage – new-england-patriots-logo-transparent.png

Switching to Defense, the Eagles have the edge allowing only 306.5 total yards per game to the Patriots 366 yards allowed. Philadelphia leads in both passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed and third down conversions allowed. However, looking in-between the lines, both teams allowed only 18 points per game.


Defensive Line – The Patriots run a 4-3 offensive scheme, with Defensive end Trey Flowers leading the way with 6½ sacks on the year. Eric Lee is the other defensive end, with Malcom Brown and Lawrence Guy inside at tackle. The line accounted for 13 ½ sacks on the season. The Eagles run a 4-3 scheme, as well, with Brandon Graham leading the way with 9½ sacks on the season. Vinny Curry is the other Defensive end, with Fletcher cox and Timmy Jernigan inside at tackle. The eagles front four have over 25 sacks among them. Give them the slight edge.

Advantage –


Linebackers – The big guys in-between for the Eagles are Nigel Bradham, Dannell Ellerbe and Mychal Kendricks with Najee Good and Kamu Grugier-Hill as backups. Bradham leads the team in tackles with 88 on the season. Kendricks not too far behind at 73. The Patriots linebackers are Kyle Van Noy, David Harris and Elandon Roberts, with Marquis Flowers and Nicholas Grigsby as backups. Van Noy is second on the team with 5½ sacks. Both squads are pretty much even.

Advantage – Even


Secondary – The Eagles are top heavy in the defensive backfield, with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby at the corners, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod playing safeties. Patrick Robinson leads the team with 4 interceptions coming off the bench. The Patriots safeties, Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty leads the team in Tackles. Former Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore survey the cornerback positions. Duron Harmon leads the team with 4 Interceptions on the season. Call it even.

Advantage – Even


Special Teams – Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has only missed 3 extra points and was 4-4 from 50+ yards. Punter Ryan Allen has a 43.4 average with 8 inside 10 yards. Dion Lewis is their Kick Returner, he ran a 103 yard kick off for a TD this season. The Eagles Jake Elliott had a 61 yard game winning field goal against the Giants earlier this year. He was 5-6 from 50 yards out, but overall was 83.9 percent on the season. Kenjon Barner takes both Punts and Kicks. My money is on the Patriots in that category.

Advantage – new-england-patriots-logo-transparent.png


Coaches – What hasn’t been said about Bill Belichek? Now in his 17th season, he’s going for his 6th Super Bowl ring, his 8th in his coaching career. Some have accused him of cheating to get where he is. But overall, you have to admire how he’s able to bring it together when the going gets rough. As for 2nd year coach, Doug Peterson, No one expected the Eagles to come together this quickly. But the nucleus was there from the Chip Kelly days and he was at the right place at the right time. However, give the advantage to experience and the Patriots.

Advantage – new-england-patriots-logo-transparent.png


Intangibles – Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell, Rocky, Independence Hall and of course, Cheese Steak sandwiches. Boston also is rich in American History, with the Boston Harbor, Bunker Hill, Fenway Park and of course, New England Clam Chowder. Let’s call it even.

Advantage – Even

Final Analysis – So here’s our prediction. This game is much closer than everyone expected. Both teams have outstanding defenses and pretty potent offenses. The wild card in all of this is Eagles QB Nick Foles. He started off slow in four of his five starts. He finally broke it open, taking apart a weakened Minnesota defense, which was supposed to be the best in the NFL. If he has the same game this weekend, watch out. New England has been the luckiest team in Super Bowls. We all know what happened last time they were down. If Tom Brady can continue to show his magic, there no question he’ll have a chance to tie a Super Bowl Mark with 6 wins with a victory. I like Brady’s chances.

Smooth’s pick – New England (24-16)
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Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblers anonymous dot org.

And that is our Super Bowl Pick for Smooth NFL Picks for this season. Thanks for joining us all season long. We hope to see you again in September.

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AFC/NFC Championship Weekend – 2018

 

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Championship weekend is upon us. Looking back at last September’s predictions, we got 1 team out of 4 correct on who would make it this far, the New England Patriots. The other three well, at least two of them were surprises. Two intriguing matchups will make Super Bowl 52 an exciting game two weeks from now.

Last week, we were 2-2 head to head, against the spread we were 1-3

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Sunday, January 21

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jags patriots
Jacksonville at New England
Line: Patriots by 8½

The Jags completely manhandled an ill-prepared Pittsburgh Steelers team last weekend. QB Blake Bortles basically stayed out of trouble throwing for 214 yards passing and a TD. Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and 3 TD’s. They play in their third AFC championship game, this time against the Patriots, who are in their 7th AFC Final in 7 years. They easily disposed of Tennessee, with Tom Brady throwing for 337 yards passing and three TD’s. Historically, the Patriots have owned the Jags with a 10-1 record. Jacksonville’s last win against the Patriots was during Wildcard Weekend in 1999. Some writers are calling this an easy path for New England, but there are some warning signs. Tom Brady was let up in practice after he jammed his hand. X-rays were negative. Jacksonville’s vice-president of football operations is a familiar face to Patriots fans. Tom Coughlin was the head coach during the Giants Super Bowl wins against Tom Brady and the Patriots, and I’m sure he’s giving his head coach Doug Marrone some scouting on New England. The Jags defense is built similar to those Giants Super Bowl teams. The big difference in this game is how Blake Bortles plays. He is no Eli Manning. If the Jags offense can keep the ball away from Tom Brady, Jacksonville has a chance to win. But the Patriots are just too good to go against at home.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (21-16)

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vikings eagles

Minnesota at Philadelphia
Line: Vikings by 3

The Eagles have bent, but haven’t broken. They’ve found ways to win the last 3 out of 4 games. They escaped against Atlanta last weekend with the help of the defense. They were able to shut down Matt Ryan and his high powered offense. But now they have a bigger foe this weekend. The Vikings offense is way more powerful than the Falcons. And even though they almost blew it last weekend verses New Orleans, they still have the advantage. Historically, this series is tied at 13 games apiece. Their last meeting was in 2016, where the Eagles were victorious during the regular season. Philly are also 3-0 in the playoffs against Minnesota. If the Eagles are going to win this game, they’re going to have to score some points. 15 is not enough points for them to win, even if their defense plays well. Nick Foles needs to connect with Alston Jeffrey often. Once that’s done the Eagles defense can go to work. Vikings QB Case Keenum has excelled this season and looks for a payday in the off season if he goes to the Super Bowl. A win and Minnesota gets the first home game in Super Bowl history.

Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (24-18)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to GamblersAnonymous.org.

And that’s our conference championship picks here at smooth’s NFL football picks. Join us on February 1st for our final edition. We’ll have in depth analysis on both winners from this weekend’s games.

We’ll see you later!

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Smooth’s NFL Football Divisional Playoff Picks 2018

 

nfl-playoffs-odds-picks-predictions

The Divisional playoffs brings the top two teams of each conference into the mix verses the winners of wildcard weekend.

Last week, we were 3-1 head to head, 2-2 against the spread.

All Odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Saturday, January 13

falcons eagles

Atlanta at Philadelphia
Line: Falcons by 3

The Falcons did what they had to do in LA to dominate the Rams and send them packing for the off-season. Now they travel to Philadelphia where the line on this game favors the “Dirty Birds” for one reason. The Eagles offense issues at the end of the season put them with a question mark when QB Carson Wentz was lost for the season due to injury. He threw for 3,200 yards with 33 TD’s, only 7 INT’s and a QB rating of 101.7. By comparison, back up QB Nick Foles has a 79.5 QB rating with 5 TD’s and 2 interceptions in three games. The Eagles were a pass heavy team with Alshon Jeffrey leading the team with 9 TD receptions. On defense, Philly had 38 sacks with defensive end Brandon Graham leading the way with 9 ½ sacks. Patrick Robinson leads the team with 4 interceptions on the year. If the Eagles are going to win this game, they’re going to need to get their offense going. They have the edge slightly on defense, so its gonna have to be all hands on deck. But I give the match-up to the “Dirty Birds”.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (24-21)

titans patriots

Tennessee at New England
Line: Patriots by 13½

The Titans pulled off an incredible comeback against Kansas City last weekend, and now they’ll have to play the same type of game against a tougher opponent in the Patriots. What can you say that hasn’t been said about New England? This team finds ways to win, and in the post season, that’s no exception, except with Eli Manning and the Giants, of course. Tom Brady at the age of 40 is probably better than he’s ever beenin his career, throwing for over 4,500 yards, 32 TD’s and only 8 interceptions. Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Cooks each had over a 1,000 yards receiving for the year. On defense, defensive end Trey Flowers leads the team with 6.5 sacks. The Patriots had 42 sacks overall on the season. Duron Harmon snagged 4 interceptions to lead the team. If you look at this matchup, the Patriots completely dominate the Titans. They have double the offensive total yards, they’ve scored more points than the Titans and they’ve allowed less points on defense. That would make this pick a ‘no-brainer.”

Smooth’s Pick – New England (35-10)

 

Sunday, January 14

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Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 7½

The Steelers begin their quest towards an unprecedented 7th Super Bowl title. They have Ben Rothlisberger who has two of those wins. “Big Ben” threw for 4,200 yards and 28 TD’s, but he also threw 14 interceptions on the year. LeVeon Bell was the primary rusher on the team with nearly 1,300 yards and 9 TD’s. Antonio Brown led the team with 101 receptions on the year, over 1,500 yards and 9 TD’s. The Steelers defense dominated the league with 56 sacks on the year, 12 of those from defensive Cameron Heyward. Sean Davis and Ryan Shazier tied the team with 3 Interceptions, with Shazier out for the season and maybe his career with a spinal injury. The Jags were able to win an ugly game at home against Buffalo last weekend. But their issue now is trying to score points against the Steelers defense. If you look at the offensive comparison between the two teams, the Jags actually have an edge, having scored 26 points to the Steelers 25 points on the year. The Jags have also allowed less points on the year than the Steelers and that gives them a chance. However…

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (27-20)

saints vikings

New Orleans at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 4½

The Vikings have a chance to host a Super Bowl in their own house. But in order to do so they need to win the next two games, a not so easy task. Minnesota was able to overcome their QB issues with Case Keenum at the helm of the offense. Keenum has led the team to 13 wins, a franchise record. He threw for over 3,500 yards 22 TD’s and threw only 7 interceptions. Wide receiver Adam Thielen led the team with over 1,200 yards and 4 TD’s. Latavius Murray was the right free agent to take over for Adrian Peterson, rushing for 842 yards and 8 TD’s. The defense of the Vikings has been the story of this season. They lead the league in total yards allowed with only 275 per game and only allowed 15 points per game for the season. Defensive end Everson Griffen leads the team with 13 sacks on the year. Safety Harrison Smith leads the team with 5 interceptions. The Saints will have their hands full. They barely held on at home against Carolina and won. Drew Brees will need to be next to perfect in this game, otherwise it will be a long day for the Saints. Look for the Vikings to dominate this game.

Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (33-16)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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College Football Championship 2018

And here’s our selection for The College Football Championship.

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

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Monday, January 8

Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia
Alabama vs. Georgia
Line – Alabama by 4

This championship game is a showcase for the best conference in the country, the SEC. This will be just the second time since the Bowl Championship series was created in 1998 that two teams from the same conference will face off for the national title – the first came between Alabama and LSU in 2011.

Georgia’s semifinal contest was a shootout with Oklahoma that saw the Bulldogs pull the victory in double overtime. Georgia’s defense bent, but didn’t break, giving up 48 points overall on the night. Eventually they were able to tear down the Sooners offense led by Roquan Smith and the linebacker unit.

Georgia’s running back tandem of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb tore up the Oklahoma defense for 326 yards and five touchdowns on the ground – plus Michel added another through the air and scored the game winner in the second overtime. However, the performance of freshman QB Jake Fromm can’t be ignored, as he threw two touchdowns and no interceptions for the third consecutive game.

The Crimson Tide put away any doubts that they belong in the national championship game with a dominating performance against defending national champion Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Nick Saban and company held the Tigers to just six points and 188 yards. That outing marked the seventh time this season that Alabama’s vaunted defense has held the opposition to single-digits.

Offensively, Alabama continues to depend on Jalen Hurts. The quarterback was not asked to do too much but threw two touchdowns with no interceptions vs Clemson. Hurts has now gone six games since his lone interception on the season.

A couple of nuggets to crunch on. This game will be in Atlanta and will feel like Sanford Stadium, as Mercedes-Benz Stadium is just an hour away from Athens. But there will be plenty of Crimson Tide faithful making the trek from Tuscaloosa. Also, disciples of Nick Saban are 0-11 in head to head matchups. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was Saban’s defensive coordinator from 2008-15. Basically, the Bulldogs will have to slow the game down by using their running backs. But I give the edge to the Crimson Tide based on their defensive play during the year. A win will give Alabama their 17th national championship and put Saban as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time.

Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (38-31)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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Wildcard Weekend 2018

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After 17 weeks we start the final push to the Super Bowl with Wild Card weekend. Saturday and Sunday games will be fast and furious. Should be an interesting set of matchups that will continue to the next round.

Here’s the final results from the 2017 season.

Head to head: 9-7
Against the Spread: 8-7-1

Season to Date

Head to head: 168-93
Against the Spread: 119-87-33

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Saturday, January 6

titans chiefs

Tennessee at Kansas City
Line – Chiefs by 8

On offense, this game favors the Chiefs with QB Alex Smith throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 TD’s this season. Rookie Kareem Hunt rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 8 TD’s. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each had over 1,000 yards receiving. Overall, the Chiefs had 375.4 total yards for the year. Compare that with the Titans’ 314 total yards. Marcus Mariota threw for over 3,200 yards and 13 TD’s but he had 15 interceptions on the year. Much of the rushing yards were split between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry who each had over 650 yards. Delanie Walker was the leading receiver with 807 yards and 3 TD’s. On Defense, the Titans lead in that category with 328 yards given up to 365.1 to the Chiefs. Much of that was on run defense, where they only gave up 88.8 yards per game. Derik Morgan and Brian Orakpo led the team with 7.5 and 7 sacks on the year. Kevin Byard has 8 picks on the year. Chiefs Linebacker Justin Houston leads the team with 9.5 sacks, Marcus Peters has 5 interceptions on the year. The Chiefs are peaking at the right time after a mid-season swoon. They get the home field advantage against a Titans team that struggled to clinch the wild card. Look for the Chiefs to win a tough game with the home field being used to their advantage.

Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (27-16)

falcons rams

Atlanta at LA Rams
Line – Rams by 6½

The Rams host their first playoff game since 2005 and the first in LA in 24 years. This is a pretty evenly matched offense with both teams getting over 360 total yards. Jared Goff had a 100.5 QB rating with over 3,800 passing 28 TD and just 7 interceptions. Todd Gurley had over 1,300 yards rushing and 13 TD on the season. He also had 788 yards receiving and 6 TD. Matt Ryan threw for over 4,000 yards with 20 TD’s and 12 interceptions. Devonta Freeman scored 7 TD’s on the year with 865 yards rushing. The high powered receiving corps is led by Julio Jones who had over 1,400 yards and 3 TD’s. On Defense is where the difference could be, with the Falcons getting a slight advantage. Defensive end Adam Clayborn leads the team with 9.5 sacks, Deion Jones had 3 interceptions to the team. On the Rams side, Aaron Donald leads the team with 11 sacks LaMarcus Jordan and Mark Barron tie the team with 3 picks on the year. With the Rams able to rest their top players last week, they can take full advantage over the defending NFC champions. But it won’t be easy, the Falcons will have to win all their games on the road to get back to the Super Bowl. If there’s a team that can do it, it’s the dirty birds.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-24)

Sunday, January 7

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Buffalo at Jacksonville
Line – Jags by 9

It’s hard to believe the Bills were able to weather their QB issues and make the playoffs for the first time on 18 years. Offensively they’re over matched against the Jags, Tyrod Taylor had only 2,799 yards passing with 14 TD’s. Much of the offense was on the ground with LeSean McCoy leading the way with over 1,100 yards rushing and 6 TD’s. Receiving has been nonexistent, with Charles Clay one of five players with over 2 TD’s in the air. As for the Jags, Blake Bortles threw for over 3,600 t=yards, 21 TD’s and 13 interceptions. Rookie Leonard Fournette reached over 1,000 yards and scored 9 TD’s on the season. Marquise Lee and Keelan Cole each had over 700 receiving yards on the season with 3 TD’s each. On defense, it doesn’t get any better for Buffalo, as they’re overmatched giving up 355 yards to Jacksonville’s 286.1. The Jags have to big guys with over 10 sacks between them, defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. AJ Bouye leads the team with 6 interceptions. Defensive end Jerry Hughes leads the bills with 4 sacks, while Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer each have 5 picks on the year. On paper it looks like a cakewalk for the Jags, but the Bills will need to slow the pace down and depend heavily on LeSean McCoy, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury. Anything can happen on any given Sunday…just not this one.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (35-12)

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Carolina at New Orleans
Line – Saints by 7

Division rivals will have to face each other to move on to the next round. The Saints are a much better team on offense than the Panthers. Drew Brees leads the way with over 4,300 yards passing 23 TD’s and only 8 Interceptions. He also has a 103.9 QB rating. Mark Ingram leads the team with over 1,100 yards rushing and 12 TD’s. Michael Thomas led all receivers with over 1,200 yards and 5 TD’s. Carolina leads with QB Cam Newton threw for over 3,300 yards passing and 22 TD’s, he also rushed for over 750 yards on the year, leading the team in that category with 6 TD’s Devin Funchess was his go-to guy in the air. He had 840 yards receiving with 8 TD’s. On defense, the Panthers have the edge, 317 to 336 total yards given up. Both teams have given up only 20 points per game on the season. Julius Peppers and Mario Addison each have 11 sacks on the season. Luke Kuechly leads the team with 3 picks on the year. For the Saints, Cameron Jordan is their sack master. He leads the team with 13 on the season. Marshon Lattimore has 5 interceptions on the year. As for the game, this may be the best of the weekend. For the Panthers, it’s going to depend on their versatile QB Cam Newton to win. The Saints look to get their third in a row on the year. A tough task, but it helps to be home to do it.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (27-17)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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Week 17 – For all the marbles!

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Week 17 and the final week of NFL action for the season.

Already we have teams who have punched their ticket to the playoffs. New England, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Kansas City have clinched their divisions. The wildcard has not been resolved with Tennessee, Baltimore, Buffalo and the Chargers all still in it. The Steelers and Patriots are still fighting for the #1 Overall seed.

The NFC Picture is a bit clearer, with Philadelphia taking the overall #1 Seed, followed by Minnesota and the Rams winning their divisions. New Orleans and Carolina have clinched the playoffs with Atlanta and Seattle fighting for the second wild card spot.

Last Week’s Results

Head to Head: 14-2
Against the Spread: 12-2-2

Season to Date

Head to Head: 153-86
Against the Spread: 111-80-32

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

All games will be played on Sunday, December 31st

Chicago at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 11½

This is the time the Vikings have to watch out for being complacent. With their spot in the playoffs secured and a first round bye, they have to stay fresh. At the same time, they can get their 13th victory which will be a franchise record.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (31-7)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 10½

The Browns can end their season becoming the third team in NFL history to go winless. Tampa Bay was 0-14 in 1976, Detroit was 0-16 in 2008. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was undecided on resting his players, but they still have the #1 seed to clinch. Look for them to go “all-in”.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (38-9)

Dallas at Philadelphia
Line: Cowboys by 2½

There’s a cause for concern for Eagles fans, despite wins the last two weeks, the Offense led by Nick Foles have lost a step, and with high powered offenses like Minnesota and the Rams, Philly could be a 1 and out squad. Look for Dallas to give them a run for their money.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (21-19)

Green Bay at Detroit
Line: Lions by 7

This would have been a classic matchup if they were still in the playoff hunt. But this is just a regular game to close out the season.

Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (27-16)

Houston at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 3½

Both teams were to contend this season, but they each had injuries to their QB’s that affected their seasons. Both teams will play for positions in next year’s draft.

Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (24-16)

NY Jets at New England
Line: Patriots by 15½

The one thing we can say for the Jets is that they’ll have the better record in the ‘big apple’. But losing 10 games this season is nothing to crow about for Gang Green. Look for the Patriots to close out the season with a “W”.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (35-7)

Washington at NY Giants
Line: Redskins by 3

On the flip side, a loss is not a bad thing for the G-men. They’ll clinch the #2 pick in next year’s draft, and they can certainly parlay that pick into extra draft picks if teams need a QB. As for the Redskins, they can end the season at .500 with a win.

Smooth’s Pick – Washington (23-17)

Arizona at Seattle
Line: Seahawks by 8½

The Seahawks need this game badly. They need a win and hope for an Atlanta loss. With that kind of distraction, the Cardinals could sweep in for the upset.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (22-18)

Buffalo at Miami
Line: Bills by 3

At the worst possible moment, the Bills find themselves needing lots and lots of help. But first they must win in South Beach, a task not easy at all against the fish.

Smooth’s Pick – Miami (24-19)

Carolina at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 4

The dirty birds are in the driver’s seat. Win, and you’re in. Lose, and you can still get in if Arizona pulls off the upset. Carolina would like nothing less than to knock the defending NFC Champs out of the playoffs and win the division. Will be hard on the road, though.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-21)

Cincinnati at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 9½

This is Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis’ ‘swan song’. He will step down after the game is over. Disappointing season for the Bengals. For the Ravens, a win will clinch a wild card.

Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (34-9)

Jacksonville at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 3½

Big game for the Titans, a win over the Jags will put them into the playoffs. But Jacksonville, enjoying its best season in 10 years, will want to have a say in it. Titans have lost three straight and need to break the streak.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (24-17)

Kansas City at Denver
Line: Broncos by 3½

The Chiefs managed to stop the bleeding enough to recover and win the AFC West. Head coach Andy Reid will give Alex Smith a rest and start Patrick Mahomes, having locked the #4 seed. The Broncos try to end the season with a win.

Smooth’s Pick – Denver (21-18)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Line: Saints by 7

The Saints clinched a playoff spot, but still need a win this weekend for the NFC South division crown. They’ve dominated the Bucs both at home and on the road the last few years. But this could be different.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (27-24)

Oakland at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 8

The Raiders end their season on a low point, having lost three in a row to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bolts need a win and some help to get to the playoffs. This should be a win, but as for help, that’s another story.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (31-10)

San Francisco at LA Rams
Line: Niners by 2½

The Niners are beginning to look like a team that wants to challenge for the NFC West next season. QB Jimmy Garopalo has turned the offense on having scored 44 points last weekend. He’ll get a real test verses the newly crowned NFC West champs.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (27-19)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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College Bowl Playoffs 2018

college-football-playoff-rankings-final-four-alabama-georgia

Here are our selections for the college football playoffs. All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com. Both games takes place on Monday, January 1st, New Year’s Day.

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Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California
Georgia vs. Oklahoma
Line: Georgia by 2½

Analysis: Oklahoma’s offense evolves around Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The senior quarterback is brutally efficient with the ball and is highly mobile in cases of play breakdowns. His favorite target is tight end Mark Andrews, who is second on the team in receiving and first in receiving touchdowns.

Of all four teams in the college bowl playoffs, Oklahoma has the worst defense. The Sooners are ranked 81st in the nation in yards allowed, however their defense has held opponents to a respectable 25 points per game. And although this unit will be scrutinized leading into the Rose Bowl, the Sooner defense has held ranked opponents to 20 points or less in three of four matchups this season.

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As for Georgia, its offense is run-heavy, thanks to the combination of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb and Michel, who are third and ninth in the SEC in rushing yards respectively, have combined for over 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was forced into starting duties, but the 19-year-old has been incredibly efficient as a passer.

Georgia’s defense is one of the best in the nation and has talent at every single position. However, the linebacker unit may be the most talented group in all of college football. Roquan Smith is coming off a Butkus Award-winning season that saw him lead the Bulldogs in tackles, sacks and quarterback hurries. The back end is stuffed to the brim with upperclassmen who understand their role in the defense and work as one complete unit.

Prediction – Mayfield will have his work cut out for him. If he can be effective in the air, the Sooners should be able to take the Bulldogs to task. But the Georgia defense is the key to the Bulldogs and if they can stop the Sooners, they should be able to play for their first national championship since 1980.

Smooth’s Pick – Georgia (47-25)

sugar bowl

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, Louisiana
Alabama vs. Clemson
Line: Alabama by 3

Clemson might not have Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Mike Williams, all who have left for the NFL, but the Tiger offense can still score. Junior quarterback Kelly Bryant has stepped into the starting role left by Watson. In addition, the running back tandem of Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster has combined for 1,403 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

Clemson’s defense is as good as ever with the Tigers sitting at the top 10 in the nation in yards allowed, passing defense and points allowed. Clemson has one of the best defensive lines in the country with Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant having put up at least 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. Both are shoe-ins to make the 1st round in next year’s NFL draft.

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban has once again turned his team of five-star recruits on defense into arguably the best in the country. No team has allowed fewer yards or points this season than the Tide, plus the team has racked up 31 sacks and 20 turnovers.

The Crimson Tide returns several key players on offense last season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has become an incredibly efficient passer as well as one of Bama’s best rushing threats. The only Tide player to catch more than 15 passes this season has been Calvin Ridley but finding a second consistent threat will be important in this game.

Prediction – Over the past two seasons, Clemson and Alabama have treated college football fans to two of the best national championship games of all time. This game also has the makings of a classic as well and the point spread shows it. This will be another war in the trenches. And one that will favor Alabama’s powerful defense.

Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (39-28)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.