NFL Week 3 Cheat Sheet and Betting Trends & Analysis

Sunday NFL Football Betting
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (+1, 45)

Star receiver Andre Johnson suffered a concussion in the game against the Titans but is expected to be cleared to play. Johnson is tied for the NFL lead with 20 receptions and Houston appears to have found a sensational complement in first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins (12 receptions, 183 yards).

Baltimore has a key player ailing in running back Ray Rice, who injured his left hip flexor in the contest against Cleveland and hasn’t participated in practices. “He’s not going to need the practice to play in the game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

LINE: Houston opened -2.5 and moved to -1.5. Total moved from 44.5 to 45.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Houston (-5.0) - Baltimore (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Ravens +1
WEATHER: Temperatures mid 70s, partly cloudy, winds NNW 11 mph.

* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
* Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (+1, 46.5)

New York's 10 turnovers - seven of which have been Eli Manning interceptions - are a major cause for concern and have put the defense in a tough spot. The offense has been effective at moving the ball, mostly through the air, and ranks fifth in the league in total yards, but the ground game has to come along and the Giants need to hang onto the ball.

The Panthers find themselves in an 0-2 hole after losing their first two games by a combined six points, including a 24-23 defeat against Buffalo last week. The Panthers have been balanced on offense but they've been far from explosive, ranking 27th in the league with 280.5 total yards per game.

LINE: Carolina opened -1 and moved to +1. Total moved from 45.5 to 47.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (-1.0) + Carolina (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers +1
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, 22 percent chance of early showers, winds 5 north 5 mph.

* Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (Pick, 48.5)

Detroit is 2-0 against Washington under coach Jim Schwartz, with both victories coming at home. Calvin Johnson had 101 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-25 triumph over the Redskins in their last meeting on Oct. 31, 2010.

Facing a large deficit, the Redskins have been offensive juggernauts in the fourth quarter, outscoring Philadelphia and Green Bay by a combined 26-0 over the final 15 minutes.

LINE: Open pick bounced between -1 and +1. Total moved from 48 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Detroit (+1.0) - Washington (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Redskins -1.5
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, partly cloudy skies, winds NNW 12 mph.

* Under is 6-1-2 in the last nine meetings.
* Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Lions are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings in Washington.

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43.5)

Philip Rivers leads a rejuvenated offense that is averaging more than 30 points per game. The only problem: San Diego has allowed as many points as it has scored, thanks to a defense that has surrendered the most passing yards in the league through two weeks.

The Tennessee Titans' defense has helped compensate for a sluggish offense through the first two games of the season. Titans RB Chris Johnson comes into the week ranked sixth in rushing yards (166) but second in attempts (50), averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

LINE: Opened Tennessee -1 and moved to -3. Total steady at 43.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: San Diego (+2.0) - Tennessee (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Titans -2
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, clear skies, winds NNE 7 mph.

* Chargers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-9, 49)

Carson Palmer has injected some life into Arizona's passing game, but the ground game hasn't been as effective and running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is questionable. Palmer should have tight end Rob Housler back in the lineup after missing the first two games with a sore ankle, and the Cardinals have eased receiver Larry Fitzgerald along in practice in hopes he can play through a hamstring injury.

While the Saints' offense has struggled to find the end zone, coordinator Rob Ryan's revamped defense has limited its first two opponents to 320 yards and 15.5 points per game. The overhauled defense did a solid job against Atlanta in Week 1 but was dominant in a 16-14 win versus Tampa Bay, allowing 273 total yards - the Saints' lowest total since Week 15 of the 2011 season.

LINE: Arizona opened -9.5 and moved to -7. Total moved from 48.5 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (+3.5) + New Orleans (-3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Saints -9.5

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last four meetings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots (-8.5, 43.5)

Quarterback Josh Freeman is under siege after consecutive subpar outings - he was only 9-for-22 for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Saints - to spark speculation that he could lose his starting job to rookie Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers have dangerous weapons in second-year running back Doug Martin (209 yards rushing) and wideout Vincent Jackson (231 yards receiving), and the defense has been stout in allowing an average of 17 points.

With wideout Danny Amendola (groin) and running back Shane Vereen (wrist) set to miss a second straight game and tight end Rob Gronkowski still rehabbing from multiple offseason surgeries, Tom Brady has been forced to lean on Julian Edelman (20 receptions) and untested rookies in the receiving corps. Starting running back Steven Ridley has rushed for only 86 yards in two games while the defense has forced six turnovers to tie for second in the league.

LINE: Open New England -7 and moved to -8.5. Total moved from 45 to 43.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Tampa Bay (+4.0) + New England (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Patriots -11.5
WEATHER: Temps low 70s, 83 percent chance of rain, winds WSW 7 mph.

* Buccaneers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games.
* Patriots are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Over is 7-3 in Patriots' last 10 home games.

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5, 49)

While Aaron Rodgers' Week 2 performance was typical, the Packers got a surprising 132-yard effort on the ground from running back James Starks, who replaced Eddie Lacy after the rookie left the game with a concussion. The Packers were forced to juggle their secondary last week after three DBs suffered hamstring injuries. All are questionable for Sunday.

Cincinnati has won the past two meetings against Green Bay and sacked Rodgers six times in its most recent game (2009) but it will be without veteran defensive end Robert Geathers who joined three Bengal linebackers on injured reserve. While questions still abound on Andy Dalton's deep passing ability, he has thrown for 280 and 282 yards in his first two starts and unveiled a new weapon in athletic rookie tight end Tyler Eifert on Monday.

LINE: Cincinnati opened +1 and moved to +2.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Green Bay (-6.0) - Cincinnati (-1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Bengals +1.5
WEATHER: Temps high 60s, clear skies, winds NNE 6 mph.

* Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
* Bengals are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in Week 3.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last six games overall.

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 47)

St. Louis is attempting to start 2-1 for the first time since 2006. The Rams will look for more consistency out of high-priced free agent signing Jared Cook, who caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 but managed only one grab last weekend.

The last time the Cowboys faced the Rams, DeMarco Murray rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards on Oct. 23, 2011. However, Murray only managed 25 yards on 12 attempts in last week's loss to the Chiefs, a game in which Dallas was unable to force any turnovers after creating six miscues against the New York Giants in Week 1.

LINE: Dallas steady at -3.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 47.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: St. Louis (+2.5) + Dallas (-2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -3

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Cowboys are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games.

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5, 40.5)

Cleveland was already struggling to produce offense with just 16 points in two games and trading RB Trent Richardson, who recorded 950 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns as a rookie, gives an offense starting a third-string quarterback even fewer options. Brian Hoyer starts in place of Brandon Weeden, who injured his thumb in last week's loss to Baltimore.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was 16-of-30 against Chicago, is reportedly on the hot seat and could lose snaps to backup Matt Cassel unless his play improves. Ponder is 88-for-127 passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions in his last four games against AFC opponents.

LINE: Minnesota opened -4 and moved to -6.5. Total moved from 41 to 40.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Cleveland (+5.0) - Minnesota (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Vikings -5.5

* Browns are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Under is 5-1 in Browns last six road games.

This Thursday Night matchup is Phil's Free Pick with the Jets travelling to Patriots territory to take on the "Brady Bunch". Patriots are dealing with a lot of hurdles this season and this game will test their will and desire.

Thursday Night Football: Jets vs Patriots
The New England Patriots and New York Jets are each coming off last-second wins in their season openers, but the level of satisfaction on both sides was markedly different. The Jets eked out a one-point victory over Tampa Bay in quarterback Geno Smith's NFL debut and will look to carry that momentum into
their showdown with the host Patriots on Thursday night. New England blew a 10-point lead and needed a late comeback from Tom Brady to overcome upset-minded Buffalo.

The Patriots have won the last four meetings, including a 49-19
thumping of the Jets on Thanksgiving night last year - a game remembered for the infamous "butt fumble" by New York quarterback Mark Sanchez. Smith will get his second start while Sanchez seeks a second opinion on his injured right shoulder
from renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Brady and New England's overhauled receiving corps struggled in the opener and the team could be further depleted by injury for Thursday's matchup.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network.

WEATHER: There is a 49 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 70s. Winds blowing south at 8 mph.

PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (+6.0) + New England (-5.0) + home field (-3.0) = Patriots -14

LINE: The Patriots opened at -13 and were as high as -14 before injury news forced money on New York and moved the spread to as low as -12. The total has dropped from 44.5 to 43.

ABOUT THE JETS (1-0, 1-0 ATS): Smith was far from perfect in his debut but he etched his name into the record books by becoming the first rookie quarterback drafted in the second round or later since the 1970 merger to throw for at least 250 yards and win a season opener. Smith finished 24-for-38 for 256 yards with a fumble and interception, but he got the team in position for the decisive field goal in the final 34 seconds - albeit with the help of a Tampa Bay penalty. New York's defense - the calling card of coach Rex Ryan during his tenure - limited the Buccaneers to 250 yards of offense but the Jets' running game was non-existent, with Smith leading the way with 47 yards.

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (1-0, 0-1 ATS): New England got bad news on the injury front Monday when it was reported that running back Shane Vereen will require surgery for a broken wrist and will be out a few weeks. Vereen was the only running back in the NFL to surpass 100 yards on Sunday and added seven catches for 58 yards after replacing Stevan Ridley, who was benched due to a pair of fumbles. Wideout Danny Amendola was Brady's favorite target with 10 catches for 104 yards, but he aggravated a groin injury during the win and his status is uncertain. In addition, rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld, the team's training camp sensation, is not expected to play due to a pulled hamstring.


* Over is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings in New England.
* Over is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Road team is 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 meetings.
* Jets are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. AFC.
* Over is 16-5 in Patriots' last 21 vs. AFC East.


1. Brady has thrown a touchdown pass in 49 consecutive games, five shy of Drew Brees' NFL record.

2. Jets WR Santonio Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, had one catch for 13 yards in his first action since suffering a Lisfranc foot injury in Week 4 last season.

3. The Jets on Monday re-signed QB Brady Quinn, a former first-round pick, to serve as Smith's backup.

NFL Week 1 Cheat Sheet and Betting Analysis

NFL Sunday Football Frenzy
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+9.5, 51)

The Bills are beginning a new era with first-year head coach Doug Marrone and rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. Manuel underwent knee surgery on Aug. 18 but is ready to go for the season opener, pushing rookie free agent Jeff Tuel back to the bench.

Tom Brady lost most of his receiving corps with Aaron Hernandez in jail, Wes Welker in Denver and Brandon Lloyd off to free agency. The perennial Pro Bowler has a slew of rookies at wide receiver to go along with import Danny Amendola until Rob Gronkowski recovers from back and forearm surgeries.

LINE: Buffalo opened as a 6.5-point home underdog but has been bet up as high as +9.5.
Patriots (-6.0) + Bills (+6.0) – home field (-3.0) = Bills +9.0
WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 60s, 29 percent chance of rain, winds NNE 7 mph

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Patriots are 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 meetings.
* Road team is 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7, 42)

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has taken the Steelers to three Super Bowls - winning two - in his nine seasons, but he missed three games to injury in 2012 and starts the year with questions in the receiving corps and running game.

Titans counterpart Jake Locker sat out five games a year ago and has yet to prove he is the answer after being drafted No. 8 overall in 2008. Both teams have major questions on defense - the Steelers allowed nearly 100 points more last season than in 2011 and Tennessee was shredded for an NFL-worst 471 points.

LINE: Pittsburgh opened a 7.5-point favorite and has moved to -7. The total has dropped from 43.5 to 42.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Tennessee (+4.5) + Pittsburgh (-2.0) + home field (-3.0) = Steelers -9.5
WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 70s, 27 percent chance of showers, winds NNW 5 mph

Over is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Pittsburgh.
Over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-3, 54)

The Saints have dominated the series in recent years, winning 11 of the past 14 meetings, but they missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2008. With head coach Sean Payton returning after being suspended last season for his role in the team's bounty scandal, New Orleans hopes to regain its supremacy over the division.

Granted, the Saints handed the Falcons their first loss last year, a 31-27 defeat in Week 10 in New Orleans, and it did little to slow Atlanta on its way to the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons returned the favor in Week 13 in Atlanta, picking off Drew Brees five times in a 23-13 win. Atlanta upgraded its offense by signing running back Steven Jackson and also coaxed tight end Tony Gonzalez back for one more season.

LINE: New Orleans opened as a 2-point favorite and moved to -3. The total has remained steady at 54.
Atlanta (-4.5) - New Orleans (-2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Saints -5

* Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings in New Orleans.
* Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Underdog is 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets (+3.5, 39.5)

New York coach Rex Ryan looks to exploit a Buccaneers pass defense that allowed an NFL-worst 297.4 yards per game last year with rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who earned the starting nod after Mark Sanchez injured his shoulder during the fourth quarter of a preseason game .

Bucs RB Doug Martin looks for an encore after rushing for an impressive 1,454 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns during his rookie campaign. Greg Schiano's first year with Tampa Bay also saw Josh Freeman throw for a franchise-record 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns - although nine of his 17 interceptions came in the final three games.

LINE: New York opened as 1.5-point underdogs and moved to +3.5. Total opened at 41.5 and moved to 39.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Tampa Bay (+3.0) - New York (+6.0) + home field (-3.0) = Pick
WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 70s, 15 percent chance of early showers, winds NNW 14 mph

* Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Buccaneers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.
* Under is 4-1 in Jets’ last five games overall.

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5, 41)

Sunday is the debut of two new head coaches, as Gus Bradley takes over in Jacksonville and Andy Reid guides the Chiefs after a long tenure in Philadelphia. It's the first meeting since 2010, when the Chiefs clobbered the Jaguars 42-20 in Kansas City, avenging a 24-21 loss in Jacksonville a year earlier.

Both did their best to address issues through the draft and free agency and have playoff hopes - however unrealistic they are. Among the key matchups will be Jacksonville's ability to establish the run and take some pressure off quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars' ability to slow down Jamaal Charles and force quarterback Alex Smith into third-and-long situations.

LINE: Jacksonville opened as a 1.5-point underdog and has moved to +4.5. The total climbed from 41 to 41.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Kansas City (+2.0) – Jacksonville (+7.5) + home field (-3.0) = Jaguars +2.5
WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 80s, partly cloudy skies, winds East 8 mph

* Chiefs are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in Week 1.
* Jaguars are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games in Week 1.
* Under is 4-0 in Jaguars’ last four home games.

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (+3.5, 44.5)

The Seahawks won their final five regular-season games and even notched a playoff win behind quarterback Russell Wilson and now face high expectations. Carolina finished with a flurry last season with four consecutive wins and the pressure is on third-year quarterback Cam Newton to deliver the franchise’s first playoff spot since 2008.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera needs a winning season in his third year at the helm after going 13-19 over his first two seasons. Mike Shula is the Panthers’ new offensive coordinator after Rob Chudzinski left to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

LINE: Carolina opened as a 3.5-point underdog and moved to +4.5. Total opened at 45.5 and moved to 44.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Seattle (-8.0) + Carolina (+1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers +6.5
WEATHER: Temperatures in the high 80s, partly cloudy skies, winds ENE 9 mph

* Seahawks are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games.
* Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Over is 6-2 in each Panthers and Seahawks’ last eight games overall.

Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears (-3, 41.5)

With a brand new coach and a healthy Cutler on board, the Bears begin the slow climb back to playoff contention. Replacing Lovie Smith is offensive guru Marc Trestman, who is coming off a successful coaching stint with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton and the offense faded down the stretch in 2012 and was held to 198 total yards in a first-round playoff loss to the Houston Texans.. The Bengals have won five of their last six on the road against NFC teams and are 4-1 all-time at Chicago.

LINE: Chicago opened as a 3.5-point favorite and has moved to -3. The total opened at 43.5 and moved to 41.5.
Cincinnati (-1.0) – Chicago (-2.0) + home field (-3.0) = Bears -4
WEATHER: Temperatures in low 70s, partly cloudy skies, winds NE 13 mph

* Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last five games in Week 1.
* Under is 7-2 in Bears last nine games in Week 1.
* Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (Pick, 41)

This game marks the debut of Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, who spent the last two years as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator. Chudzinski and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner could rely heavily on RB Trent Richardson with top WR Josh Gordon suspended for violating the league’s drug policy.

Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw 12 touchdown passes as a rookie, though only three of those scoring aerials were to wide receivers. There will be no excuses for that this season, as the Dolphins signed former Steelers wideout Mike Wallace to generate big plays in the passing game.

LINE: Game opened pick and some books are dealing Cleveland -1.5. The total has moved from 41 to 40.5.
Miami (+1.5) – Cleveland (+4.0) + home field (-3.0) = Browns -0.5
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 70s, 25 percent chance of thunderstorms, winds NNE 13 mph

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Dolphins are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Browns are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games in Week 1.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-5, 46.5)

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has vowed to shatter the single-season rushing mark this season. Minnesota’s offense is still a major question mark. Christian Ponder, who has surpassed 300 yards only twice in 26 starts, may be on a short leash. Minnesota swept the season series a year ago, including a 20-13 victory in Detroit.

Detroit added Reggie Bush to bolster a backfield that's been non-productive for several seasons. Bush's dual-threat presence should take some of the onus off the oft-weary shoulders of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw just 20 touchdown passes last season after tossing a career-high 41 in 2011. Detroit enters the season riding an eight-game losing streak.

LINE: Detroit opened as a 3-point favorite and has moved to -5. The total has moved from 47 to 46.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Minnesota (+1.0) – Detroit (+1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Lions -3

* Vikings are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
* Underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings.

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-10.5, 47)

The athletic but unproven Terrelle Pryor has reportedly won the Raiders QB competition with Matt Flynn and is poised to establish himself for a squad that ranked 26th in the NFL in scoring last year. Pryor threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 49 yards and a score in Week 17 last season in his only career start.

Colts QB Andrew Luck was 7-1 at home in 2012, winning the last six. Seven of the eight home contests were decided by a touchdown or less, giving Luck plenty of time to display his abilities in the clutch. Luck's favorite target again figures to be 13-year standout Reggie Wayne, who amassed 106 catches and 1,355 yards last season.

LINE: Indianapolis opened as a -8.5 favorite and moved to -10.5. The total moved from 49 to 47 points.
Oakland (+8.0) - Indianapolis (+1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Colts -10

* Colts are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
* Raiders are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall.
* Under is 11-2 in Colts last 13 home games.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
(-4.5, 48.5)

Green Bay fell 45-31 to San Francisco in the NFC divisional round but is in good shape heading into 2013 with QB Aaron Rodgers in his prime and a host of receiving weapons at his disposal. He'll be put to the test in Week 1 against a vaunted 49ers defense that finished second in the league in fewest points against.

The San Francisco offense belongs to quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Green Bay defense is ready to go after the nimble QB, who racked up 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay in their playoff showdown.

LINE: San Francisco opened -5 and has dropped to -4.5. The total has been adjusted from 50.5 to 48.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Green Bay (-6.5) – San Francisco (-8.0) + home field (-3.0) = 49ers -4.5
WEATHER: Temperatures in low 70s, clear skies, winds WSW 6 mph

* Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings.
* Packers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in San Francisco.
* Packers are 9-3-2 ATS in their last 14 meetings.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-4.5, 41.5)

Longtime Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher is back for his second season with the Rams while Bruce Arians takes the reins for the Cardinals. He will be charged with reviving a team that produced an NFC-low 250 points and lost 11 of its final 12 games after bolting out to a 4-0 start last season.

St. Louis, surprisingly, had the best record within its division and looks to continue its ascent behind a youthful squad that features electrifying rookie receiver Tavon Austin. Daryl Richardson gets first crack at replacing free-agent departure RB Steven Jackson in the backfield and will run behind a beefed-up line that added former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long.

St. Louis opened as a 5-point favorite and moved to -4.5. The total has moved from 41 to 41.5 points.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (+5.0) – St. Louis (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Rams -5.5

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in St. Louis.
* Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
* Rams are 7-0 ATS in their last seven vs. NFC West.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 48.5)

The New York Giants attempt to continue their dominance at Cowboys Stadium Sunday night. New York has won all four of its games in Dallas' new stadium since it opened in 2009, including a 29-24 triumph on Oct. 28. The Giants have captured six of the last eight overall meetings between the NFC East rivals.

New York hopes to have Victor Cruz in the lineup as the wide receiver suffered a bruised heel in the second week of the preseason and just returned to practice on Monday. Dallas looks to improve upon the 19th-ranked defense in the league in 2012. In an effort to accomplish this goal, the club replaced defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with Monte Kiffin and switched to a 4-3 alignment.

LINE: Dallas opened as a 3-point favorite and has moved to -3.5. The total has moved from 49 to 48.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (-3.0) - Dallas (-1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -4.5

* Giants are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in Dallas.
* Giants are 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.

The Football world ground to a screeching halt Wednesday upon hearing that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had tweaked his knee. In the end, the injury wasn't that serious. Tom Brady is expected to play in the preseason game on Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sorry Tim Tebow, not this time. You can go back to Tebowing now.

Fans have gone through great lengths to show their support for their NFL team in the past. Tehmeena Afzal goes the distance in this Sexy Giants Fan Tribute clip. She is in nothing but body paint and is seen burning Patriots QB Tom Brady's jersey. Can her NY Giants beat the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow night?


NFL Fans love to make outrageous predictions prior to the start of the season. Here are 10 "Bold" predictions for the 2013 NFL Season by self described "man of the people" Jared Kurlander. Do you think any of them are likely to actually happen?

We still have 43 days left until the Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to
kick off the season, which means it’s a perfect time for some predictions. But
these aren’t just any predictions; these are BOLD predictions. By “BOLD
predictions”, I mean things that are unlikely to happen but could still
logically happen. If you’re expecting, Denver Broncos finish with

the best record in the NFL
, well, that wouldn’t be very bold now would it? I make
these BOLD predictions so the people don’t have to. I am, of course, a man of
the people. This list is no particular order, so the boldness of each prediction is up to you.

Honorable Mention – New England Patriots miss the

After Danny Amendola (who has injury issues), the next best receiver on the
Patriots is Julian Edleman. After Edleman, there’s a 31-year-old Michael Jenkins
and then a plate of dudes I’ve never heard of. The defense always has it’s issues too,
though they were better with Aqib Talib. It remains to be seen if running back
Steven Ridley can take the next step and improve on last year.

But the Pats have Tom Brady and no one else in the AFC East does. Brady is
one of those quarterbacks who could make me into a Pro Bowl receiver. The Miami
Dolphins should pose the biggest threat to the Pats, but as long as Tom Brady is
under center, the Pats are a playoff team.

1) Rex Ryan is fired after Week 5

This isn’t bold in the sense of Rex Ryan getting the pink slip; the Jets are
going to be terrible and Ryan will probably end up fired. The boldness can be
found in the week number Ryan gets the boot – Week 5 is pretty early in the NFL
season for a coach to get canned. So why Week 5? My guess is the Jets start 0-4
before they travel to Atlanta in Week 5 to take on the Falcons on Monday
Night Football. 
Once the Jets get throttled on national television,
they’ll have no choice but to fire Rex Ryan. This may also be the time when they
change the pace of their offense and stick in Geno Smith.

Hey, if Rex is fired, at least he’ll have more time to run with the

2) Pittsburgh Steelers miss the playoffs for the second year in a

The Steelers haven’t missed the playoffs in consecutive years since 1998-2000
and it’s hard to imagine an organization like Pittsburgh missing the playoffs
again. But the Steelers aren’t as good as the Baltimore Ravens or Cincinnati
Bengals, which means they will be fighting for the wild card spot. Assuming the
Ravens or Bengals, Texans, Broncos and Patriots win their respective divisions,
here is the Steelers’ competition for a wild card spot: Ravens/Bengals, Miami,
Indianapolis, Tennessee, Kansas City and San Diego. That is a lot of teams to beat
out. Though Roesthlisburger is healthy, he, the offensive line and Troy Palumalu
have a recent history of being injured early and often. The Steelers will be
home on the couch eating Doritos Locos Tacos come playoff time.

3) Carolina Panthers make the playoffs

The Panthers haven’t made the playoffs since 2008, but they finished off 2012
on quite the roll. Cam Newton’s play improved and they won their last four games
of the season, including a win over Atlanta (they also played Atlanta well in
Week 4, losing 28-30). The NFC is stacked with potential wild card teams, and if
the Panthers make the playoffs, it’s likely because they beat out either New
Orleans or Atlanta – unless three NFC South teams make the playoffs. That’s
unlikely however given the strength of all the other teams in the

The Panthers have nice talent and if Cam Newton can put together a solid full
season the Panthers will be one of NFC wild card teams.

4) Tim Tebow scores as a tight end

Yes, I know that it’s been reported that the Pats will likely keep Tebow at
, but that just makes this all the more bold! With
Gronk hurt and Hernandez in the big house, the odds that Tebow takes a least one
snap at tight end have gone up. That one snap could be his touchdown. The
Patriots and Bill Bilichick have been creative before with versatile players.
You may recall a certain Mike Vrabel, the former linebacker for the New England
Patriots. During his time with the Pats, Vrabel caught eight
passes, all for goal-line touchdowns. I have a feeling Tebow could be Mike
Vrabel 2.0. The only problem with this is that Skip Bayless will somehow make
the argument that Tebow’s success at tight end means he can thrive as an NFL
quarterback. Won’t that be glorious?

5) St. Louis Rams finish top 10 in offensive

I’m a big believer in Sam Bradford and this is the year I believe he’s given
the chance thrive. Bradford has been stuck on a team with no weapons and no
offensive line. Receivers couldn’t get open, the offensive line couldn’t hold
back defenders to give Bradford time, and Bradford would end up on his back as a
result. In 2012, the Rams finished 23rd in yards per game and 25th in points per
game. But this year is going to be different. The Rams picked up left tackle
Jake Long to help strengthen the line and drafted playmakers Tavon Austin and
Stedmon Bailey. Austin is going to give Bradford a Percy Harvin type target and
Bailey should provide nice depth to a receiving corps that’s been lacking.

6) Dallas Cowboys win a playoff game

Take a look at the NFC East. Is there really one team significantly better
than the other? Not really. The NFC East is up in the air, and the Dallas
Cowboys may very well be the best team in the division. If they end up as a wild
card, I don’t see them winning a playoff game. If they win the NFC East however,
and play a wild card team (the Carolina Panthers!), the Cowboys may finally win
their first playoff game since 2009. As per usual, a lot of their success is dependent
on Tony Romo. They guy may be the most underrated or overrated player (depending
on your view) in the league, but there is no denying the guy has insane talent. In most
cases, it usually comes down to that one mistake Romo makes or that one play he
doesn’t make. With a full season from Demarrcoo Murray and limited mistakes from
Romo, the Cowboys’ will be in every game.

Their defense though, will have to make a jump if the ‘Boys want to win that
playoff game. Dallas’ gave up 25 points per game last season, good for 24th in
the league. If the Cowboys can improve to a more middle-of-the-pack type
defense, they’ll finally get that playoff win, and Skip Bayless can rejoice that
the Cowboys are playoff-relevant again.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars finish top 10 in

If you haven’t heard, the Jacksonville Jaguars may air the NFL RedZone
on their fancy new big screens. The RedZone channel shows
the most compelling moments of games being simultaneously played around the
league. It’s basically the best invention of all-time. This move by the Jags is
clearly to attract fans to the stadium. I mean, they don’t want to come watch
the Jags play, but if the RedZone channel were playing on super-new, high
definition screens, fans may flock to the stadium. The Jags ranked 20th in
average home attendance in 2012 and had to cover some seats with a tarp at a few
home games due to lack of fans.

Fans LOVE the RedZone channel and fans LOVE fantasy football. Being able to
watch your fantasy players at any possible scoring moment makes for the one of
the most exciting football-watching experiences. The only question here is if
fans will be willing to pay ticket prices for something that they can watch at
home  and on the couch with unlimited nachos and cheese. Personally, I
think being at an NFL game is an unbeatable experience. To be surrounded by
70,000 of your closest friends is something that I will enjoy until the day I
die. But there are millions of people out there who prefer to watch games from
home. The improved TV experience and convenience  factor are huge in
keeping people on their couches. But what the Jags are doing combines the TV
experience and the game experience. Fans can have their choice of watching a
terrible team or watch the RedZone channel and chat it up with surrounding fans.
Hey, if the Jags turn out to play some decent football, at least there could be
more fans in the stands to bear witness. I’m very much looking forward to how
this plays out.

8) Adrian Peterson rushes for 2,000 yards again

No NFL player has ever done this. Then again, no NFL player was ever as much
of a freak as Adrian Peterson. The guy tore his ACL and then ran for 2,097 yards
and came within eight yards of Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105. If any guy is
going to rush for 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, it’s going to be Adrian
Peterson. Peterson also has his freakish year on a team with an average
quarterback and no receivers, meaning defenders could stack eight or nine guys
in the box. Yet Peterson still trucked and juked his way through bodies.

This year, the Vikings picked up Greg Jennings, so defenses will have to back
off at least a little to defend against the threat of Jennings. The offensive
line will have to have a repeat performance, but Peterson should have a little
more room to run that last year with Jennings in the picture.

The Vikings will face only three defenses in 2013 who ranked top 10 in
rushing yards per game in 2012 (Seahawks, Redskins and Steelers). Obviously that
could change, but it gives some indication of the defenses Peterson will be up

I’ll even make this a two part BOLD prediction: Adrian Peterson will break
Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards. BOOM!

9) Chicago Bears finish with the best record in the NFL

Yes, even better than the Packers, Broncos, Texans, Ravens, Falcons, 49ers
and Seahawks. This is contingent upon the Bears’ offensive line keeping Jay
Cutler on his feet rather than his back. But Cutler has a natural chemistry with
Brandon Marshall and has a stud running back in Matt Forte. Their defense is one
of the best in the league, but again, it all comes down to Cutler and the
offensive line. Cutler, often consider Brett Favre 2.0, throws way too many
interceptions, many due to his poor decision making and many due to him having
to rush.

The Bears started 7-1 last season even with Cutler throwing interceptions
left and right. I just have this feeling that the Bears have been on the brink
for a few years now, and I think this is the year that Cutler and the offensive
line take the Bears to the next level. Chicago added left tackle Jermon Bushrod
and guard Matt Slauson via free agency and drafted guard Kyle Long, so the
offensive line should see an drastic improvement over past years.

Does this mean the Bears will make the Super Bowl? Not at all. But with the
dramatically improved offensive line and a limited-mistake Jay Cutler, the Bears
will finally take the next leap into one of the elite NFL teams.

10) Baltimore Ravens repeat as Super Bowl champions

Yeah, I said it! Joe Flacco has taken the leap into one of the top six or
seven quarterbacks in the league (Ron Jaworski even ranked Flacco fourth).
Flacco is coming of an historic NFL postseason, throwing 11 beautiful touchdowns
and zero interceptions, something only one other person – the great Joe Montana
– has accomplished.  Flacco lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, taking
home Super Bowl MVP in the process. So I’d say the Ravens are all set at

One of the arguments against the Ravens repeat chances (or postseason chances
depending on the analyst) is all of the players they lost. On defense, the
Ravens lost six players: Ray Lewis (retirement), Ed Reed (Texans), Dannell
Ellerbee (Dolphins), Paul Kruger (Browns), Cary Williams (Eagles) and Bernard
Pollard (Titans). But the Ravens brought in a plethora of defenders to replace
those that were lost and arguably improved their defense from last year.
Baltimore added safety Michael Huff (Raiders), defensive end Marcus Spears
(Cowboys), defensive lineman Chris Canty (Giants), linebackers Elvis Dumervil
(Broncos) and Daryl Smith (Jaguars). They also drafted safety Matt Elam
(Florida) and linebacker Arthur Brown (Kansas State) who are both projected to
contribute right away. Oh, they also get Lardarius Webb back from injury, who’s
one of the best cornerbacks in the league when healthy. To top it off, the
Ravens resigned left tackle Bryant McKinnie who was integral in the Ravens
playoff success once he was inserted back into the starting lineup.

The only true question mark is at wide receive. The Ravens traded Anquan
Boldin to the 49ers so Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones will assume the one and two
receiver sports, respectively. But the third receiving spot is very up in the
air. Tandon Doss got a few chances last season but had too many drops for him to
be guaranteed the third receiver spot. The others that are expected to compete
for the third spot include Deonte Thompson, Laquan Williams, Tommy Streeter and
veteran David Reed.

The Ravens also lost veteran Matt Birk at center, but they signed A.Q.
Shipley to compete with Gino Gradkowski. They may struggle at center in the
first few weeks, but the experienced lineman around those two will help to ease
the process.

The receiver issue may prove to be significant, but the Ravens have one of
the best all-around teams in the NFL and are primed to get back to the Super
Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens will be making snow angels come February in New

Article By: Jared Kurtlander