Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NFL Week 13 NFC East Preview & Pick

Philadelphia and Dallas play one another this Thanksgiving in the first of two meetings in the next three weeks. Both teams come into this game with identical 8-3 records so it stands to reason that whichever one of these bitter division rivals comes out on top this Thursday will have the inside track to this season's NFC East title.

The Cowboys have been listed as three-point favorites primarily because of the home field advantage given just how closely these two teams match up with one another. The Eagles' offense is ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards and 12th in rushing yards per game. They are averaging 31.1 points a game, which is the third highest total in the league.

Dallas has done an excellent job moving the ball on the ground behind DeMarco Murray and overall it is ranked second in the NFL with 150.1 rushing yards a game. It is ranked 17th in passing yards and its 26.5 point scoring average is the seventh-best in the league.

When it comes to the defensive side of the ball, Philadelphia has had its issues against the pass and it is ranked 21st in the league in points allowed (25.0). This unit has been tough on quarterbacks with the second-most sacks in league (38) and it is 10th in the NFL in takeaways with 19.

The Cowboys have been slightly better against the pass, but they are still ranked 19th in the NFL in yards allowed. This unit is allowing an average of 21.8 points a game and it is tied for 12th in takeaways with 18.

The bottom line in this Thursday's matchup is whichever team does the better job taking care of the ball and avoiding the crucial miscues that have plagued both the Eagles and the Cowboys in the past should come out on top. I have stayed away from this game as my official NFC East pick for this week's games, but I would have to lean slightly towards Dallas as the favorite at home taking Game 1 in this season's series.

The following link will take you to my complete Week 13 preview and 'pick of the week' in the NFC East as originally posted on Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 13

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NFL Week 12 NFC East Preview & Pick

I had to take a break from the Eagles for a couple of days after last Sunday's massacre at Lambeau Field. As I mentioned before, a loss to the Packers would not be devastating to their NFC East title run, but the fact that they were blown-off the field definitely pushes them into the second-tier of contenders in the NFC at this point of the season.

Philadelphia has now lost to two division leaders in the NFC, which could easily come back to haunt the team when it comes to tiebreakers for potential first round byes in the playoffs. I am probably getting way ahead of myself considering how bad the Eagles looked last week in almost every phase of the game, but in all fairness to our beloved Birds, it seems that every NFL team has been hammered at least once this season from the Patriots and the Packers right on down the list.

The first thing Philadelphia needs is to get its swagger back with a strong showing against Tennessee this Sunday. The Eagles are solid double-digit favorites to win this game and so far this season they have done a good job at taking care of business against the teams they are supposed to beat. I do not want to take a win over the 2-8 Titans for granted, but I am already focused on next Thursday's big trip to Big D for a Turkey Day showdown against the Boys. This is easily the biggest game of the year so far for both teams and whichever one goes on to draw first blood in the season series will hold the inside track to the 2014 NFC East title.

First, the Cowboys have to get past New York on the road this Sunday to keep pace with Philly, assuming the Birds win their game. I think that will be the case as the Giants have been simply awful the past five weeks. I actually made Dallas (-4.5) my NFC East 'pick of the week' and while I will still be rooting hard for New York to pull-off the upset, the simple fact that I am 8-3 with this year's weekly picks tells me that the Cowboys will roll in this one.

Please check-out the link below for my complete preview of Week 12 in the NFC East as part of my ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 12

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NFL Week 11 NFC East Preview & Pick

The rubber meets the road this Sunday for Philadelphia as it travels to Green Bay for one of its biggest matchups of the year along with the two upcoming games against the Cowboys. If the Eagles find a way to steal a win at Lambeau Field they would find themselves in the driver seat for not only another NFC East title, but a possible first round bye in the playoffs.

A loss to the Packers this Sunday would not be devastating, but it would definitely move the Birds down to the second tier of contenders in the NFC. I personally think the Eagles will come away with a win in this game, but everyone knows what a homer I am. The one good thing about this Sunday's matchup is that it will be a good test for Mark Sanchez after he went basically untouched in Monday night's game against Carolina. We need to see how he can perform in Chip Kelly's offense 'under fire' given his past reputation for turning the ball over when the heat did get turned up.

I did use the Packers' game for this week's NFC East 'pick of the week', but instead of taking the Eagles and the seven points I went with the OVER 54.5 on the total line. I see this one turning into old-fashioned shootout where both teams put up 30 points or more and the final score hinges on which team has the ball last.

In the other two games in the division this Sunday, Washington plays host to Tampa Bay in a game the Redskins should win with relative ease and the Giants welcome San Francisco to MetLife Stadium in a game they are almost guaranteed to lose.

The link below will take you to my complete preview of Week 11 in the NFC East as well as my 'pick of the week'. For those playing along, I come into this week with a 7-3 record in my first 10 picks.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 11

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NFL Week 10 NFC East Preview & Pick

The Mark Sanchez era in Philadelphia got underway last Sunday against Houston when Nick Foles went down with a broken clavicle. The results were encouraging as he led the Eagles to a rather comfortable victory in what was at first a very tight game.

His stint as the Eagles' starting quarterback for the next six to eight weeks while Foles in on the mend can only go one of two ways. The first would be a very shaky performance in which the Eagles lose enough games to put their playoff chances in serious jeopardy. The more likely scenario would be that Sanchez plays rather well to help the Birds win the majority of their games en route to a second-straight NFC East Division title. In true Philadelphia fashion, this would lead to a huge quarterback controversy that would light-up the air waves of every sports talk show in the city. You know, the kind of drama that Eagles' fans live for. I guess this would be a good problem to have, but I still see Foles as the future of this team despite a less than stellar performance in a few of his games this year. Something tells me that I am going to be in the minority if this scenario does unfold.

Right now I am simply focused on Monday night's matchup against Carolina. I really like the Eagles' chances to blow this game wide open early to make it a pretty easy night for the fans. So much so that I made Philadelphia winning by more than seven points my NFC East "pick of the week".

In other action, the Cowboys will look to snap a two-game skid against Jacksonville this Sunday in yet another NFL game in London. The big question in this contest is should Dallas go with Tony Romo as its starter despite the fact he is still suffering from an earlier back injury? All indications are that he is going to play, but do not be surprised if at some point he gets knocked out of this game as well. The Jaguars may only have one win on the year, but their defense is tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 27. Hopefully, we will all get a good close-up shot of Jerry Jones' face when that happens, considering that he appears to be willing to put his quarterback's health at an unnecessary risk against a team his beloved Cowboys should be able to beat no matter who is under center.

The Giants will also try and end a losing streak that reached three games with last Monday night's 40-24 loss to Indianapolis. Unfortunately, they are going to have to win on the road in Seattle to right the ship. This team has been the ultimate Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this season with multiple losing and winning streaks and I do not see this current slide coming to an end on Sunday afternoon at one of the toughest place in the NFL to win a game.

Fortunately for Redskins' fans their team has a bye this week after posting a 3-6 record in their first nine games. Washington will be back in action next Sunday against Tampa Bay at home, which is a game that it should actually win.

The following is a link to my full Week 10 NFC East preview and pick of the week which is part of an on-going series for Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 10

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NFL Week 9 NFC East Preview & Pick

It was a hard loss to swallow when the Eagles came up short against Arizona last Sunday in the final seconds of the game, but they never should have been in such a precarious position in the first place. In the end, turnovers, penalties and blown assignments proved to be just too costly to overcome to secure a win.

Fortunately the Redskins did Philly a favor by stepping-up to bring an end to the Cowboys' unexpected six-game winning streak. This kept the gap in the NFC East Division title race to just a half game. Dallas now has to hope that DeMarco Murray can stay hot running the ball with Tony Romo hindered by another back injury. There is a good chance that the Cowboys stumble again this week against a surprisingly good Arizona ball club, but I am not willing to bet on it with my NFC East 'pick of the week'.

The Giants are back in action this Monday night following a bye as easily the most schizophrenic team in the NFL. I think they can have some success against a Colts' defense that was torched for 51 points last Sunday against Pittsburgh, so if I had to make a pick in this one it would probably be the OVER on a betting line of 50.5.

Also back in action is Washington quarterback RG III. He went down in Week 2 with a dislocated ankle and earlier this week he was finally cleared to play in this Sunday's game against Minnesota. After the Kirk Cousins' bandwagon drove itself into the ground, first-year head coach Jay Gruden turned to Colt McCoy to get that much needed win against Dallas. It was not pretty, but the former Texas Longhorn played well enough to get the job done in his home state. Look for the Redskins to make it two in a row as RG III does just enough to help get his team another tight win this time around.

Turning to my NFC East 'pick of the week', I am relying heavily on two recent trends. First, the last time the Eagles lost consecutive games was back in Week 8 of last season and second, the Birds have won 10 of their last 12 games when they are listed as favorites. Last check, BetOnline had Philadelphia listed as a slight one-point road favorite against the Texans, although a few books out there now have this game listed as a PICK.

The following is a link to my complete NFC East preview and pick for Week 9 as part of my ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 9