01 Oct Stromme’s Selections: Spreads and Totals Week 4 (12-5-1 ATS, 7-2-1 O/U)
By: Mike Stromme
A bit of an underwhelming week last Sunday. Things looked pretty good up until the late kickoffs when the Bears and 49ers let us down. But still, I’ll take a 2-2-1 ATS week, especially at 12-5-1 on the year!
On the plus side, both of our totals hit last week! I told you that Rams-Bucs game would be a shootout!
Year To Date:
Anyways, to quote The Cars, “Let the good times roll!”
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) 49.5 (In London, England)
Pick: OVER 49.5
Of the 14 total games played in Wembley Stadium over the past nine years, the average total points scored has been 48.9 (so, 49 points per game). This includes a 13-10 Giants victory over the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 28, 2007. These games are typically high-scoring, with every game reaching at least 40 points since 2008. These two offenses should make things interesting, as they both are more than capable of lighting up scoreboards. Pair that with how much points both these teams have allowed this season, and this game should fly over the number.
A nice start to the day, cash that early morning ticket!
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (-5) 41.0
Pick: Texans -5
Overall the Texans aren’t nearly as good as they looked in Weeks 1 and 2, but they aren’t as bad as they looked two Thursdays ago in New England. This team will have their ups and downs, but they’ll contend for this division all season long. Even without J.J. Watt for the season.
In their last 10 meetings, the Texans are 8-2 straight-up and 9-1 against the spread. This includes the Texans sweeping the season series the last two seasons.
The main downfall of the Titans last season was their tendency to turn the ball over. They attempted to rectify this in the offseason, by drafting Tajae Sharpe and Derrick Henry while trading for DeMarco Murray. Well, through three weeks, the Titans are still turning the ball over at an alarming rate, at a 21.2 offensive turnover percentage, their near the top of the league in turnover percentage yet again. This team has been one of the bigger disappointments for me early so far. I’ll gladly take the Texans to continue to have their way with the Titans.
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Jets (+3) 40.0
Pick: Jets +3
Depending on where you look, this game might be closer to a pick-em. But for the most part, the Seahawks are three-point favourites heading into the Meadowlands.
I REALLY like the Jets in this spot. They will never look as bad as they did last week in Arrowhead. The Seahawks are banged-up on the offensive side of the ball. Jimmy Graham was limited in practice, Russell Wilson is playing on a sprained MCL, his mobility will be in-question and Thomas Rawls is officially ruled out.
I still think the Jets are a solid team on both sides of the ball and shall remain a factor in the AFC Wild Card picture all season. I think there’s a HUGE mismatch between this incredible Jets defensive front and this anaemic Seattle offensive line. Plus, it’s real tough to back a West Coast team coming East for an early kickoff. Lou Landers better get his pipes ready, he’s losing this karaoke wager. J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS!
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears (+3) 48.0
Pick: OVER 48.0
If you’ve caught any Bear games this season (you should have, two of those games were in Prime Time for some reason), you’ve seen how inept this team is on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles, Cowboys and Texans had no problem moving the ball up and down the field on these guys.
The Lions have been lighting up scoreboards in two of their three games played this season. While their offense has been strong (shout out Marvin Jones!), their defense has been a disappointment. Much of that has been injury-related, Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy have both missed time for this squad, and that will continue this Sunday; both are ruled “Out”. While DT Eddie Goldman, one of the lone bright spots on this Bear defense, did not practice all week and is officially “Doubtful”.
Expect Stafford and Co. to continue their prolific ways. Also, expect Brian Hoyer to throw the ball a ton. Some of which will end up going the other way. Either way, this game has high-scoring game written all over it.
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals (-8) 43.0
Pick: Rams +8
Take Week 1 in San Fran out of things, and the Rams have been a solid football team. Opposing offenses have only scored on 24.3% of drives (6th in the NFL) and now all of a sudden, they’re in a position to gain an early two-game lead on a team that many (myself included) picked to win this division and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Despite waiting two weeks to score their first touchdown of the season, the Rams are finding ways to get it done. The last time they went into the nest of the RedBird, they (Todd Gurley) took it to them and won the game outright.
Carson Palmer hasn’t looked himself so far in 2016. In his last four games (including the NFC Championship game), he has a 6-8 TD-INT ratio. Now, many of that was last week in Buffalo and that infamous NFC Championship performance, but still, you don’t know whether good Palmer or bad Palmer will show up these days.
I’ll take the Rams to play a closely-contested divisional showdown.
New Orleans Saints @ San Diego Chargers (-4.5) 53.5
Pick: Chargers -4.5
I have no clue why an 0-3 team with a absolutely wretched defense travelling West on a short week is a popular public bet, but I will gladly go the other way.
Like I’ve said before, Drew Brees is a much different in the elements. And while the weather will be as close to a dome as an outdoor game can be, I still don’t trust this team.
The Chargers have been competitive all season, I expect them to give the Saints all they can (or can’t) handle on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) 47.5
Pick: Chiefs +6 and UNDER 47.5
Here’s how I see this one playing out:
The Chiefs control the pace of play in the traditional Kansas City way of running the ball and making high-percentage pass plays The Steelers, a team that was inside the top five in total sacks in 2015, has exactly ONE sack through the first three games of the season. Smith should have all day in the pocket.
While Antonio Brown will still put up decent fantasy numbers, rising star Marcus Peters will keep him in-check for the most part. And by keep him in-check, I mean that he won’t go off for a 15-174-2 type of performance. I’m thinking more along the lines of 9-85-1 from Antonio Brown.
The Steelers played a very similar offense in the Eagles last week and were completely embarrassed. While I don’t expect that to happen two weeks in a row, I fully expect this game to be close.