By Dan Leach
As the NFL season heats up so does the DTM prediction machine, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being. I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding “Bagels and Lox” 1-10 scale.
The fun continues and is getting serious…
NEW ENGLAND AT CAROLINA 8:40 PM EST MONDAY NIGHT TV ESPN (PANTHERS -3)
These are the types of game that the Pats always win right? Underdogs against a hot team on the road as the Pats are both playing their best football. Well in the past that would absolutely be the case, but when your depth issues make a MAC football team look good , your ability to win against good teams can only last for so long. The crowd in Charlotte is going to be on fire from the start and the way the Panthers D is playing, highlighted by their win on their road at San Fran last week, gives them a chance to beat anybody. The Pats offense will struggle all night and Cam Cam Newton is going to shine on the bright stage as he will spread the ball around to Smith, Olsen, and Williams out of the backfield.
5.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE PANTHERS -3
DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH 1 PM EST TV FOX RADIO 971 THE TICKET (LIONS -2.5)
Pittsburgh might be a home dog for only the 6th time since 2001, the Lions might not have won in Pittsburgh since Doc Brown invented time travel back in 1955, but these aren’t your fathers Lions or your cousins Steelers. It is going to be sloppy at the big Ketchup Bottle, but the Lions are built to not let be an issues with their depth at RB now with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell and with the way the Lions o-Line has been playing you have to feel great about their ability to impose their will with the ground game. Look for Matt Stafford to have a big day against a soft Steelers D and for Big Ben to be pressured all day by the Lions front seven. A win here for Detroit and the division title truly can start to become a reality for the first time since 1993.
6 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE LIONS -2.5
ATLANTA AT TAMPA BAY 1 PM PM EST TV FOX (PICK EM)
Two teams whose seasons could not have gone much worse to this point get it going by the Bay. The Bucs ended thief chance at a winless season and saved Greg Schiano’s job for at least one more week with their win over Miami last Monday night. The Falcons played disgusting football in their loss at home last week to Seattle and our dead as far as playoffs go , but have a great coach in Mike Smith who will not accept his team giving up. The Falcons are 16-3 ATS following a loss of 6 points or more and with how bad the Bucs truly are with their coach and depth issues, this is a chance for ATL , a former Super Bowl fave, to at least for one week feel good about themselves.
6.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE FALCONS
SAN FRANCISCO AT NEW ORLEANS 4:25 PM EST TV FOX (SAINTS-3)
Very intriguing game from the Crescent City as the Niners who are trending wayyy down take on a Saints team that looks like they could be Super This season. The Saints D is playing better than in their Super Bowl season and that is the worst kind of news for Niners QB Colin Kaepernick who has been struggling mightily as of late. New Orleans has covered 14 straight at home under Coach Payton and they will keep that going today in what could end up being a romp
7.4 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE SAINTS -3
KANSAS CITY AT DENVER 8:30 PM EST TV NBC (BRONCOS -7.5)
The Chiefs might be the first 9-0 team in NFL history to ever big this big of an underdog…EVER… but they don’t care all they do is win. Peyton Manning is beat up and his Broncos, while a great team have had trouble against active and aggressive defenses this season and the Chiefs come about as balanced as you can. Look for Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense to play smart football all day and coming off the bye to be razor focused. Andy Reid is 14-1 straight up and 11-4 ATS off the bye and undefeated teams of 4-0 or better are an amazing 13-1 against the number in the last 14 (assist RJ Bell) The Chiefs might not win the game , but they will be in it until the end and the value here is simply too much not to jump on.
8 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE CHIEFS +7.5
DTM’S ODDS TIDBIT OF THE WEEK-Detroit Lions now -200$ to win NFC North- latest their odds have been even remotely close to this since the early 1991. Were +450$ to start the season behind all three teams. 20-1 to win Super Bowl 48. Lowest Lions odds have been this late in the year prior to clinching a playoff spot to win SB……..EVER (in Super Bowl Era)
Season to Date-23-18
Dan Leach is on the short list for possible Hilary Clinton 2016 running mates, once hang glided from Washington State to Baha, Mexico on a dare, was the basis for the gritty heroine Katniss in the Hunger Games book trilogy, and is a finalist for the first human manned mission to Neptune. Follow Dan on Twitter @DTMLEACH