NFL | Dec 16, 2018
Cardinals vs. Falcons
Jack’s Free Pick Sunday: Arizona Cardinals +10
The Atlanta Falcons are just not in a good state of mind right now. And with their poor mental state, they have no business laying 10 points this week, not even against a team that’s considered to be one of the worst in the NFL in the Arizona Cardinals. Let’s dive a little deeper into Atlanta’s state of mind.
This is a Falcons team that went to the Super Bowl two years ago and lost to the Patriots in excruciating fashion. Then last year they earned their way back to the playoffs and even beat the Rams on the road before a tough loss to the Eagles. So this is a team used to playing in big games the past two seasons.
But here they sit at 4-9 on the season and with nothing to play for. It has been a challenge for them to find reasons to be motivated every week, and they just haven’t been. They got back to 4-4 on the season with back-to-back wins over the Giants and Redskins, but have completely fallen apart since.
Indeed, the Falcons are 0-5 SU & 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall. Four of those five losses came by double-digits, and the five losses have come by an average of 10.6 points per game. That’s the sign of a team that has quit, and at the very least one that is just going through the motions. How can they possibly be motivated to face this 3-10 Arizona team this week?
The Falcons have an atrocious defense that is giving up 28.2 points and 387.1 yards per game on the season. They have been even worse at home, giving up 28.7 points and 430.6 yards per game in their seven home games thus far. They are just 2-5 ATS at home this season, and 3-10 ATS overall.
The Cardinals have a first-year head coach and a rookie quarterback in Josh Rosen, who is making strides every week. They are exactly the type of team that even at 3-10 will show up every week. They certainly showed up two weeks ago in their last road game, a shocking 20-17 upset win at Green Bay as 13.5-point underdogs. That’s the same Packers team that just beat the Falcons 34-20 at home last week.
I think the Cardinals are being undervalued off their 3-17 home loss to the Lions last week. But that was one of the most misleading finals of the week. The Lions only had one offensive touchdown and managed just 218 total yards against this very solid Arizona defense. The Cardinals outgained them by 61 yards, yet lost by 14.
Rosen should get some help this week from running back David Johnson, who should have plenty of success against this Atlanta defense. The Falcons rank 26th in the NFL in giving up 131.2 rushing yards per game, and they are even worse ranking 29th in yards per carry (5.0) allowed. Opposing quarterbacks are also completing 71.3% of their passes inside the Georgia Dome this season. Rosen is in line for one of his best games of the season.
Plays on road teams (Arizona) - after failing to cover three of their last four games coming in, in December games are 43-16 (72.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cardinals are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Arizona is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven against NFC opponents. The Falcons are 0-6 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
Take #313 Dallas Cowboys over Indianapolis Colts (1p.m., Sunday, December 16 FOX)
Just believe that the wrong team is favored in this game. Dallas has won 5 straight games including beating teams that are better than what they will see from Indianapolis this week. The Colts need to win out to keep their slim hopes of a playoff berth alive and I just do not see that happening. They will struggle to move the football against the Cowboys defense and expect this to be a low scoring game. Dallas has covered the spread in 5 straight games during this 5 game winning streak. Indianapolis is 5-12 ATS (2 pushes) in their last 19 games following a victory in their previous game.
NFL | Dec 16, 2018
Cowboys vs. Colts
The Cowboys have completely turned their season around.
After it looked like they were down and out, the offense has completely shifted gears with Amari Cooper coming over. He added the value on Sunday as he caught a deflected pass in overtime to help Dallas grab a win over Philadelphia.
They hold value here on Sunday as the Colts haven't been as sharp as they'd like to be as of late. Indianapolis has been sloppy taking caring of the ball and have struggled to cover the number at home.
Grab the points here. Back Dallas.
NFL | Dec 16, 2018
Cowboys vs. Colts
T.M. Selection: Dallas Cowboys (FREE PLAY)
The Colts bounced back last week from a 6-0 defeat to Jacksonville to knock off the red hot Texans in an important divisional battle, but I think they’ll have their hands full with a Cowboys team which has completely turned its season around and looks great in all three phases. The Boys are 8-5 after last weekend’s crucial 29-23 OT home win over the Eagles. While Andrew Luck has the advantage over his counterpart Dak Prescott under center, I’m giving the nod to Dallas in the run game, on defense and also in special teams. Note as well that the Cowboys are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 as an underdog, while the Colts are just 10-11 ATS in their last 21 at home, including only 2-3 ATS this season. Consider Dallas.
T.M. Prediction: 27-21 Dallas.