Colin has been hovering around the .500 mark this season, last week Colin hit 3 of 5. Can’t complain about a winning week, but I think most of us are still waiting for him to break out like his magical 2013 season, where he regularly went 4-1 or even 5-0 in some weeks. Colin was actually pretty close to a 4-1 week if you consider that the Cowboys tied the game with about 7 minutes remaining in the game, if they didn’t allow the ensuing backbreaking kickoff for a touchdown, the +3.5 points might have held up in most situations.
Also, here are the Blazing Five Week 9 Picks.
You can also find Colin’s former ESPN colleague Bill Simmons NFL Picks here.
Onto this week’s picks:
THE HERD’S BLAZIN’ Five PICKS NFL 2015 WEEK 8:
[winner] Giants (+3.5) at Saints – Giants are the forgotten team after a couple losses. Tom Coughlin is a great road coach ATS with 59-39 record. Giants are the only team with turnover differential of better than +6, which is important for road games. Saints have one of the worst defenses in the league, and they have the worst defense in the league in the 2nd half of games, giving up 124 second half points this season. The length of average scoring drives against the Saints this year: plays 6 plays, time 2:30 minutes, which means the Saints are prone to allowing huge plays. Odell licking his chops! 28-27 game either way.
[loser] Jets(-2) at Raiders – The New York Jets are Colin’s lock of the week. Think we heard this song and dance before, but he hit his lock of week on Jets last week and a couple weeks back as well. Colin does not think this line make any sense. Jets flying east to west gives them extra rest gaining 3 hours. Jets defense are giving up average of 18 points a game, that includes playing the high octane Patriots offense. And unlike Rex’s old Jets, Todd Bowles’ team actually has an offense this year, averaging 25 points a game, using weapons such as Decker, Marshall and Ivory. Jets are dominating the teams at the line of scrimmage, they are out-rushing opponents by 65 yards a game, and actually allowed less than 60 yard rushing in 3 games. That same offense line has also mostly kept Ryan Fitzpatrick upright. Raiders are better this year, but they are the same ol’ Raiders. They have averaged 14 penalties a game in their wins, which is 30% more penalties than 2nd place. Raiders’ biggest weapon is Amari Cooper, which Jets can tame with Darrelle Revis. Colin thinks Jets are the 3rd best team in the league behind the Patriots and Bengals. Jets will dominate this game, 34-23.
[winner] Colts (+7) at Panthers – Monday Night Football game here. Andrew Luck is 17-4 ATS following a loss. They generally play better after getting beat and humiliated, they are now playing desperate. Panthers are undefeated, but they have not played a tough schedule so far this season, none of their opponents so far have record over .500. Panthers offense isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard either, only scored over 30 points once this season and ranked in bottom third of league in yards and first downs. What also helps this line is that Indianapolis are great at scoring garbage points at the end of losses. Colin thinks Colts loses the game but gets a backdoor cover, Panthers win 28-24.
[loser] Bengals at Steelers (+1.5) – Colin is going against Cousin Sal’s week 8 lock of the week here. Pittsburgh has always dominated this rivalry. Big Ben will be back this game, and he’s beaten Cincy 12 times out of 16 games, even when Cincy had the better team such as last year when Steelers beat them twice last year. At home in last 11 games as dogs, Steelers are 8-1-2 ATS. Martavis Bryant will also be back this game. Bye weeks generally help teams, but Marvin Lewis’ teams are 3-7-1 coming off bye weeks. 24-23 Pittsburgh win the game.
[loser] Packers (-3) at Broncos – Colin liked the Packers so much this week he almost didn’t pick it this week (trap game?). Denver running game has been a huge disappointment this year. Broncos have struggled to win against lesser competition this year, their defense is carrying the team so far this season. Mike McCarthy is great off bye week with record of 12-3. There is a huge mismatch in QB matchup this week. Aaron Rodgers has 15 TDs and 2 picks, whereas the aging Peyton Manning has 7 TDs and 10 picks. Although Broncos lead the league in sacks, Packers are right behind them 2nd place in sacks this season. Rodgers is exceptionally mobile to hold off the pass rush. Green Bay will go into Denver and move the ball to win 28-23, swallow the points, Packers win.