LATEST STORIES FROM THE FOOTBALL FAN SPOT

2014 Pro-Bowl Selections

QB: Tom Brady (New England), Drew Brees (New Orleans), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh), Tony Romo (Dallas) RB: LeVeon Bell (Pittsburgh), Jamaal Charles (Kansas City), Justin Forsett (Baltimore), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Eddie Lacy (Green Bay), DeMarco Murray (Dallas) FB: Anthony Sherman (Kansas City), Ryan Hewitt (Cincinnati...
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9 hours ago  |  Discuss

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) This is the toughest game of the week for me to predict. These two teams are almost identical in terms of rate of moving the chains differential this year, with Pittsburgh coming in 6th, and Kansas City coming in 7th. The Steelers have the better offense, moving the chains at a 78.23% rate, but allow opponents to move the chains...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Seattle Seahawks (10-4) at Arizona Cardinals (11-3) A lot is made about the Seahawks’ homefield advantage in the NFC West, but the Cardinals have had a tough homefield advantage in recent years as well, going 29-11 ATS as home underdogs or favorites of less than 3 since 2007. This season alone they are 7-0 straight up and 6-1 ATS at home. Despite that, the public is all over the...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at New Orleans Saints (6-8) The Saints recently won 20 straight home games with Sean Payton and Drew Brees, covering in almost all of them (18-1-1 ATS), but they’ve since lost 4 straight games at home, all as favorites. On the season, they are just 2-5 ATS at home and oddly enough they are 4-3 ATS on the road. The Saints certainly aren’t the auto-bet at...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Cleveland Browns (7-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) The Browns had a horrific showing last week at home in Johnny Manziel’s debut losing the first down battle 5-24 against the Bengals and moving the chains at a 35.71% rate, as opposed to 78.38% for the Bengals. As a result of that, this line with Carolina favored by 4 is pretty reasonable. On the season, the Browns move the chains...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

San Diego Chargers (8-6) at San Francisco 49ers (7-7) The public is all over the Chargers here. It’s understandable. The 49ers have lost 3 straight games, haven’t covered since week 11 in New York against the Giants and haven’t covered at home since week 13 of last season. They’ve been eliminated from the playoffs and Jim Harbaugh is basically a goner. However, these players...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

New England Patriots at New York Jets: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

New England Patriots (11-3) at New York Jets (3-11) The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL and the Jets are one of the worst, but this line is still a little high at 10.5. The Patriots move the chains at a 77.87% rate, as opposed to 72.00% for their opponents, a differential of 5.87% that ranks 2nd in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Jets rank 28th, moving the chains at a 67.73...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) at Washington Redskins (3-11) This is one of two games this week where the line is really off, according to rate of moving the chains differential (the other one is Chicago/Detroit). The Redskins haven’t been quite as bad as their record this season, moving the chains at a 70.28% rate, as opposed to 72.20% for their opponents, a differential of -1.92%...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (11-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1) The Bengals had a huge performance in Cleveland last week, winning the first down battle 24-5 against the Browns and move the chains at a 78.38% rate, as opposed to 35.71% for their opponents. However, they still rank just 17th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 72.13% rate, as opposed to 72.67% for their...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

St. Louis Rams at New York Giants: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

New York Giants (5-9) at St. Louis Rams (6-8) This line is off. The Rams are 6.5 point favorites here at home despite the fact that the Giants rank better in rate of moving the chains differential. The Giants rank 16th, moving them at a 72.33% rate, as opposed to 72.52% for their opponents, a differential of -0.19%. Meanwhile, the Rams come in at 20th, moving the chains at a 69.15...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Green Bay Packers (10-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12) The Packers haven’t been nearly the same team on the road this season. That was evident last week in a loss in Buffalo and it’s been evident all year as they’ve beaten just one team by more than 4 points on the road all season, relevant considering this line is all the way up at 10.5 On the season, they move the chains...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Minnesota Vikings (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (7-7) At first glance, this line is actually a little bit too low at 7. The Dolphins rank 12th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 74.16% rate, as opposed to 72.84% for their opponents, a differential of 1.33%. Meanwhile, the Vikings rank all the way down at 27th, moving the chains at a 69.08% rate, as opposed to 72...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Baltimore Ravens (9-5) at Houston Texans (7-7) This line was Houston -1 last week and now it’s Baltimore -6 in Houston. That’s a massive line movement, as it’s moved a full touchdown to compensate for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury. That’s a massive overreaction. Fitzpatrick is decent, but the Texans’ offense ranks just 19th in the NFL in rate of moving the chains. Meanwhile...
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5 days ago  |  Discuss

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Buffalo Bills (8-6) at Oakland Raiders (2-12) This line shifted from 4.5 to 6 over the past week with the Bills winning at home in upset fashion over the Packers. I love fading huge line movements whenever it makes sense because they’re usually overreactions, especially when I can do so and fade the public at the same time, because the public always loses money in the long run...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Detroit Lions (10-4) at Chicago Bears (5-9) This line was 4.5 last week, but it’s since moved to 7 in favor of the Lions, a line movement of 2.5 points that crossed both significant numbers of 6 and 7. It’s easy to understand why the line moved after the Bears were embarrassed on national television by the Saints. However, I love fading a significant line movement whenever it...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Indianapolis Colts (10-4) at Dallas Cowboys (9-5) The Cowboys got an impressive victory in Philadelphia last week and that moved this line from even to 3 over the past week. I love fading significant line movements whenever it makes sense. This is a significant movement, going as it’s now at a key number, and fading it does make sense. That line movement is a massive overreaction...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars: 2014 Week 16 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (2-11) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) This is the worst game of the year. Both of these two teams rank in the bottom-3 in rate of moving the chains differential and have for most of the season. This is the only game this year between two teams that bad. And thanks to the NFL’s rule that everyone get a primetime game, we have to watch this game instead of one of...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Rate of Moving the Chains – Week 16

What is this? This is rate of moving the chains, which is my primary statistic for handicapping games. It holds the assumption that the goal of any team on any given 1st and 10 (or 1st and goal) is to move the chains (or score). In order to figure out how often teams meet that goal, I take first downs plus touchdowns and divide it by first downs plus touchdowns plus failures to move...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

2014 Week 15 NFL Pick Results

Last week Against the Spread: 8-7-1 Straight Up: 8-8 Pick of the Week: 0-1 High Confidence: 0-0 Medium Confidence: 3-4 Low Confidence: 1-1-1 No Confidence: 4-1 Upset Picks: 1-5 On the season Against the Spread: 125-96-3 (.566) Straight Up: 135-72-1 (.652) Pick of the Week: 8-6-1 High Confidence: 8-10 Medium Confidence: 45-27 Low Confidence: 30-25-2 No Confidence: 34-28 Upset Picks: 17-23
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Off-season Hobbies of NFL Stars

During the NFL offseason, we tend to hear a lot about what players are doing wrong, or at least the controversies that come up in their lives. A few years back, it was the horrible news that former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez was being arrested on suspicion of murder. This year, we’ve heard stories ranging from ex-NFL star Darren Sharper’s arrest on suspicion of rape to Colin...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: 2014 Week 15 NFL Pick

Oakland Raiders (2-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6) The Raiders pull the improbable upset over the 49ers last week as 8 point home underdogs and they did so in convincing fashion, but we’re still getting line value with the Chiefs as 10 only point home favorites here. The Raiders still rank dead last in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 63.74% rate, as opposed...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: 2014 Week 15 NFL Pick

Minnesota Vikings (6-7) at Detroit Lions (9-4) The Lions are in a good spot here. While they go to Chicago next week, which won’t provide much of a distraction, the Vikings have another tough game on deck, heading to Miami next week. Teams are 89-63 ATS since 2012 before being 3+ road favorites and 57-36 ATS before being 4+ road favorites. The early line has the Lions favored by...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts: 2014 Week 15 NFL Pick

Houston Texans (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (9-4) The Colts have been very good at home in the Andrew Luck era, going 16-7 ATS at home since 2002. We’re also getting a little bit of line value with the Colts, as they rank 3rd, moving the chains at a 76.26% rate, as opposed to 71.26% for their opponents, a differential of 5.00%. Meanwhile, the Texans rank 20th, moving the chains...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears: 2014 Week 15 NFL Pick

New Orleans Saints (5-8) at Chicago Bears (5-8) This might be the toughest game of the week for me to pick. On one hand, Drew Brees is 22-7 ATS off of a loss since 2008 as long as Sean Payton is on the sideline. Brees and Payton generally bounce back from adversity well and coming off of a 41-10 loss to the Panthers last week, the Saints have hit rock bottom. You could see it in...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots: 2014 Week 15 NFL Pick

Miami Dolphins (7-6) at New England Patriots (10-3) Both of these two teams are in great spots. The Dolphins are playing arguably the biggest game of their season (a must-win on the road against division rival New England), with no upcoming distractions, as their next game is a home game against Minnesota. The early line in the Minnesota game has them as 7 point favorites. Teams...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss
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