Free Pick NFL: Atlanta Falcons – Seattle Seahawks

After the bye the Falcons will play their first playoff game, at home, against the seed number 3 Seattle.
Atlanta was one of the biggest surprise this year and they played really an amazing football in offense with a great year of Matt Ryan (probably the future MVP of the regular season) and with so many strong weapons like Julio Jones, Freeman or Sanu.
Their offense was the best in the NFL but the defense not played so well especially in the first part of season but in the second one they step up and played way better. Of course they haven’t a strong defense but the offense was capable to win the games.
For today they will not have injuries and this is another key factor for every team in this period.

Seattle, instead, won the Wild Card game of last week, at home, against the Lions.
Their defense make a great job but honestly there was also 2-3 missed calls by the refs who changed a little bit the flow.
Wilson is in better shape but Seattle is still without Lockett and a big absence like Earl Thomas, out for season.
For tonight they have only one player in doubt, the running back Prosise who is still questionable.
They played at home against the Falcons in the regular season and won a tough and close game but also in that game they was helped by the refs with a huge PI not called on Julio Jones on the decisive drive.

For me Atlanta is the favourite here and can have the chance to win the battle and pass the turn.

Atlanta ML @1,50

Free Pick NFL: Baltimore Ravens – Philadelphia Eagles

The season is close to an ending and Ravens are in the hunt for take the lead in their division and take a spot in playoff zone.
Now they are one game under the Steelers but they played well in last period.
They 3-2 in last 5 games but they lose against Dallas (in away) for 27-17 and against New England (in away) for 30-23, so two L against top teams.
At home they are pretty solid and they can count on a really strong defense. At home they are 5-2.
For today the only absence will be Jimmy Smith (Suggs is NIR).

Eagles are more or less out from any playoff ambition and they are in a really bad period with 4L in a row.
Seattle, Green Bay, Cincinnati and Washington. Sproles, Barbre and Vaitai will be all out for today.
In away they are 1-6 with 5L in a row and honestly i don’t think that they can beat Baltimore today also because i think that the defense of Baltimore can make a lot of pressure on Wentz and create some troubles.

Baltimore -2.5 @1.57

Free Pick NFL: Cleveland Browns – Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland is still the worst team in the league with 0-10 and two consecutive blowout against the Cowboys (10-35 at home) and against the Ravens (28-7 in away). Two teams who played in last weeks just against the Steelers and i will explain in the prosecution the results.
Browns added in last weeks a strong defensive players like Collins from the Patriots and he started to produce quickly but he can save, alone, an entire defense or an entire team.
They also have the entire roster available with only Tramon Williams questionable for a knee problem (for me he’ll not play) but the situation is still not so good.

Steelers are in hunt for take a place in the playoff but actually they are in bad shape with 4 consecutive losses but we have to analyze the L. Against the Dolphins they lose for 30-15 but with Big Ben not at 100% and out for an injury during the game, against the Patriots (at home) they lose for 16-27 and it was out Big Ben, then they lose in away in a classic battle against the Ravens (21-14) but it was really a close and a tough game as usual between the two teams and the final was a L, very very close, against the Cowboys at home for 30-35 but it was a really tough game where Steelers had the lead with few time on the clock but they missed a decisive tackle on a central run of Elliott and allowed the decisive touchdown.
They still have some players out for today like DeAngelo Williams, Wheaton and Thomas, but they add tothe injury list also Heyward and Heyward-Bey. Grimble and Dangerfield are both questionable instead Green is active.

For me the Browns could stay for a while in this game but imho they can’t resist for so long to one of the best offense of the league and to a QB who can count on so many options like Bell, Brown, James, Rogers and Coates (who could be a big threat if Big Ben will try some deep-rocket).
So i want to take my shot on away side.

Pittsburgh -3,5 @1,52  (9-23)

Free Pick NFL: Carolina Panthers – New Orleans Saints

Panthers are 3-6 after an amazing season (last year) where they dominated the NFL but lose in the top moment, the Super Bowl, against one of the toughest defense in the league, the Broncos.
This year they appear like a total different team but they not changed so much. They started really bad (1-4) and in last period they was little bit better with 2 wins in last 3 games. They won against Cardinals (another team in big trouble) at home for 30-20 and against the Rams, in LA, in a really bad (to watch) game ended 10-13 for the Panthers.
In last one, another key match for them, for the standings, they lose against the Chiefs at home with a comeback of KC who won for 3 points (17-20) after a decent start of the Panthers.For tonight they will have probably out, again, center Kalil and the problem is that also his replacement, the young Gadkowski, is questionable and haven’t practiced in all the days before this game. Also Jones, Klein and Oher are out.
They played (and lose) few weeks ago against the Saints in an high score game ended with a big pathos in final quarter with a win of the Saints for 41-38. Olsen and Benjamin, but also the same Newton are the top target of the team (maybe an eye also on Stewart because the Saints can suffer, like the first game, with his running game).

Saints are, more or less, with a similar record of the Panthers (4-5) but they won 3 times in last 5 games and with a little bit of luck they could have won also the last home game against the Broncos where they missed (or Broncos blocked, it’s a point of view) the FG for the win in last minutes of play.
They are a really good team in offense, with Brees always focused on the passing game. The defense is the problem also with the return of two important players like Vaccaro (who could face a ban for 4 game but tonight will play) and Ellerbe.
But imho they will have still problems in that part of the field.

I will expect another game with so many points, another really good game, very watchable and i think that it’s a good attempt to take this over line, but i also think that the Panthers will win this one.

Over 47,5 @1,57 (23-20)
or
Panthers ML @1,59  (23-20)

Free Pick NFL: San Francisco 49ers – New Orleans Saints

49ers are another team in big trouble with with a total record of 1-6 and last in the AFC.
Kelly is having a lot of trouble to manage a team like this one and after a really bad start with QB Gaines (not all his fault) it’s back as QB Kaepernick but the team showed problems in the same way.
At least they haven’t big problems with injuries because they have out just two plaayers (Lynch and Robinson) and Hyde is questionable but his absence could be an important loss for them and for their rushing game.
Their defense allow more or less 1300 rushing yards and 1600 passing yards and especially this second option could be a problem against a strong offense handled by Brees.

Saints are another team who is playing much much better than the first part of season. Now they are 3-1 in last 4 games and have won against San Diego, Carolina and Seattle (two at home), the only loss was in away against the Chiefs for 27-21.
They showed problems in defense for a long period but in last matches they appeared a little bit better.
The offense can count on Brees and on some targets like Thomas, Cooks, Snead and the TE Fleener.
Also the rush-offense can count on two good targets like Ingram and Hightower.
For today they have 5 players questionable (Breaux, Moore, Armstead, Lampman and Anthony), other 3 out (Ellerbe, Lasco and especially Laurinatis) and other two who are probable like Unger and the strong WR Thomas.

The Saints are, imho, the better side and i want to take a shot on them.

New Orleans ML @1,53  (23-41)

Free Pick NFL: Cleveland Browns – Dallas Cowboys

Cleveland is actually the worst team in league. They are 0-8 and also in last home match they lose against the Jets (who was 2-5 before that match) for 3 points margin and with the Jets who played only the second half because in the first Fitzpatrick and the offense committed a lot of mistakes.
For this game they have 4 players questionable: Carder, Erving, Taylor and Louis.
The top target is Pryor but the problem could be the defense who allowed 1150 rushing yard to their opponents and today they will face the best RB in the league Zeke Elliott.

Dallas is in top position in their division and in the entire NFC with 6-1 and also in last game, played at home, they comeback and won after the OT against a good team like the Eagles.
Prescott is continue to playing decent (not like the first part but in a good way) and they can count on Zeke (as i said) but also on some good recievers like Bryant or Beasley.
For today Dez is questionable but probably he’ll start like Dubnar and Collins. Lawrence is Q but i think he’ll not play like Hitchens. Romo, Church, Davis, Green and especially Clairborne will be all out.

I think that Dallas can take another W and continue the run.

Dallas -3,5 @1,56  (10-35)

Free Pick NFL: Kansas City Chiefs – New Orleans Saints

Kansas arrive to this match with an overall record of 3-2 and with 2 wins and 1 L in last 3 games. They won the last one, in away, with a dominant performance against the Raiders.
A dominant performance of the offense who scored in every single quarter and also a strong performance of the defense who allowed just a field goal after the touchdown of the first period and they played against a team who scored a lot when play at home. They was capable to conceed yard only to Cooper but with a strong coverage on all the others (especially on Crabtree).
For tonight they can count on the usual Jamaal Charles and some good recievers.
This will be the third home game and actually they are 2-0 with a win over Chargers (33-27 after the OT) and another one over the Jets (24-3).

Saints arrive to this match after a huge upset in week 6 against the Panthers at home but they was a little bit close, as usual, to allow a comeback to Carolina. The defense is always not so strong and conceed always some points but Brees and the offense is always so dangerous. For today only 3 players will be out, instead other 3 are in little doubt.

I think that Kansas can take another win here and cover this handicap line.

KC -2,5 @1,50  (27-21)

Free Pick Alert: GB Packers – CHI Bears

Packers are 3-2 and they lose last home match against Dallas for 16-30 and it was really an awful match for their offense and especially an awful match for the QB Aaron Rodgers who is in a really bad period that started after the match of Denver Broncos last year.
The team, against Dallas, suffered a lot also for the absence of a decent running game because Starks was injured and Lacy was at maximum at 50% (and in fact he played few snaps). For tonight they will still have a lot of problems in the running game because Starks will be out at least for 4 weeks and Lacy is in IR (at least 8 weeks to recovery, if he’ll) and it was placed on IR also the #1 cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) and they will have out also #2 and #3 CB (Randall and Rollins), so in the CB spot they will start with Goodson (back after 4 games suspension) and the young Gunter who was awful against the Cowboys.
For the running game they traded Knile Davis from the Chiefs (a guy who was the third RB of Kansas and played really few snaps as RB, some more as a member of the special team) and who trained with Packers just for 3 days (he’ll start as #1 RB) and as backup they will start with Don Jackson promoted by Practice squad.
They will have out also WRs Adams and Abbrederis, instead Cobb should start.
So a not simple situation for the Packers who are really in one of the worst moment in their entire season.

Bears have really a lot of problems too.
They are 1-5 (only the Browns was worst then them) and they lose the QB Cutler but he was replaced by Hoyer who is playing very well. They can count on a good threat like Alshon Jeffrey but their offense has an average of 15-17 points scored per game and i think that against a tough D-line like the one of the Packers they could have problems to pass that line.
They will have too some problems of injuries especially with Royal, Hall and Goldman out and other 10 players in big doubt (especially the former Packers O-line man Josh Sitton).

Imho the Packers, who are of course not in a great moment, have the weapons to create problems to the Bears and i don’t know when, but i won’t believe that Rodgers can play again and again in this bad way.
Soon or later i think that his class and his accurracy will be back and shine again.

Packers -3,5 @1,59  (26-10)