Week 5 ATS

This year NFL Picks ATS (16-5) 76% winners
Last Week 7-1

Bears @ Panthers
The Bears are a good team; this is an overreaction play here. The Panthers are historically good at home, but they cannot move the ball on offense. The Bears might be beat up on Defense but they can score points and the Panthers defense is giving them up in bunches recently. If I get the better talent and points I am going to take them. The Bears showed they can run the ball last week, and I think the Panthers are calling high school teams to ask if they have any RBs available. When you are one dimensional in the NFL you lose games.

Cody Says: Take the points BEARS (+2.5)
Browns @ Titans
This game is simple for me. Without Locker the Titans are a bad team. The Browns are one of the worst teams in the league against the run but they also have played some good RBs. I think they will stop the run and for the Titans to pass the ball. With two bad teams I will take the one with the better defense and more consistent QB. The Browns will win this game and pretty easily.

Cody Says: lay the points BROWNS (+1)

Steelers @ Jaguars​
The Steelers are not the Steel curtain anymore, but they are not the Jags either. To not have to lay more then a touchdown to a team that hasn’t stayed within double digits of any other team is a blessing. Look for Pittsburgh to be a little pissed off about squandering away a game at home that they should have won. Bell is going to go bananas this week, I don like laying big numbers but less then a touchdown against an 0-4 ATS team…I’ll take that.

Cody Says: Lay the Points STEELERS (-6.5)

Seahawk @ Redskins
The Seahawks are not as good when they are out of the Hawks nest. The Redskins are not a terrible team they did have a bad game last week though. The wheels started rattling and completely came off. They have an extra 3 days to prepare and I don’t put much stock in Thursday night games, just ask the Steelers. I think the Redskins keep it close and I will take the big points.

Cody Says: Take the points REDSKINS (7.5)

Ravens @ Colts
Andrew Luck is the best player in the NFL right now, plain and simple. Neither of these teams excel at running the ball and both defenses have holes. In a shootout I am going to take the best QB, who just happens to be the best player in the NFL. Under Luck the Colts cover nearly 70% at home ATS.

Cody Says: Lay the points COLTS (-2.5)

Cardinals @ Broncos
With both teams coming off the buy this is the Thursday night game right? Oh, that would make too much sense NFL, never mind don’t get me started on that. Both teams come into this game fresh and rested now. This Arizona defense is the real deal, even with all the injuries. How the 3-0 Cardinals are laying more then a touchdown to anyone blows my mind. I am sorry, with two top teams I am going to take a big number every single time. Denver hasn’t been able to run the ball this year, and I don’t think that changes this week. One dimensional team, with no play action threat for Manning I can’t see that leading to a blowout.
Cody Says: Take the points CARDINALS (+8)

All picks officially post on Saturday
http://www.sugarbookie.com

Week 4 Picks ATS

Week 4 Picks

Dolphins @ Raiders
Here is the skinny on this game, the Raiders are bad, really bad, but they played ok against the Patriots last week. The public see the Patriots as the team they were 3 years ago not this team.  They are a low ranking offense and have played bad team, like the Raiders.  The Raiders have also traveled to the east coast 2 straight weeks and now are in London, you do the math that’s about 20,000 miles in a few weeks.  They will be happy to get back to their homes in Oakland and sleep in their beds as soon as this game starts to go south.  They have one; yes one, touchdown that didn’t come in garbage time.  This Raiders team is way worse then the public thinks.  I actually like both the game and 1st half lines for the Dolphins, double dip on this game if you are feeling frisky.  The internal issues with the Dolphins are overblown; the Dolphins were 7 point favorites in this game just a week ago.  I have said this before and it’s paid you out, Vegas is never 4 points off.  This Dolphins line manhandled the Pats team just 3 weeks ago.

Cody Says: Lay the points 1st Half DOLPHINS -3 full game DOLPHINS -3.5

Packers @ Bears
The Bears are decimated by injuries and that doesn’t bode well against Aaron Rodgers when he is looking for a bounce back game.  The Bears secondary is now being lead by a rookie, Kyle Fuller is good, but he’s still a rook. Rodgers will exploit that and this defense can be run on, Lacy will finally get going this week.  The Bears are on a short week and it will be too much for them to cover the number.  The Packers know they can’t fall to 1-3; desperation will take over, the Pack will win this one pretty handily.

Cody Says: Lay the Points PACKERS -2

Lions @ Jets
The Lions have Megatron, and a Jets DB said he will shut him out this week. If you didn’t already know this the Jets secondary is trash and now they poked the bear that is Megatron.  Look for him to go bonkers on them.  They Jets can win games when Geno has to throw a lot, and since they wont be able to run on the Lions defense that will happen.

Cody Says: Lay the points LIONS -2.5

Saints @ Cowboys
The Saints are still being bet as people hang on to the fact that they were a SB favorite coming out of the preseason. The Cowboys have drafted offensive linemen in the last few drafts and that has helped their running game.  The Saints can’t tackle a pee wee team; take the points for the home dog.  Teams coming off being a dog, then they are favored in the next week they rarely cover.  The Saints home vs. Road splits are much larger then any other teams as favorites outside of the Superdome they a much different team.  The Road teams when Sean Peyton is the coach cover just over 12% of the games, I am taking the home team and the points.

Cody Says: Take the points COWBOYS +3

Falcons @ Vikings
The Falcons are getting bet like crazy after blowing out the worst team in the league last week. They lose the advantage of the Thursday night game because Cassel got hurt on Sunday; any game plan they put in was lost. Bridgewater is not only a better QB he is much different, you can’t just blitz him blindly he can run and make you pay.  Look for the Vikings to keep this close at home and cover.  If you feel really lucky take the moneyline, I think they might win outright.

Cody Says: take the home dog VIKINGS +3

Patriots @ Chiefs
The Patriots offense is grossly overrated, I know, I know, it’s Brady; he’s like Moses in Chow-da-land. Well, I live with facts, his numbers are down this year his yards per throw are way below his career numbers.  That’s all against bad teams, just like my winning pick last week with the Giants last week, turnover differential has saved the Pats against bad teams.  Alex Smith will protect the rock, and thus the Chiefs will cook up a cover.

Cody Says: CHIEFS +3.5

Jaguars @ Chargers
The Jaguars have skunked me 3 weeks in a row, but I am not giving up on them. With Bortles at the helm now the Jaguars will be much better on offense.  The Chargers lost nearly all of their running backs and will likely sleep on the Jaguars this week.  The Jaguars won’t win this game but a backdoor, garbage time TD will make sure they cover the number.

Cody Says: Take those juicy points JAGUARS +13.5

NFL

Week 1 Picks ATS

New Orleans @ Atlanta
Lay the number NO (-3)

Had you been on board with Sugarbookie and our picks before the preseason you would have gotten a stone cold lock. The Saints opened at (+2) that’s not a typo yes they were getting two points. Oh yeah, and I offered the Saints as a sleeper Super Bowl team to get at 17-1, if you didn’t jump on it you missed the boat they are 9-1 now and no longer a good risk reward. I generally want at least 15-1 on futures to make it worth waiting 18 weeks to get my money back.
Hard Knocks is a great show, they are detailed and in depth. In this case they showcased injuries and weaknesses that the Falcons have, moving the line. The Saints are a much better offense and their offense is going to be semi nuclear. The Falcons are weak at LB and Jimmy Graham is the best in the game. Look for him to light up the scoreboard and the Saints to have this one locked up fairly early. The Saints have a good secondary so they should be able to slow Roudy Roddy and Julio enough to lay the points.

Browns @ Steelers
Take it at (-6.5) leave it at the TD (-7)

I like the Steelers at home against a QB with 4 starts and not a lot of experience. Oh, did I mention every little error he makes he will be looking over his shoulder for Johnny Fucking Football? I don’t like to lay the full TD and some books have moved the line to (-7) if that were the case I would buy the hook and get it back to (-6.5) or just walk away.

Jaguars @ Eagles
Lay double digit points in the NFL….Almost ALWAYS (historically 54% winners)
Jaguars (+10.5)

Here’s the skinny on this pick, the Jags have a terrible reputation, therefore week 1 NOBODY bets them. Well, that’s where you come in; you want to make money right? The Eagles are the “trendy” team right now and people are infatuated with Chip Kelly’s offense. This has forced Vegas to make it a big number for the Jags to get people to bet them. They have a second year coach that was the defensive coordinator when Seattle first started wrecking ship in the hawks nest. He now has had enough time to get his pieces and system in place. Henne has been good when healthy and this offense has some good young pieces, they will actually score this year. The Jaguars will not be the worst team in the NFL this year; in fact I could see them winning 5-7 games. Good news is you will be able to take advantage of their favorable lines for the first few weeks. Don’t miss the boat, bet this line and I would feel confident to bet big. This game is my ***Pick of the week***

Raiders @ Jets
Take the points Raiders (+5.5)

Let’s just be real, neither of these teams are going to be great this year. The Jets could be one of the worst teams in football; do you think they deserve to be one of the biggest favorites this week? I sure don’t. This will be a sloppy game but Derek Carr looked pretty good in the preseason, and they will likely run a lot in this game. The Jets defense is pretty good up front, but their secondary is decimated. They were getting torched by other team’s starters in the preseason. Take the points this will likely be a sloppy game decided by a field goal.

Giants @ Lions
Lay the points Lions (-6)

The Giants are installing a new offense and Eli Eli-Manning-funny-face has had trouble picking it up. He went as far as saying he has trouble understating Ben McAdo’s Pennsylvania accent when he is making the play calls, remember Eli is a good old country boy from Louisiana and prefers a southern drawl. This is more about the Lions and how good they will be then how bad the Giants have looked. They added a WR that can actually punish teams for doubling Megatron in Golden Tate. They hired a coach that will actually hold people accountable for not giving 100% effort. The Lions offense will be really strong under Caldwell and the defense will be more discipline resulting in less penalties extending drives for the opposition. Eli will throw a costly INT and the Lions will win this one by two scores.

NFL Season Preview

As the new NFL season approaches, it’s time to put your name on the line and make predictions. The NFC is the stronger conference top to bottom this year, but the cream of the AFC is just as good as the top NFC teams. Some teams will actually approach the 13-14 win mark in the AFC, the weak East and South. The NFC West is still the top conference in football, but with all the issues with the 49ers, the Bradford injury, and the injuries/suspensions on the Cardinals defense, it might not be the case by seasons end.

x – Division winner & First round bye
y – Wild Card
z – Division winner
* – Homefield Advantage throughout

AFC North
X-Bengals 11-5 (4-2)
Y-Steelers 9-7 (3-3)
Ravens 9-7 (3-3)
Browns 5-11 (2-4)

AFC East
*X*-Patriots 12-4 (4-2)
Dolphins 6-10 (3-3)
Bills 5-11 (2-4)
NY Jets 3-13 (3-3)

AFC South
Z-Colts 10-6 (4-2)
Texans 7-9 (4-2)
Titans 5-11 (2-4)
Jaguars7-9 (2-4)

AFC West
Z-Broncos 11-5 (4-2)
Chargers 7-9 (2-4)
Y-Chiefs 9-7 (4-2)
Raiders 5-11 (2-4)

NFC North
Bears 9-7 (2-4)
Vikings 5-11 (1-5)
Y-Lions 10-6 (3-3)
Z-Packers 11-5 (5-1)

NFC East
NY Giants 7-9 (3-3)
Cowboys 5-11 (2-4)
Z-Eagles 10-6 (4-2)
Redskins 7-9 (3-3)

NFC South
Buccaneers 7-9 (3-3)
*X*-Saints 12-4 (5-1)
Panthers 6-10 (2-4)
Falcons 6-10 (2-4)

NFC West
49ers 9-7 (3-3)
X-Seahawks 12-4 (5-1)
Y-Cardinals 10-6 (2-4)
Rams 8-8 (2-4)

If you want to see the game by game picks for the season they are linked here.

Wild Card Round
NFC
6) Cardinals @ 3) Packers
5) Lions @ 4) Eagles

AFC
6) Steelers @ 3) Broncos
5) Chiefs @ 4) Colts

Divisional Round
NFC
5) Lions @ 1) Saints
3) Packers @ 2) Seahawks
AFC
3) Broncos @ 2) Bengals
4) Colts @ 1) Patriots

AFC/NFC Championship
Bengals @ Patriots
Seahawks @ Saints

Super Bowl 50
Patriots vs. Saints

World Champion
Saints

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The Andy Dalton Contract; Good for both parties!

Initial Thoughts: This is the exact situation that I wanted for the Bengals this year.  I know that some people wanted to make Andy “play it out,” but I was not one of them.  This way the media will not be talking about this all season.  Andy can just go out and play football without having to answer questions about his contract after every game.  It brings some form of stability at the position so they can get AJ Green to sign long term now too.

This was the perfect deal for the Bengals, and for Dalton. Dalton doesn’t have to play a year where he makes 1 million dollars with the risk a major injury costing him big-time.  He gets essentially 25 million in guaranteed money for 2 years.  He gets 17 million in bonuses now and his same 1 million dollar season base salary, and 7 million next year. Dalton would have to play pretty bad to get cut when only making 7 million bucks next year, don’t you think?  The structure of the deal is great too, more on that later, just an example.  If Dalton takes this team one round further each year, he will win the Super Bowl in 2017 and will make 110 million over the life of the deal.  That means he will average 15.5 million per year over the 7 years of the deal.  That’s definitely less then market value for a guy that went to the playoffs the last three years.

The structure of the deal was magnificent.  If you don’t trust what Katie and Marvin are doing now, you are living under a rock.  Marvin texted AJ Green as soon as Dalton deal was done and told him to call his agent he is next.  He gets it and is a defacto Coach/GM.  Now, let’s get back to the structure of this deal for Dalton.  For those who think Dalton is not the guy, there are outs after two years.  For those that want him to “prove himself” he doesn’t make real big money unless he goes deep in the postseason.  For those that worry about needing money for AJ and Vontaze, his contact is small in the early years to leave room for other signings.  This can’t be compared to the Flacco deal because he wasn’t under contract when he signed it.  Flacco got 6 years 120 Daltons is basically 7 Years 98 million plus 17 million in escalators.  They didn’t let Dalton play out his deal and get Flaccoed like the Ravens did; Flacco’s deal is way more difficult to get out of.

I really think Dalton is a smart guy, he knows he is not Peyton Manning, he will need weapons.  He didn’t want to break the bank; he wants to keep his toys on offense and the big players on defense.  This is a great deal for both sides and I could be happier.  This will give him confidence to not play timid this year and to win in big games.  Simply put perfect deal, sign AJ, sign Tez, and go get that Lombardi Trophy!

Bengals would be dumb to cut before year two, since he would be $7mil in year two. So two years $25mil is basically guaranteed. Once he reaches a level it doesn’t regress.
Full breakdown below
No escalator/2nd Rd(WC win or Bye)/AFC Champ/SB win
2014 –> $17 million plus original $959,000 base salary.
2015 –> $7mil/$8mil/$8.5mil/$10mil
2016 –> $10.5mil/$11.5mil/$12mil/13.5mil
2017 –> $13.1mil/$14.1mil/14.6mil/16.1mil
2018 –> $13.7mil/$14.7mil/$15.2mil/$16.7mil
2019 –> $16mil/$17mil/$17.5mil/$19mil
2020 –> $17.5mil/$18.5mil/$19mil/$20.5mil
Plus $1.2 million in total workout bonuses at 200K per year.

Basically cut out the franchise tag and avoided getting Flaccoed!
No escalators
One year $18 million
Two years,$25 million
Three years, $35.7 million
Four years, $49 million
Five years, $62.9 million
Six years, $79.1 million
Seven years, $96.8 million

Bengals Player Preview: Victor Hampton

Victor Hampton

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 197 lbs

Age: 22

College: University of South Carolina

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Even the biggest Bengals fans might not know the Victor Hampton story.  Unless you bleed orange and black and love draft prospects, you probably don’t know much about Victor Hampton.  You’re in luck, I happen to be one of those weirdo’s that watches tape of prospects, and fans think lives in my parents basement and eats Totino’s pizza rolls.

As an undrafted free agent, like all of his fellow UDFAs, he is a longshot to make the squad.  He does have one thing on his side, that’s talent.  He is not an UDFA that was not selected because he cant play and is invited to be a camp body.

Hampton has a checkered past and teams passed on him because they didn’t want to use a pick on a guy who might bring a distraction to camp. He even lost his starting job because of poor effort last year, even though he was clearly the most talented cover corner.

If you like Vontaze because he talks trash, well then you will love Hampton, as he is a chatterbox.

Hampton  has great instincts from the CB position and is excellent at tracking the ball in the air.  He needs to work on his consistency in his run support.  He is not big enough to just throw his body at people, which he does, and he rarely wraps guys up.

I wont get into too much detail on his game play he will be one of the UDFA featured in my article that will come out right before camp.  It will go over all of the UDFA with my typical play breakdowns and analysis.  He played in 8 games as a junior totaling 43 tackles and 3 INTs.  He did return some punts for South Carolina last year but didn’t have much success, so I don’t suspect that he will be used in the role for the Bengals.

Its going to be tough for him to crack this lineup at CB, especially with all the 1st rounder’s in front of him.  With Dennard, Jones, Newman, Hall, and Kirpatrick all locks to make the roster, that leave the rest of the guys to fight for likely one roster spot.

It will be quite the uphill battle for all of them.  If Hampton stays out of trouble and shows flashes of his talent, it will come down to him and Westbrooks for the last spot.  He will need to have success in the slot in his preseason games to win the last spot.  That is the best spot for him to backup with his skillset, and his small build wont matter as much against smaller slot receivers.

 

If there is a sting of injuries, look for Hampton to have a real shot at the roster.  A spot could open up if Hall is not fully recovered for the start of camp, let’s hope it is not the case but that could be another way for a spot to open.  Hampton may feel like Sisyphus in camp, but if he keeps putting in work he will at least get a spot on the practice squad, if not picked up by another team.

Video link via gamecocksonline.com

burfict

Cincinnati Bengals Player Preview: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 248 lbs

Age: 23

College: Arizona State University

Hometown: Corona, CA

Experience: 3 Years

If you have turned on a Bengals game the last two years, you know who Vontaze Burfict is. He led the team in tackles for the last 2 years. In 2013 he lead the team by nearly 100 tackles, and more importantly, led the team by 62 solo tackles. He doesn’t miss in the open field, and that is extremely clutch.

Burfict finished the year with 174 tackles, 114 solo, 3 sacks and a forced fumble. He is the most important guy on the defensive side of the ball.  He is in charge of calling all the plays and getting people lined up correctly, something Maualuga struggled with.

Most astonishing with Burfict is where he was drafted, or for that matter, that he was not drafted.  He was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school on both Rival and ESPN’s rankings, and was the No.1 MLB recruit in the country.  His attitude, penalties, weight gain, poor pro day, and terrible combine left a sour taste in many teams’ mouths.

This year, we can expect that Vontaze will be back at his WLB spot barring a major plague of injuries at LB before the season.  So what can the else can King Tez do to make himself better in 2014?  It will be hard for him to add much more to his 174 tackles from 2013, but he could improve a bit in his pass coverage.

His biggest issue is still penalties, and by that I mean he needs to work on eliminating them. I do think that referees target him and he gets a few cheap ones each year that totally bogus, but some he definitely deserves. Having James Harrison to learn from last year really helped him to walk that fine line between being intimidating and being penalized.

As his linebacker coach Paul knew how to get the most out of Vontaze, this year will be no different. Paul will lean on Vontaze to be his eyes and ears on the field, consulting with him for in game adjustments.

When Thomas Howard went down with a torn ACL in Week 2 of 2013, 3 days before the next game, Guenther had to scramble. Take your best athlete and teach him a new position, how he did that is just remarkable. He took to the gym at Paul Brown Stadium with chairs to teach Tez the basics of playing WLB.

Guenther is reportedly the one that was the mastermind of most of the exotic blitzes that Zimmer ran, so expect to see Tez blitzing more this year. His instincts make him great and it is the reason that opposing offenses fear him, he finds the ball and often.

He is so important to this teams success because he makes plays that swing the momentum of the game, like the forced fumble TD versus the Browns.  That game had a chance of going sour fast with the early INTs by Dalton, but the defense quickly took the wind right out of the Browns’ sails.

Marvin Lewis has made many references to Vontaze being “special” and that he looks a lot like “another guy he has coached in the past,” referring to Ray Lewis.

My prediction 160 tackles, 105 solo, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.

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