NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Divisional Round Edition

Jake Benaquisto with his NFL Divisional Round weekend picks…

Wildcard Weekend was unpredictable, but I still managed to break even and go 2-2 against the spread. Before I give my picks for the divisional round games, here is my rant on the Jets hiring Adam Gase to be their Head Coach:

While I was on the record of disliking Gase, I do think there has been an unreasonable amount of anger from fans reacting to this hire. Anyone who thinks this coach is automatically going to succeed or fail in New York needs to a take a deep breath.

The HC is obviously important, but winning in the NFL ultimately comes down to talent. The Jets are a team who has lacked talent at key positions for a long time, which is why they have not made the playoffs since 2010. They have some exciting building blocks for the future, specifically Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams, but it won’t matter who the HC of this team is if the front office cannot acquire more blue chip players.

As for Adam Gase, it’s hard to get excited about a head coach who just flamed out in your own division. You can make the case that he never had the right QB, but there is no doubt that Gase was a massive disappointment in Miami. However, when you think about what the Jets wanted in an HC, the hire makes more sense. Gase has experience in the position, is widely known for running a creative offense, and has a history of developing quarterbacks. With Sam Darnold, the Jets wanted a coach who could get the most out of a young QB, and Gase might be that guy.

Like I said, it’s way too early to determine whether this hire is a home run or a ‘Same Old Jets’ disaster waiting to happen. There are many valid concerns about Gase as a coach, but there was never a perfect candidate on the market to begin with. It’s now up to the Jets’ front office to build the team around Sam Darnold and get Gase the players he needs for his system. If Mike Maccagnan’s draft record and free agent spending does not improve, the Jets will be be looking to fully clean house once again by 2020.

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NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Divisional Round Edition

Jake Benaquisto with his NFL Best Bets for Divisional Weekend….

Wild Card Weekend Recap: I went 1-3 ATS, which puts my record at 51-37-1 for the season. Watching the Chiefs blow a 21-3 lead was probably an indicator that I was due for a rough weekend, but in my own defense, even the experts in Vegas could not have predicted all four underdogs covering their spreads. 

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Turn On The Jets Razer Sport Divisional Weekend Buffet

Joe Caporoso with a NFL Divisional Weekend Preview, Buffet Style, via RAZER SPORT!

Every Wednesday or Thursday during the NFL season, Joe Caporoso will break down the upcoming week of NFL action. Unfasten the belts and prepare to gorge on another weekend of fandom, fantasy, gambling, tweeting, cheering, complaining…and complaining. 

The Buffet is brought to you by Razer Sport (www.RazerSport.com) – The world’s most respected sports betting consultants and handicappers, who are producing winners every single week. Visit Razer Sport to sign up for FREE and start winning like a RAZER member. Give them a follow on Twitter right here as well! 

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Divisional Weekend Edition

Joe Caporoso with a 12 pack of NFL and New York Jets thoughts heading into divisional weekend

The Turn On The Jets 12 pack with NFL predictions for this weekend and New York Jets observations! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and enjoy your weekend folks…

Continue reading “Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Divisional Weekend Edition”

NFL Divisional Round: The Nervous Breakdown That Is Alex Smith

Justin breaks down the Saints/49ers match-up for TOJ

What may be the most diametrically opposed concepts of football is going to be taking place in San Francisco, a city that ruined my psyche with it’s plethora of drugs, bums, and general aimlessness. This weekend will not be aimless. It has already been lamely compared to “objects in motion stay in motion until they hit immovable forces”, blah blah blah. OK. Here’s what this all breaks down to. Alex Smith not getting his head removed from his shoulders. Why in God’s name would Greg Williams have any respect for Alex Smith, or the big boi on slow legs Frank Gore? Sure the Saints might get beat down the middle a few times, but the Saints know for a fact that they can turn around and put up 14 before anyone knows what happened. You’ll see.

You’ll go out to smoke a cigarette, Alex Smith marching down the field with some counters, a little play action, and even a few comebacks out of the spread, ball is on the 30. Then what happens? Saints score 10 points. Huh? Yep. Alex Smith gets sacked on the Saints 20, Drew Brees runs a draw for 20 yards and all of the sudden Jimmy Graham gets loose down the seam because the two linebackers are trying to spy over the middle. Easy stuff.

Where this game may get interesting is when Brees gets into 3rd and long, which will happen less than 5 times the entire game. Mark my words. The Saints are going to keep things interesting, two tight end sets, play action, shovel passes to Sproles, and the occasional power run set. The Saints don’t want to overpower the 49ers, they want to outsmart them. The Saints are fencing and the 49ers want a street fight. You don’t get points for punching in fencing.

If Mark Ingram was in this game, it’s not even close. The Saints would stuff it until someone gets knocked backwards, and then the play action is at it’s deadliest. But he’s not in, and Pierre Thomas isn’t going to try to run into Aldon Smith on a regular basis.

What I fear, and what will probably happen, is that if the Saints get desperate and it’s a low scoring game, then the first down hail mary will rear its ugly head and the Saints will somehow gain 60 yards without a completion. It’s the ace in the hole for Sean Payton, and Sean Payton likes poker. Will it make 49ers fans fume with rage for the next week and a half?

I really don’t know if San Francisco, as a city, cares about this game. I’ve been there. I spent a week and didn’t see a single jersey. Given, it wasn’t football season, but I have a hard time envisioning the Castro aglow with red jerseys and vicious drunks. Which is why the team should be permanently moved to Alcatraz and people should have to swim for their lives to see the game if they don’t want to pay the price of admission. Sure, a few people wouldn’t make it, but those who do would make even Raiders fans weep tears of joy.

Jesus, where have I gone with this. Too many nights spent staring at swirling patterns on my hotel room bunk bed, 18 year old street fights, and general madness. I know I wrote about the breakdown of Alex Smith, and he may in fact sneak out of here alive, but there’s only one chance for that, and it’s turnovers. Multiple turnovers. The 49ers can’t slow the Saints down to a crawl, no one can. They’re gonna have to do a job of disguising plays that makes Rex Ryan’s last playoff scheme against the Patriots look like 3 box play calling in Madden. Screw Gameflow. I’m rooting for the 49ers, and I’d like to see the NFC West raise themselves from the murk and get interesting. And I like linebackers, just not Jonathan Vilma. Because he, like many others, proved the Jets are inept at keeping talent. So there it is, I like the mud of the 49ers and I’m still trying to find reasons to not give up on the Jets for good. I got rid of the Knicks a week ago, and I’m on Step 7 of recovery.

10 Things That Need To Happen For A Jets Upset

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In no particular order…

1. A special teams or defensive play that either directly results in points or sets up easy points. I am looking at you Antonio Cromartie.

2. A big play on offense that directly results in points or sets up easy points. I am looking at you Shonn Greene, Braylon Edwards, and Santonio Holmes.

3. Mark Sanchez needs to play one of the best, if not, the best game of his young NFL career. Yes, obviously looking at you Mark Sanchez.

4. The Jets need to force a turnover on defense. I am looking at you Jason Taylor, Calvin Pace, and David Harris.

5. The backup Jets defensive backs, James Ihedigbo, Kyle Wilson, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, and starting safeties Eric Smith and Brodney Pool all need strong games. Secondary, you are supposed to be the strength of this team, stand up.

6. Nick Folk can’t miss any kicks under 45 yards. Shayne Graham needs to shank one. Yes, looking at you at #2…and expecting that choke from you Graham.

7. They can’t fall behind by more than one-possession at any point in the game. Everybody.

8. The running game must lead the way and allow the Jets to control the time of possession. Offensive Line, Backup tight ends, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Green, Tony Richardson…ground and pound.

9. Danny Woodhead can’t be covered by Bart Scott, David Harris or any linebacker for that matter and certainly not Mike DeVito. Mike Pettine and Rex Ryan, common sense here.

10. Zero turnovers. Offense but mostly Mark Sanchez.

Let’s Get That Upset

Thoughts On Divisional Round Lines

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Betting on the NFL this week offers some intriguing options for gamblers.

In the first game of the weekend, Pittsburgh is currently a 3 point favorite over Baltimore. Both of their games this year were decided by 3 points, with the road team winning each game. The over/under is currently at 37, which could offer some value considering the point total in their two games was 31 and 23, respectively.

In the Saturday night game, Green Bay is only 2.5 point underdogs despite facing the NFC’s number one seed in Atlanta. Many people are on the Packers bandwagon and it is showing in the spread.

Seattle remains heavy underdogs this weekend, as the Bears are favored by 10 points even though they lost at home earlier in the year to Seattle. It will be interesting to see if gamblers have gained any faith in the Seahawks after last week.

The Jets are also heavy underdogs to the New England Patriots, who are 9 point favorites. It will be interesting to see how they respond to losing 45-3 to the Patriots earlier in the year.