NFL Football

Titans QB Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota threw for 2,800 yards and 19 majors during his rookie season but he was also sacked 38 times, something the Titans hope to improve on in 2016

By Pick Sixty Sports

Wins were few and far between for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans but Mariota looked solid during OTAs and he’ll have a much better support staff in 2016, starting with first round draft pick, Jack Conklin.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES

Win-Loss: 3-13 SU and 6-10 ATS

Over/Under: 7-6-3 O/U

Noteworthy: The Titans were one of three teams last season to lose at least seven games by a margin of 14 points or more (Browns; 49ers).

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 75 to 1

Odds to Win Conference: +4,000

Odds to Win Division: +1,000

Season Win Total Odds: 5.5 Over (-165)

Conklin is already booked as the starting right tackle and the Titans also brought in fifth-year O-Lineman Ben Jones (Texans) to start at center. Mike Mularkey held onto the head coaching position after replacing Ken Whisenhunt midway through 2015, and he and Titans O-Co Terry Robiskie plan to simplify the offense, leaning more on the run game while Mariota develops chemistry with his receiving corps. Fifth-round pick Tajae Sharpe is getting attention and the Titans signed WR Rishard Matthews from Miami to start opposite Kendall Wright.

The run game looks better with DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and Dexter McCluster and after averaging just 19 points per game last year, there is nowhere else to go but up. One of the problems for the Titans the past few seasons is that they’ve lacked counter-punch, going just 1-16 SU (4-13 ATS) following a game where they scored 14 points or less. Dick LeBeau takes over the defense and although his squad has question marks, they’ve drawn a relatively good schedule during the first-half. It buys LeBeau some time but things heat up around Week 10 (Packers) and there are few soft spots from that point on.

TENNESSEE TITANS BOTTOM LINE: “UNDER” THE RADAR

The Titans open at home against Minnesota and then travel to face a Lions team that finished last season strong. Tennessee is 3-0 SU/ATS in road openers the past three years, they were getting points in all three and will likely be getting more than a field goal here. As far as totals go, Tennessee has a record of 4 overs and 15 unders in its first road game of the year (2-7 O/U last nine). They scored 42 points at Tampa Bay in Week 1 last year with the Browns on-deck but next week, the Titans host Oakland in a revenge game from last year where they were burned in the fourth quarter. Watch for a good number vs. the Lions and consider booking the under in Week 2.

Pick Sixty Sports is working on its Week 1 systems and trends and we’ll be posting info throughout the summer. 
Lions offense 2016

Matt Stafford and Jim Bob Cooter are in the spotlight for the Detroit Lions, looking to build on last season’s momentum.

By Pick Sixty Sports

It was a tale of two seasons for the Detroit Lions in 2015, starting 1-7 SU/ATS and then finishing 6-2 SU/ATS down the stretch under the offensive leadership of Jim Bob Cooter. QB Matt Stafford had a blistering 19 to 2 ratio for TD:Interceptions during the hot streak but with Calvin Johnson’s retirement, we are left to wonder what type of identity the Lions offense will take on in 2016, and how long it will take to set in.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES

Win-Loss: 7-9 SU and 7-9 ATS

Over/Under: 9-7 O/U

Noteworthy: Detroit was 6-18 SU and 5-19 ATS in November-December road games from 2009-2014, but managed a split in 2015 under Cooter. This year they’ll travel to Minnesota, New Orleans, New York (Giants) and Dallas and should be getting points in all four. Circle those games for potential contrarian value on the road dog.

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 66 to 1

Odds to Win Conference: +3,300

Odds to Win Division: +900

Season Win Total Odds: 7 Over (-105) Under 7 (-125) 

Detroit was 11-5 in 2014 and made the playoffs (one and done) despite posting average offensive numbers. The story was a No. 3 ranked Lions D whose run-stop led the league at 70 yards allowed per game. Take Ndamukong Suh and C.J. Mosley out of the equation, however, and that rushing yard average ballooned to 113 yards per contest. To be fair, all seven of Detroit’s losses in the first-half came against playoff teams so it turned into a perfect storm. With a much easier first-half schedule, we’ll look for this unit to build off DE Ezekiel Ansah’s success (14.5 sacks) and once again become a formidable force up front.

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LIONS BOTTOM LINE: MEGA-GONE

With Megatron out of the picture, Stafford indisputably becomes ‘the man’ in Rock City and he has a new No. 1 in Marvin Jones. Golden Tate, Jeremy Kerley and Eric Ebron are in the mix with Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick sharing snaps out of the backfield. The Lions led by seven points or more in five of their final eight games last season so we’ll definitely be looking for an up tempo offense out of the gate.

Pick Sixty Sports is an online information site for handicappers featuring football content and free picks throughout the season. 
OAK carr coo

Poor divisional play has haunted the Silver and Black since their Super Bowl win over the Bucs but the Raiders showed signs of life in 2015, going 3-3 vs. the West

By Pick Sixty Sports

The AFC West is as wide open right now as it has been since 2011, when all four teams finished within a game of .500 straight-up. Oakland was 8-8 SU that season, narrowly missing out on a division title by virtue of a tie-breaker against Tim Tebow and the Broncos. It would have ended an eight-year playoff drought that has since stretched to 13 but this year, Raider Nation looks ready to contend.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES

Win-Loss: 7-9 SU and 8-8 ATS

Over/Under: 8-6-2 O/U

Noteworthy: Only one NFL team, the Browns (18-60 SU), owns a worse divisional record than the Raiders (24-54 SU) since 2003.

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 25 to 1

Odds to Win Conference: +1,400

Odds to Win Division: +275

Season Win Total Odds: 8.5 Over (-130) Under (+100)

David Carr and WR Amari Cooper will look to build on Cooper’s 1,000-yard rookie campaign and the Raiders will continue to lean on RB Latavius Murray, who proved to be a workhorse with 266 carries plus 41 receptions. Michael Crabtree (85 for 922 yards; 9 TDs) was also a big part of the offense and the hope for O-Co Bill Musgrave is that if Carr can start forcing opponents to respect the pass, it will open up room for the run game to be more productive.

The Raiders spent their first three draft picks on defense where they were consistently average, save for team sacks leader Khalil Mack (15.0). The problem was that when QBs did get of the ball, Oakland was atrocious at tackling (29th in YAC). Make a point to check S Karl Joseph’s status in training camp, as he recovers from a torn ACL.

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DECEMBER DESTINY

Oakland was 5-3 SU/ATS against .500 or worse opponents last season including home wins over the Ravens and Chargers. They’ll have a legitimate shot at grabbing early wins this year vs. Atlanta (Week 2), Tennessee (Week 3) and San Diego (Week 5) but thier December schedule (Bills, Chiefs, Chargers and Colts) will likely determine if this team is ready to take the next step. It’s all capped off with a Week 17 road date against the Broncos and that will be thier third divisional road game in four weeks. Oakland cleared their modest SWT by 1.5 games last year and so far, they’ve been one of the more active “Over” plays in the off-season.

Pick Sixty Sports is an online information site for handicappers featuring football content and free picks throughout the season. 
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill

Adam Gase takes his offensive talents to South Florida this season, hoping to revitalize Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill’s career after things went south in 2015

By Pick Sixty Sports

Remember the Dolphins’ 11-win campaign of 2008, when they won the division and played host to their first playoff game since realignment? We do, and so do the Ravens, who beat Miami 27-9 in that contest as a 3.5-point road fave. But the memory is fading for a fan base that has seen their club average just seven wins per season ever since (49-63 SU overall) and are once again being picked by oddsmakers to finish below .500.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD 

Win-Loss: 6-10 SU and 5-11 ATS

Over/Under: 7-9 O/U

Noteworthy: The Dolphins open with back-to-back road games at Seattle and New England before hosting Cleveland in Week 3.

2016 NFL FUTURES

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 66 to 1

Odds to Win Conference: +3300

Odds to Win Division: +800

Season Win Total Odds: 7 Over (-105) Under (-125)

It feels like a rebuild in South Florida, with HC Adam Gase coming over to breathe new life into an offense that averaged just 19 points in 2015, but Ryan Tannehill has more than enough weapons to instantly make this unit competitive.

The bigger concern is on defense, where Vance Joseph (former Bengals DB coach) takes over to try and solve a secondary that gave up three or more passing touchdowns six times last season (1-5 SU/ATS).

Four of those five games helped account for Miami’s total of seven losses by double-digits and in the past 30 seasons, only 40-percent of NFL teams with five-plus blowout losses the previous year were able to record a .500 or better straight-up record the following season (123 of 311).

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DOLPHINS BOTTOM LINE: GO WEST, YOUNG MIAMI

Gase (38) will be the league’s youngest head coach and his first test is against the NFL’s stingiest defense the past two seasons (Seahawks: 16.6 PPGA). Early odds favor Seattle -7.5 and the total is 44. Teams that lose five or more games by double-digits one year and then open on the road as TD-plus dogs are a good bet to play over. There is little evidence these teams will be able to travel into an amped up environment and suddenly put the brakes on against big plays. Circle this game for a potential “Over” play in Week 1.

Pick Sixty Sports is an online information site for handicappers featuring football content and free picks throughout the season. 

Denver Broncos QB Depth

Mark Sanchez heads the Broncos QB depth chart over Trevor Siemian and first round pick, Paxton Lynch (Memphis)

By Pick Sixty Sports

The list of starting quarterbacks that donned a familiar orange and blue jersey between John Elway’s MVP performance of Super Bowl 33 and Peyton Manning’s, umm, appearance at Super Bowl 50, certainly makes for an interesting conversation. On some levels, however, the entire 17-year stretch could be summed up by simply discussing the three players currently competing for first team reps at the Mile High City.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES

Win-Loss: 12-4 SU and 7-7-2 ATS

Over/Under: 6-8-2 O/U

Noteworthy: Denver is set to host Carolina in Week 1 and the early line favors the Panthers by -2 points. If this stands, it will mark the first time in 10 years a Super Bowl champ has been getting points at home vs. a team they beat the previous season.

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 18 to 1

Odds to Win Conference: +800

Odds to Win Division: +180

Season Win Total Odds: 9 Over-130 Under -105

Mark Sanchez is the presumptive starter but Denver’s move to secure Paxton Lynch suggests they’d like to see him on the field at some point this season. Manning was nothing like his Hall of Fame self in 2015, but he at least brought leadership to the field that rallied players from both sides of the football and Sanchez lacks that type of trait. The one thing Sanchez does possess is experience and with HC Gary Kubiak’s system and a revamped O-Line featuring Russell Okung, there’s a good chance the Bronco offense can rank somewhere near middle of the pack. Keep in mind, the Broncos offense last year was 27th in red zone, 27th in third down conversions and 25th in giveaways per game (1.8).

RB CJ Anderson is coming off a decent year where he gained momentum as the season went along. All five of his rushing TDs were scored from Week 8 out and his yards per carry more than doubled in the second half from 2.7 to 6.2. Kubiak reports that Anderson is healthier than ever and if the new O-Line gels it will provide much needed relief for whoever is calling signals at the line.

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BRONCOS BOTTOM LINE: TICK-TALK

Keep an eye on talks between the Bronco brass and LB Von Miller. Denver already lost Malik Jackson (Jags) and Danny Trevathan (Bears) to free agency while DeMarcus Ware (back) sat out mini-camp. It’s nothing out of the ordinary in this day and age but let’s be honest, the Broncos front seven was the best in football last year and their secondary built off the success of the pass rush. Reaching double-digit wins as defending champs is already going to be a tall order and MIller’s presence is critical towards Denver’s success. A division title won’t hinge entirely on their defense but the bar is set high and every play caller will be gunning hard to punch holes in the unit that took home a title in February. 

Pick Sixty Sports is an online information site for handicappers featuring football content and free picks throughout the season.