29 Oct Pick 4: Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay and Philadelphia vs. Houston
The Teaser: Pair Cleveland and Philadelphia
Game 1: Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay
The Initial Line:
Cleveland -6.5 home vs. Tampa Bay
Add 7 points to Cleveland’s line
The Final Line:
Cleveland got another home victory on Sunday, defeating winless Oakland 23-13. It wasn’t their prettiest victory of the season, but the defense was able to force 3 turnovers in the win. Brian Hoyer had a good game, throwing for 275 yds and a TD while Ben Tate also added a TD on the ground. Their 4-3 record is their best start to a season since 2007. Tampa Bay fell victim to a demoralizing OT defeat to Minnesota, losing 19-13 to move to 0-4 at home on the season. Tampa Bay was held to 0 points until the 4th quarter, when they rallied from a 10 point deficit to take the lead 13-10 on a Mike Glennon TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins. After moving to OT on a last minute FG, Tampa Bay fumbled on their first offensive play which turned into a defensive TD for Minnesota and sealed the victory.
Cleveland sits in last in the AFC North, but is still in the hunt with a record above .500. They will be ready to pull out all the stops to try and gain a playoff berth, so expect them to come out firing at home against a weak Tampa Bay team. Tampa Bay doesn’t rank better than 23rd in any offensive or defensive category, as they struggle to get things going on both sides of the ball. Cleveland is also a much better home team, sitting at 3-1 on the season there with the only loss coming on a last second FG against Baltimore. Expect another home victory for this feel-good Cleveland team.
Game 2: Philadelphia vs. Houston
The Initial Line:
Philadelphia -2.5 away vs. Houston
Add 7 points to Philadelphia’s line
The Final Line:
Philadelphia lost on the road in week 8, falling to Arizona 24-20. John Brown caught a 75 yd TD pass with 1:21 left in the game to give Arizona the late lead. Nick Foles threw for 411 yds and 2 TDs as part of 521 total yards gained by Philadelphia. However, they lost the turnover battle 3-1, and that ended up making the difference in U. of Phoenix Stadium. Houston was able to get back to .500 this week, defeating Tennessee on the road 30-16. Arian Foster had a huge game, rushing for 151 and 2 rush TDs while also adding a receiving TD. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a quality game as well, throwing for 227 yds and a TD. The Houston defense contributed on the other side of the ball, forcing 2 more turnovers to add to their league lead.
Philadelphia will be looking to rebound after losing a tight one in week 8. Nick Foles will have to take care of the ball, as Houston’s defense ranks 1st in takeaways on the year. However they also rank 28th in opp. pass yds/game, which should benefit a Philly offense which ranks 6th in the NFL in pass yds/ game. Philly’s only 2 losses this year came on the road against elite teams (San Francisco, Arizona), but Houston is only a decent team considering that Ryan Fitzpatrick tends to be prone to turn the ball over (9 TD compared to 11 turnovers). Philly is the better team, and should be able to beat Houston on the road especially with the expected return of Darren Sproles. Expect a victory by Philly, or if they do lose it won’t be by more than a FG so grab them at +4.5.