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World Champion Sports Handicapper, Michael Blake, has been handicapping football, basketball and baseball for 20 years. He has made his clients a considerable amount of money over the years with his sports picks; as he preaches money management and patience. Blake feels you can make money betting on sports if you stick with him over the long haul. He doesn’t believe in get rich-quick schemes but in long-term money management.


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Predictions 9/4/15

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2015 Tampa Bay Predictions: 4th NFC South (2014 record: 2-14) Head Coach: Lovie Smith NFC South Division Odds: +600 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +7500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 6 (-130), Under 6 (even) Key Additions: Jameis Winston (QB), Ali Marpet (OL), George Johnson (DE) Key Losses: Josh McCown (QB), Adrian Clayborn (DE), Michael Johnson (DE) It was pretty apparent that the tank was on for the Bucs last season. The experiment of Josh McCown and Mike Glennon under center was a failure; RB Doug Martin was horrible when he was actually able to make it onto the field; and the defense was one of the more porous in the league. Despite the failures, there was some light at the end of the tunnel in young players like WE Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, DT Gerald McCoy, and CB Alterraun Verner. Adding #1 pick Winston certainly won’t hurt either. Defense We mentioned three great defensive building blocks above. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it on this side of the ball. In fact, the Bucs have no idea who’s going be starting on the line alongside McCoy, as many of the other linemen from 2014 are gone and they have a slew of unknown names in camp vying for spots. George Johnson is probably the best bet to see the most time. He was solid as a part-timer in Detroit. Da’Quan Bowers was brought back for another year, though we fail to see why. He’s been a colossal bust since day one. David will again be the dominant player in the middle of the defense – and, quite possibly, the...

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Atlanta Falcons Predictions 9/4/15

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2015 Atlanta Falcons Predictions: 3rd NFC South (2014 record: 6-10) Head Coach: Dan Quinn NFC South Division Odds: +150 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +3000 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (even), Under 8.5 (-130) Key Additions: Tevin Coleman (RB), Vic Beasley (DE/OLB), Adrian Clayborn (DE) Key Losses: Steven Jackson (RB), Jacquizz Rodgers (RB), Harry Douglas (WR) For the past decade or so, offense has never been an issue for Atlanta; weapons like Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Michael Turner, and the rest have always produced well under former head coach Mike Smith and his ‘Air Coryell’ style. Last season, despite the efforts of QB Matt Ryan, the team was unable to remain efficient on offense and that, when combined with another porous defense, spelled doom for the Smith regime. Enter defensive guru Dan Quinn and a new era for the franchise. Defense Quinn’s defenses have always been some of the most physical in the league, usually led by a strong pass rush and a dominant secondary. So it makes sense that the team’s first two draft picks were Beasley, who dominated at Clemson last season, and Jalen Collins, a big cornerback. If he wins that CB slot, he’ll start next to a really good, physical CB in Desmond Trufant. If not, he’ll be an upgrade in the nickel package. The safety position isn’t as fortunate; upgrades were needed by not addressed. Deep throws could be a problem, especially if the perpetually anemic pass rush doesn’t improve drastically. Twenty-two sacks in a passing league is completely unacceptable. Beasley and Clayborn should help immediately, especially if the latter has fully recovered...

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Carolina Panthers Predictions 9/4/15

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2015 Carolina Panthers Predictions: 2nd NFC South (2014 record: 7-8-1) Head Coach: Ron Rivera NFC South Division Odds: +150 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +3200 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (+125), Under 8.5 (-155) Key Additions: Charles Tillman (CB), Ted Ginn (WR/KR) Key Losses: D’Angelo Williams (RB), Greg Hardy (DE) It was a tale of two seasons for the Panthers last year; the first season saw them go 3-8-1 and lose six straight at one point. The second saw them go 4-0, sneak into the playoffs, and make it to the Divisional Round against the NFC Champ Seahawks. The front office, true to form, decided to stay status quo by not addressing any weaknesses via free agency. Different year, same story for the Panther organization. Defense Many will point to the solid performance by the defense as the biggest reason for the turnaround last season, as they didn’t allow more than 19 points in any game over the final six contests. Considering, however, that they played the likes of Cleveland, Tampa, Minnesota…it’s not really surprising. They’re solid, but have the potential to be very good. The pass rush struggled a bit without the suspended Hardy; Charles Johnson was the only lineman to produce any consistent pressure. One of a trio of uninspiring youngsters will need to step up and help from the other side. DT Star Lotulelei will miss a bit of time with a foot injury, and fellow DT Kawann Short is suffering from back issues in camp. This leaves Colin Cole and Dwan Edwards as the only vet tackles on the roster; they’re a combine 69...

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New Orleans Saints Predictions 9/4/15

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2015 New Orleans Saints Predictions: 1st NFC South (2014 record: 7-9) Head Coach: Sean Payton NFC South Division Odds: +150 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +3500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (-130), Under 8.5 (even) Key Additions: C.J. Spiller (RB), Max Unger (C), Stephone Anthony (ILB), Andreas Peat (OL) Key Losses: Kenny Stills (WR), Jimmy Graham (TE), Pierre Thomas (RB), Junior Galette (LB) No team sent a bigger offseason shockwave through their fan base than the Saints did when the sent All World TE Jimmy Graham to the Pacific Northwest for an offensive line upgrade and a top draft pick. That was far from the only big roster move, however, as the Saints needed a defensive overhaul as well. There are a lot of new faces in the bayou; younger faces, and that should be the key to a return to the post season. Defense The Saints were supposed to have a dominant secondary last year, as they signed Jairus Byrd to team with Kenny Vaccaro. The problem? Byrd resorted back to his injury-prone years with the Bills and only played four games, leaving Vaccaro high and dry; he was just plain bad last season as he may have tried to do too much. Not much has changed for Byrd, as he’s been off the field more than on at camp; expect 3rd round pick PJ Williams to see some time alongside Vaccaro. The cornerback spot was strengthened by adding Brandon Browner, who will team nicely with incumbent starter Keenan Lewis. The front seven, who only produced 34 sacks and allowed over 2,100 yards on the ground, got...

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Chicago Bears Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 Chicago Bears Predictions: 4th NFC North (2014 record: 5-11) Head Coach: John Fox NFC North Division Odds: +1550 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +11,000 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 6.5 (-105), Under 6.5 (-125) Key Additions: Eddie Royal (WR), Kevin White (WR), Eddie Goldman (NT), Pernell McPhee (OLB/DE) Key Losses: Brandon Marshall (WR), Stephen Paea (DT), Lance Briggs (LB) The toxicity that is Jay Cutler spread even further last season. If he doesn’t care about winning football games then why is he even still around? New coach John Fox shouldn’t be quite the pushover that Marc Trestman was; perhaps he’ll have the stones to make Cutler take some accountability for his actions, or lack thereof. Defense OK, so the Bears failures weren’t completely Culter’s fault. The defense seemingly took another step backwards and allowed a horrid 28 points per game. Fox is switching to a 3-4 alignment, so a few growing pains could appear, but the personnel appears to be better suited for it. Goldman and incumbent DT Jay Ratliff should hold the interior of the line just fine. A return to health from DE/OLB Lamarr Houston is paramount to the pass rush, as fellow end Jared Allen’s game isn’t really suited for this shift. McPhee will be getting his first shot at a full-time roll, and was tutored nicely by the likes of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. There are worse mentors to have. He’ll be a nice addition to the pass rush. The secondary needs a healthy pass rush, as they were tested often last year. The safety spot is the biggest concern, and Giants import...

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Minnesota Vikings Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 Minnesota Vikings Predictions: 3rd NFC North (2014 record: 7-9) Head Coach: Mike Zimmer NFC North Division Odds: +650 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +4700 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (+140), Under 8.5 (-170) Key Additions: Mike Wallace (WR), Trae Waynes (CB), Adrian Peterson (RB-Back from suspension) Key Losses: Greg Jennings (WR), Matt Cassel (QB) If you thought that the Vikes could be competitive and win seven games without Adrian Peterson for 15 games, then you’re either a fibber or a savant. Either way, this was a different team when they handed the offense over to rookie Teddy Bridgewater. While he didn’t set the world on fire, he was poised and limited his mistakes in most games, giving the team a glimpse into a promising future. Defense Mike Zimmer’s defense improved greatly year over year – slicing nearly nine points per game off of their average (21.4 allowed in 2014). The secondary play was a big reason for the improvement, as safety Harrison Smith blossomed in Zimmer’s scheme, excelling in every facet of the game. Corners Xavier Rhodes and Captain Munnerlyn were outstanding in coverage, and the Vikes made this an even deeper position by drafting one of the top corners available in Trae Waynes. There are some concerns amongst the front seven, though. Linemen Sharrif Floyd and Everson Griffin are solid and will provide good pressure on opposing QBs, but the other spots are lacking as Linval Joseph and the combo of Brian Robison (if healthy) and Scott Crichton have been disappointing. The linebacking corps has one glaring weakness, and that’s the steady and mysterious decline of...

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Detroit Lions Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 Detroit Lions Predictions: 2nd NFC North (2014 record: 11-5) Head Coach: Jim Caldwell NFC North Division Odds: +615 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +3800 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (+115), Under 8.5 (-145) Key Additions: Haloti Ngata (DT), Ameer Abdullah (RB), Tyrunn Walker (DL) Key Losses: Ndamukong Suh, CJ Mosley, and Nick Fairley (DT), Reggie Bush (RB) The bad news for Lions fans? They lost their top three defensive tackles in the offseason. The good news for Lions fans? They no longer need to deal with the selfishness of Ndamukong Suh or the laziness of Nick Fairley. Coach Jim Caldwell believes in disciplined play and team first attitude – neither of which was displayed by those two players, despite the world of talent that they possess. Defense Signing Ngata was a fantastic move by the Lions. While not as dominant as Suh, he still plays at a very high level and won’t stomp on anyone’s head in the process. Fellow import Walker was brought over from New Orleans to man the other tackle spot. He was a part-timer with the Saints, and a good one, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can be a full-timer. Behind them, the team is dangerously thin as last year’s backup (Mosley) departed as well. The rest of the defense returns basically intact, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ziggy Ansah and Jason Jones will continue to provide solid backfield pressure form the end spots, though there aren’t any solid backups should either get hurt. The LB unit will be better with Stephen Tulloch returning from a...

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Green Bay Packers Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 Green Bay Packers Predictions: 1st NFC North (2014 record: 12-4) Head Coach: Mike McCarthy NFC North Division Odds: -300 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 10.5 (-180), Under 10.5 (+155) Key Additions: None Key Losses: None It was proven again; Aaron Rodgers is more valuable to his team than any single player in the NFL. The Pack was coasting to a potential championship until Rodgers got hurt in the final game of the season. It was evident that he wasn’t the same player in the playoffs, looking especially hobbled in the loss against Seattle. Forget Brady, Luck, and whomever else the NFL tries throwing at us; Rodgers is the best player in the league, bar none. Defense The defense remains largely unchanged and, for the most part, that’s OK. The biggest issue, however, wasn’t addressed; inside linebacker. Clay Matthews was forced to fill the role due to a lack of talent at the position, and unless a couple of youngsters like Jake Ryan or Carl Bradford can step up, Matthews will play out of position yet again. Moving Matthews back to his outside spot would force the underwhelming Nick Perry back into the reserve role he belongs in. The line and the secondary should be just fine. DT BJ Raji returns after missing all of last year with a biceps tear; he’ll go back to anchoring the interior of the line just fine. The draft added quality depth behind a good secondary; Damarious Russell will be solid in dime packages, while Quinten Rollins will be a solid back up at the CB spot....

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Washington Redskins Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 Washington Redskins Predictions: 4th NFC East (2014 record: 4-12) Head Coach: Jay Gruden NFC East Division Odds: +1500 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +22,500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 6.5 (+135), Under 6.5 (-165) Key Additions: Terrance Knighton (DL), Chris Culliver (CB), Preston Smith (OLB/DE), Brandon Scherff (OL) Key Losses: Brian Orakpo (LB), Roy Helu (RB) The Redskins organization, at some point, has to believe that the problem with Robert Griffin III isn’t his staff or the players surrounding him; but it’s Griffin himself. Another year, another season of sniping with his coaches and underperforming, despite the immense talent that he possesses. Griffin’s mind and ego appear to be his own worst enemy. DEFENSE: The Redskins improved on this side of the ball last year – though ‘improved’ might be a bit misleading. They went from allowing 30 PPG to 27. Still wretched. While some solid additions were made, an overhaul was necessary and not done. Knighton is one of the rare NTs who can both stuff the run and get to the QB – he’s a solid, mountainous addition to the line. He’ll be joined by fellow imports Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois, who will both be misused in a 3-4 alignment. The ILB position was problematic last year and there were zero improvements made, meaning even less support against the run. Rookie OLB Smith should be a fine replacement for Orakpo and should team nicely with Ryan Kerrigan forming a solid pass-rushing duo. The secondary looks to consist of Culliver and not much else. D’Angelo Hall is coming off of a torn Achilles – rarely are...

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New York Giants Predictions 8/25/15

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2015 New York Giants Predictions: 3rd NFC East (2014 record: 6-10) Head Coach: Tom Coughlin NFC East Division Odds: +415 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +5000 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (-105), Under 9.5 (-110) Key Additions: Ereck Flowers (OL), Shane Vereen (RB), Landon Collins (S) Key Losses: Walter Thurmond (CB), Mathias Kiwanuka (DL), Antrel Rolle (S) At first glance, it’s easy to get excited if you’re a Giants fan. While they only won a half-dozen games last season, the prospect of a full year with the unreal Odell Beckham Jr catching everything in sight is really high. But let’s look at the reality of it as well; Beckham joined the starting unit in game seven, and the Giants still only went 3-7 in those games, including a brutal six-game losing streak. There were a lot of holes to fill on this roster entering 2015. Defense The lack of a cohesive defense was the main reason for the Giants failures last year. While the offense was piling up yards and points, the other side of the ball was allowing even more. The secondary should improve with the addition of Collins at safety and the return of CB Prince Amukamara, who returns after missing half of the 2014 campaign with a biceps injury. The remainder of the secondary is much better against the run than in coverage; they can be thrown against, especially now that Jason Pierre-Paul is out indefinitely. The star pass rusher blew his fingers off on Independence Day – the team has no idea when or if, he’ll be back on the field this year. The...

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