Buccaneers Odds: Jameis Winston Questionable for Bills Game

jameis-winston-week-7-injuryTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in the shoulder of his throwing arm. Coach Dirk Koetter says that there’s no structural damage and Winston will be day-to-day.

Winston left last Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after taking a hit from linebacker Chandler Jones. He fell hard on his right shoulder and tried to continue playing. However, the pain was too much and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had to take his place.

Fitzpatrick will work with the first team in the early part of this week while Winston works on getting healthy.

“Jameis is as tough as they come, but we’ll be able to see at some point this week how it’s affecting his velocity,” Koetter told the media.

“That was the thing yesterday, when Jameis said he needed to come out — Jameis loves to compete and loves to play — but he just felt like he couldn’t drive the ball down the field like he needed to. We’ll just have to see how his days, how his recovery and how his treatment goes.

“The fact that he’s not definitely out, that’s obviously good news,” Koetter added, while saying that Winston won’t practice or even throw the ball until later this week.

jameis-winston-bucs-injuryThe Buccaneers could wait until Friday to decide if Winston is capable of playing against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. Koetter said that there’s no risk of further injury, but Winston still needs to be able to tolerate the pain to play.

“The way I understand it, he will be cleared medically to play,” Koetter said. “I know Jameis can handle a lot of pain — that’s not gonna be an issue.

“I think it’s going to be more of, ‘Does Jameis feel like he can play at the level he needs to play at?’ Obviously, the No. 1 thing in all of this is Jameis’ long-term health. That has to be the No. 1 thing.”

What if Winston can’t Play?

ryan-fitzpatrick-buccaneersIf Jameis Winston can’t suit up, then Fitzpatrick will get the start. The veteran completed 22-of-32 passes for 290 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in relief of Winston. Fitzpatrick is not only the next-best option on the roster, but he’s also the only quarterback who’s currently healthy for Tampa Bay.

Ryan Griffin, the team’s third quarterback, also has a sprained AC joint that he suffered in the preseason. Griffin’s injury has been described as more severe than Winston’s, which is why he spent time on injured reserve. But Griffin is getting healthier and now able to practice again.

Koetter and general manager Jason Licht have also discussd the possibility of bringing in another quarterback in the case of an emergency. However, no decision has officially been made on this front.

Buccaneers vs Bills Odds Week 7

Again, we won’t know if Winston can play on Sunday until later this week. He must show the ability to drive the ball downfield if he’s going to face the Bills.

That said, the Buccaneers are a tough bet right now as we await the Winston’s status. This is one reason why we don’t currently have a line for them right now at GTBets.eu.

This was already going to be a tough game for Tampa Bay because they’re on the road and facing a 3-2 team. But without Winston, it’ll be an even tougher matchup.

The one solace here is that Fitzpatrick is a very capable backup. He started several years for the Bills and New York Jets, showing that he can have a good game when needed.

In any case, you may want to wait and see if once double take the field before making a bet (when available). After all, he gives them a much better chance to cover their spread this week.

Boomer Esiason Doesn’t Think Colin Kaepernick is Ready for Green Bay Packers

boomer-colin-kaepernickAaron Rodgers’ collarbone injury could put him out of commission for the rest of the NFL season. The Green Bay Packers will use backup Brett Hundley in his absence. But the third-year man out of UCLA isn’t exactly a dream fill-in.

This weekend, we discussed how some suggest that the Packers should give Colin Kaepernick a try. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been out of the league over controversial surrounding his national anthem protests. Many NFL teams are worried that signing him would create backlash among fans and serve as a distraction.

Speaking on the Toucher & Rich show, Boomer Esiason believes that no teams are signing Kaepernick for reasons beyond just his anthem protests. Let’s look at what Esiason had to say along with what the Packers are facing without Rodgers.

Boomer Thinks Kaepernick would Have Trouble Picking Up Green Bay Offense

colin-kaepernickAaron Rodgers could be out eight weeks or even the entire regular season. This gives his replacement plenty of time to get into a rhythm. However, Esiason doesn’t think that Kaepernick would step onto the field immediately. Instead, it would take time, which Green Bay doesn’t have a lot of.

Here’s a look at Esiason’s full statement on the situation:

“There is no way in the world that Colin Kaepernick could go in there tomorrow, learn that offense and go out on the field and play next week. I don’t know what people are thinking about. I don’t know why they don’t understand that the NFL and offenses in the NFL are extremely difficult to pick up, and that’s why I give former Patriot quarterback Jacoby Brissett as much credit as I possibly can, doing what he’s doing what he’s doing with the Indianapolis Colts, and he’s been doing it on the fly.

“The other aspect of all of this with Colin Kaepernick is how much does he want? And how much more is he going to let somebody else talk for him? When is he going to open his own mouth and say, ‘Yeah, you know, I want to play and this is how much I want’ Everyone just assumes that somebody should just sign him because he went to the Super Bowl a number of years ago and they should write him a $10 million check because he’s some sort of activist.

“I’m sorry. It doesn’t work that way. You’re either prepared to play and when you go in and you get an opportunity, you make the most of it. Remember, he’s the one that walked away from the San Francisco 49ers. He’s the one that said, ‘Hey, I’ll go walk away from my contract and the amount of money you’re going to pay me.’ At the end of the day, other teams decided to interview and didn’t want him.”

Can Kaepernick Prove Collusion Among NFL Owners?

colin-kaepernickKaepernick has filed a lawsuit that cries collusion among NFL owners keeping him out of the league. Green Bay could solve both parties’ problems by signing him. This means Kaepernick would drop his lawsuit and the Packers would get a potential replacement.

Boomer seems to believe that anything would be better for Colin than to continue with litigation where there’s “no way” he can win.

“This is just another thing in the media, it’s just another thing to promote what he’s trying to do, it’s another thing to put a black eye on the NFL,” said Esiason. “In my eyes, that’s what this is.

“He could be fighting for social justice and be the greatest human being in the world. At the end of the day, football teams want players who want to play football and who are good at it, and I don’t believe he’s either one.”

Green Bay vs Saints Odds Week 7

It doesn’t look like Green Bay will be bringing Kaepernick any time soon based on Esiason’s opinion. Even if they did, he wouldn’t be ready to play immediately.

That said, the Packers will play their immediate schedule with Hundley under center. Hundley was 18-for-33 passing with 157 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions against the Minnesota Vikings.

The one solace for Green Bay is that this was against a really tough defense. Hundley should have an easier time against the Saints at home.

Here’s the line for the Packers and Saints game this coming weekend:

New Orleans -6 (-105)
Green Bay +6 (-115)

As you can see, New Orleans is favored by almost a touchdown on the road. If Rodgers were playing, you can guarantee that this would be reversed.

However, with an unknown entity like Hundley, it’s hard to gauge how Green Bay will perform the next few weeks.

Falcons Odds: Atlanta Needs to Avoid Faltering vs. New England

patriots-falcons-super-bowlLast year, the Atlanta Falcons surrendered a 25-point lead to the New England Patriots and lost Super Bowl LI. Unfortunately, giving up big leads has become a trend for the Falcons this season.

Atlanta faces New England in Week 7, and they’ll be hoping to buck the trend that started in last year’s Super Bowl loss.

Can they do it? And can the Falcons cover the +3 spread that they’re facing at our GTBets sportsbook? Find out as we discuss Atlanta’s inability to hold leads and preview the Falcons vs. Patriots.

Atlanta Blows Lead Against the Dolphins

Atlanta has led in the second half of all five of their games this year. They were able to keep these leads in the first three contests, although they were only narrow victories.

However, the last two games have seen the Falcons blow leads to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

atlanta-falcons-defense-super-bowlThe latter was particularly painful because Atlanta bolted out to a 17-0 halftime lead. This seemed like more than a comfortable margin against a team that had been struggling to put points on the board the last few weeks. But the Dolphins surprised everybody by erasing the 17-point deficit and coming back to win 20-17.

Coach Dan Quinn called the Week 6 loss “a tale of two haves” and said that he didn’t necessarily think the late-game struggles were due to “game management” issues. Instead, he believes that the team is playing not to mess up rather than to win when they get these leads.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a letdown. It’s not a case of like a letdown,” Quinn said when asked about the second-half struggles.

“Sometimes, and I’m not saying this is [the case], but you can over-try. I’m trying so hard not to foul up, and you’re not playing into your own self. We’ll look at everything. We looked at the four games that we had. We liked some closes that we had.”

What Happened in the Miami Game?

Following their trip to the Super Bowl last year, Atlanta is considered to be one of the NFC favorites again. But few would’ve predicted them to be sitting at just 3-2 thus far. Strangely enough, this is exact same record as the offensively challenged Dolphins have.

Speaking of which, last weekend’s collapse happened in three main areas for the Falcons. First off, they allowed a subpar Miami offense to score on five straight possessions in the second half. The offense was held scoreless because they were pushed around at the line of scrimmage. And then there was last year’s MVP Matt Ryan throwing the game-ending interception when the team was in field goal range.

It seems that the Falcons could make plenty of excuses after everything that went wrong. However, star receiver Julio Jones isn’t settling for excuses.

“Hats off to them today. They were the better team,” Jones said of the Dolphins. “But it’s on us. It’s a player-led team. We’ve got to find ways to win games. … We just have to go out there and finish the game.”

Atlanta vs. New England Odds

The Falcons will certainly be looking for revenge after blowing a 28-3 lead in 2016 Super Bowl. Of course, they’ll also be trying to play better in the second half.

“We’ve got to reset,” said safety Ricardo Allen. “It ain’t no other way. What you going to do, just lay down? There’s s— else you can do.

falcons-patriots-super-bowl“You’ve got be a man. You’ve got to know what we work for when we wake up every morning. What we grind for. What this team stands for. We’ve got to reset.”

Linebacker Vic Beasley also added, “I feel like we have to have a short-term memory. We’ve got a big game coming up with New England, the Super Bowl rematch. If we want to go back to where we were last year, we’ve got to definitely win.”

Interestingly enough, New England is coming off another situation where they rallied to win against the New York Jets 27-24. Controversial calls aside, the Patriots were just as clutch in this game as they were last year’s Super Bowl.

It couldn’t be more fitting that Atlanta and New England meet this week, with the former trying to avoid second-half collapses and the latter still making plays down the stretch.

The Patriots certainly have the advantage based on the fact that they’re playing at home. And while they haven’t looked as good as last season, New England is still considered a Super Bowl contender.

That said, I look for them to cover -3 at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a look at the current line at GTBets:

  • Atlanta +3 (+100), Over 55 (-110)
  • New England -3 (-120), Under 55 (-110)

Packers Odds: Aaron Rodgers’ Collarbone Injury Makes Green Bay a Risky Bet

aaron-rodgers-collarboneThe Green Bay Packers lost more than just a game to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. They also lost star quarterback Aaron Rogers, who was forced to exit the game with a broken collarbone.

According to the Packers’ Twitter account, Rogers could miss the rest of the season. This makes Green Bay a risky bet moving forward and puts their season into jeopardy.

That said, let’s discuss what you can expect from the Packers over the rest of the season in terms of their success and betting odds. We’ll also cover potential replacement names that are being thrown out in his absence.

Green Bay in Good Shape…for Now

The good news for Green Bay is that the they’re 4-2 and tied for first place in the NFC North. The Packers are also 3-0 at the home and face a fairly easy schedule over the next four weeks. This includes games against New Orleans (home), Detroit (home), Chicago (away), and Baltimore (home).

With Rogers under center, the team could easily go undefeated down the stretch. And even without Rogers, this team still stands a good chance of finishing this run with a winning record.

But does this is mean that backup Brett Hundley can save the Packers’ season?

Probably not. Few top NFL teams rely on their quarterback as much as Green Bay.

For example, the New England Patriots could lose Tom Brady and still win with Jimmy Garoppolo. Alex Smith could go down, and the Kansas City Chiefs would probably still win games with Pat Mahomes. The Denver Broncos could lose Trevor Siemian and still win with Brock Osweiler – in fact, they’ve proven they can do so in the past.

Green Bay losing Rodgers, though, is an entirely different ballgame. No quarterback today combines the ability to run, elude defenders, and throw accurate balls the way that Rogers can.

“It’s devastating, no question,” said receiver Randall Cobb. “We still have to play football. We have a long season ahead of us to figure out what we’re going to do.”

The Packers may be okay now. But this is only for the immediate future. Green Bay doesn’t have a lot of star talent beyond Rodgers.

Making matters worse is the fact that Green Bay’s schedule gets much tougher over the last five weeks. They face Pittsburgh (away), Cleveland (home), Carolina (away), Minnesota (home), and Detroit (away).

Can Green Bay Win with Brett Hundley?

Brett Hundley has been playing in the NFL for three seasons. However, the fifth-round pick from UCLA has exactly zero starts to his name.

If Packer nation were hoping to have their fears about losing Rogers eased, Hundley didn’t do this against Minnesota. He was 18-for-33 passing with one touchdown and three interceptions. And Hundley’s first pass was an interception.

Odds are that the 24-year-old looks much better against the Saints. After all, he’ll have a week of full practice under his belt with the first team. Hundley will also get more starts beyond this game as the season moves along. But Hundley is still no Rogers.

The other option is Joe Callahan, an undrafted free agent from Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. Callahan has never thrown a regular season pass in his pro career.

Nevertheless, Green Bay figures to stick with what they have on the roster right now while trying to replace Rogers.

“Brett Hundley’s my quarterback,’’ said coach Mike McCarthy. “Joe Callahan is the backup.”

Colin Kaepernick and Tony Romo are being mentioned as replacements.

Coach McCarthy and general manager Ten Thompson have stated that they’re not interested in bringing Colin Kaepernick aboard.

However, this hasn’t stopped the media from creating various scenarios about how Kaepernick can help the team. And there’s good reason for this because there isn’t a more-talented quarterback sitting out this NFL season.

colin-kaepernickOf course, Kaepernick is essentially being black-balled by the league due to his national anthem protests. Furthermore, Green Bay doesn’t seem like an organization that would want to deal with the constant media questions about Kaepernick once he was signed.

Nevertheless, he could be the Packers’ best shot at salvaging this season and getting into the playoffs. Assuming this happened, perhaps Rogers could return in time to help Green Bay in the postseason.

At worst, they can bring Kaepernick in and see where his skills and conditioning are. Assuming Kaepernick can rekindle the magic of his best seasons in San Francisco, they could at least have a viable option if Hundley can’t handle the job.

The other name being thrown around is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Romo retired this offseason after spending much of the 2016 season with a back injury. He then returned to hold the clipboard as Dak Prescott showed himself to be the franchise’s future quarterback.

Nobody would expect Romo to come in and play like he did in his prime. But the 37-year-old could at least be an upgrade over Hundley once he got in game shape.

Overall Outlook on Green Bay Betting Odds

This isn’t the first time that Rogers has broken his collarbone and the Packers had to play without him. The same thing happened in the eighth game of the 2013 season.

The Bears beat Green Bay after Rogers exited with his collarbone injury. But he came back eight weeks later and beat Chicago at Soldier Field. This turned out to be the defining game that helped the Packers win the NFC North title.

Of course, the Packers also went 2-4-1 up in his absence, using a combination of Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn.

It’s not inconceivable to see this year’s roster producing a similar result with Rogers out for an extended time. But if he can return within eight weeks again, that still gives him four games when the bye week is accounted for. Would this be enough time to save Green Bay’s season if they struggle as expected?

As for the immediate future, Packers bettors should temper their expectations until Hundley shows what he can do. Kaepernick, Romo, or any other option won’t be ready within the next couple of weeks.

This means that Packers’ bets will hinge on the arm and legs of Hundley. Until we see what the third-year player is capable of, the Packers are a risky bet.

Cardinals Odds: Will Adrian Peterson’s Success Continue with Arizona?

adrian-peterson-cardinalsAdrian Peterson was hoping for a rebound season after tearing his lateral meniscus with the Minnesota Vikings last season.

This certainly didn’t happen with the New Orleans Saints, who recently traded Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional draft pick. But after a huge game with the Cardinals, Pearson is looking like a new player.

The 32-year-old running back promised that he had “so much left” in the tank following the trade to Arizona. And he proved it in his first game with the Cardinals, rushing 26 times for 134 yards (5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Compare this to what he did through his first four games with the Saints, rushing for just 81 yards on 27 carries (3.0 YPC).

Peterson’s performance was not only important for himself, but it was also a key reason why Arizona beat Tampa Bay 38-33.

“I feel good. This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Once I got that call on Tuesday, I was rejuvenated,” he told the media.

Peterson wasn’t the only old-timer who had a big game. Larry Fitzgerald also came through with 138 receiving yards and a touchdown. It’s no wonder why Coach Bruce Arians called this a “great day for the old guys.”

Arizona is a surprising 3-3 after losing star running back David Johnson for the season with a dislocated wrist. Can Peterson help the Cardinals keep forgetting about Johnson’s injury and help the team keep winning? Let’s find out while discussing whether we’re truly seen a rejuvenated Peterson along with how he affects Arizona’s betting odds to moving forward.

Peterson is Not a Normal Player

adrian-peterson-arizonaIt’s hard knowing whether Peterson is really going to be a 100-plus-yard rusher week in and week out. But we can’t rule anything out because AP isn’t a normal player.

He proved this in the 2012 season after coming off a late-season ACL/MCL tear the year before. This is an injury that normally takes 12 months to heal from. However, Peterson returned in around eight months and rushed for an astonishing 2,047 yards.

Not only was he coming off a brutal injury months before any average athlete could. But he also became one of just seven NFL players to eclipse 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

Here we are again in 2017, wondering if Peterson’s elite skills have dried up, or if he indeed still has plenty left the tank.

Again, the contest against Tampa Bay suggests the latter. But it’s still important to be cautious in this regard because he only rushed for 72 yards on 37 carries before his injury last year.

More recently, he couldn’t find consistent carries in the crowded Saints backfield. Peterson gained just 81 yards on 27 carries through four games prior to the trade.

Caution aside, though, Peterson looked great on the field Sunday. Looking beyond the stats, he made the cuts, showed the vision, and flashed the elusiveness that has made him great for much of his career.

We don’t expect him to log 1,000 rushing yards over the rest of the season. After all, he did have the game flow working in his favor since the Cardinals were running out the clock. But then again, it’s hard to see anybody else on the Cardinals’ roster being able to get 134 rushing yards on 26 carries, especially against a decent defense.

Tiki Barber Likes what He Sees in Peterson

Sports Illustrated analyst and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber thinks that Peterson is in a really good situation in Arizona. In fact, he thinks that the 7-time Pro-Bowler will see as many carries as he can handle

bruce-arians-arizona“This was Bruce Arians saying ‘alright, we got a horse here, let’s just hand it off to him,'” said Barber. “Big touchdown run that he had … He gave it to them. 26 carries he had, for 134 yards.”

Barber was also quick to remind that Peterson could’ve added even more to the stat line.

“And let’s not forget, there was a 45-yarder that was called back. I mean, he could’ve had almost 200 yards in his debut with the Arizona Cardinals.”

Barber added, “I think he found an old-school-enough coach in Bruce Arians – and yeah he loves to throw the football downfield and his quarterbacks have low completion percentages because they like to throw it way, way down field – but the only way to compliment that is to hand it off.”

The one concern is that Arians probably won’t back off when using Peterson to the fullest.

“I’m mean, he’s going to use him up,” said Barber. “Bruce Arians is going to use him up. If he had any more desire to play a couple more years, forget that cause Bruce Arians is going to hand it to him early and often.”

What’s Next for Arizona and Peterson in Terms of Betting?

adrian-peterson-cardinals-debutThe Cardinals face the LA Rams next week, who’ve been allowing plenty to opposing running backs. Then they get a bye, before facing the San Francisco 49ers, who are equally as bad against backs.

That said, I expect to see Peterson running the ball well over the next few weeks. And while he may suffer a late-season regression, he’ll give Arizona value on the betting lines against bad run defenses.

I don’t see Arizona winning on the road against the Rams. However, they should have a good chance to win on the road against San Francisco. In either case, the Cardinals will be undervalued on the line against San Francisco and LA if Peterson keeps up this resurgence.

Derek Carr will Play through Back Injury in Week 6

derek-carr-injury-returnThe Oakland Raiders have struggled ever since starting quarterback Derek Carr suffered a fractured back. But the good news is that they’ll have Carr back for their Week 6 game.

The 26-year-old was a full participant at Friday’s practice, and he’s no longer on the injury report. This means that he’ll suit up against the Los Angeles Chargers after missing just one game.

This is all the more impressive when considering that initial injury reports had Carr missing anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks.

“He’ll be ready to play,” said Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. “I think it was smart to give him the week (off), which we did. Even though he was pushing for last week.

“He’s cleared to go and got the green light. Doctors and trainers all gave him the go. He had a full week of practice for the most part, so we’re ready to go.”

Carr left a game against the Denver Broncos on October 1 after being sacked. He then sat out against the Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland suffered their third straight defeat.

Whether Carr will be 100% or not is the question. He suffered a fractured transverse process in his back. And it seems that he’s rushing back from the injury.

But this is little surprise to his teammates because few are more passionate about the game than Carr. In fact, he apologized to his coach after suffering the injury.

“It was just my love for this team,” Carr said. “When I found out, I just told him, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I won’t be 100 percent right now.’

“I felt bad because I care so much about this team and this organization that even though I had a broken back, I still felt bad that I couldn’t be out there to help because, I sat there for two games last year and had to watch knowing there’s nothing I could do to help.”

Carr’s Performance after Last Year’s Injury

This isn’t Carr’s first time dealing with a major injury. He broke the pinkie finger in his throwing hand last season and didn’t miss any games.

However, his season ended in Week 16 when he fractured his right fibula. Carr was forced to miss the season finale at Denver, along with a playoff loss against Houston the next week.

The Raiders are 2-9 when Carr has to sit out games. So obviously it’s a big benefit to have him back, especially if he can play close to 100%.

Comparing Carr to Tony Romo’s Injury

tony-romoOne good comparison for how Carr can play after his injury is former Dallas cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

In 2014, Romo fractured two transverse processes in his back. He missed one game, before returning the next week to throw for 246 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions against the Jacksonville jaguars.

The following week, Romo threw for 275 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions while playing against the New York Giants.

This isn’t to say that Carr’s experience will be exactly like Romo’s. Furthermore, it’s possible that his fractured back could be even worse than what Romo dealt with.

But then again, Carr suffered one fractured transverse while Romo had two. This means that Carr could potentially be even better off than Romo when he takes the field.

Chargers vs. Raiders Odds

We have the Raiders at -3.5 (-105) on our GTBets line this week. This seems like a good line even without Carr because Oakland is playing at home, and the Chargers are 1-4.

It seems even more plausible to think that the Raiders can cover -3.5 with their starter under center.

But the key issue will be how well Carr has recovered in his short injury layoff. If he plays like himself, then winning should be no problem.

The Raiders are off to a disappointing 2-3 start, and they desperately need a win to stay in the AFC West title hunt. They finished second to the Chiefs last year with a 12-4 record.

As for Carr, he’s played well in his three and a half games of action. He’s tallied 732 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 101.2 rating.