FINALY the NBA returns to the Sunday Picks. Hopefully, that will help me record more W’s after a less than ideal weekend seven day ago. Of course, there is (as always) the NFL Sunday games to dissect, but the added bonus of basketball makes it much easier to succeed…..right?

Last Sunday Picks: 5 – 8

Overall: 315 – 248

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NBA

Atlanta Hawks @ Brooklyn Nets
JUST a few days into the new season it’s clear both of these teams aren’t very good. This time last season I wouldn’t be tipping Brooklyn for the win, but with D’Angelo Russell’s hot hand behind them, that’s what I’m doing now.
Verdict: Nets W

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Oklahoma City Thunder
THROUGH two games the Thunder and T-Wolves are still clearly figuring things out. With new stars on the squad, it will take a while for them to get comfortable so this could be a one-sided or messy affair. After a woeful game last night expect Westbrook to come out aggressive early and swing the result OKC’s way.
Verdict: Thunder W

New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers
THE media was ready to throw Lonzo Ball under the bus after a less than impressive debut. In game two though the eldest Ball bro showed his full set of skills really off a near triple-double against the Suns. Life will be harder much against the Pelicans ‘Twin Towers’.
Verdict: Pelicans W

NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills
THIS games as the potential to be the matchup of the weekend. For the Bills, it’s a chance to prove they aren’t just a solid team, but instead, enter the ‘great team’ discussions. Tampa Bay needs the win just as bad though with the popular preseason pick to take out the NFC South hardly living up to the hype so far. Keep an eye on this one, it could go down to the wire.
Verdict: Bills W

Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
IT’S quite rare that a team plays better on the road than they do at home, but the 2017 Panthers are one such team that fits the mould. With a 3-0 record away from the Bank of America Stadium, Sunday poses a real chance for Carolina to stamp their authority as a legit threat in the NFC. Sorry Bears fans.
Verdict: Panthers W

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Detroit LionsImage from pantherswire.usatoday.com

Tenessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns
UNFORTUNATELY for the Browns, their streak of L’s doesn’t end here. The Titans are starting to hit their stride after a Monday Night win last week with Marcus Mariota seemingly full fit. I was tempted to predict a Cleveland W or at worst a close loss, but on second thought Tenessee should dominate.
Verdict: Titans W

New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
THE time for Brett Hundley to perform is now. The talk all week out of Green Bay has been about the new starting QB and how he will play as Aaron Rodgers’ replacement. While the Saints aren’t world beaters so it is still an uphill task facing the Packers. However, don’t be surprised when Drew Brees drops 350+ yards to help NOLA leave Wisconsin with a victory.
Verdict: Saints W

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
SINCE 2012 Jacksonville hasn’t left Indianapolis as a winning team, but this is quite a different outfit in 2017. Bolstered by one of the highest scoring defensive units we have ever seen and a dominant rookie back in Leonard Fournette, there is a chance the Jags can break their streak. We are bound to see a textbook Blake Bortles game sooner than later with the Colts not as woeful as their record may suggest. Hence the streak lives on.
Verdict: Colts W

Sunday Picks - 22nd October 2Image from nfl.com

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
ARE Arizona back? After hanging 38 points on the Bucs last week they might just be and the elder statesmen Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson aren’t ready to ride off into the sunset just yet. They face a tougher task this week with a visit to LA and the Rams will be out to keep the wins flowing. We could see anything from a blowout either way to a last-second score deciding the result, but one thing is clear one of these teams will stand and deliver after flirting with success for parts of the season.
Verdict: Cardinals W

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
WHO would have thought that the Jets and Dolphins would be entering this contest with a combined six wins at the start of the year? I can safely say I was one of those people who laughed at the suggestion. New York is meant to be tanking perhaps for a future franchise QB, but they keep ruining their plan by winning. The tankapalooza trains gets back on track this week though.
Verdict: Dolphins W

Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings
A low scoring offense travels to visit one of the best defenses in football in game eight of the weekend schedule. What could go wrong for the Ravens? With Rodgers going down the NFC North title is now very much up for grabs, giving the Vikings plenty of reasons to play hard. All this points to a rough day at the office for Joe Flacco and the rest of his Baltimore cohort.
Verdict: Vikings W

Dallas Cowboys @ San Fransisco 49ers
AFTER a week of confusion Ezekiel Elliott will lineup against the 49ers and won’t commence his six-game suspension after all. His presence alone is enough to swing the momentum, but I think this is it for San Fran. After flirting with a victory for weeks, this is the game where they finally break through and record their first victory of the year.
Verdict: 49ers W

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants
LAST week in one of the year’s most surprising games of the year the winless Giants went into Denver and walked away victorious, despite Eli Manning throwing to players whom we have never heard of. The injuries to his receiving targets is going to be more of a concern against Seattle, so don’t expect back-to-back weeks of stunning results. This could get ugly for New York.
Verdict: Seahawks W

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
I still think that the Steelers have room to grow, which is a scary prospect for the rest of the AFC. Their division rivals in Cincinnati will be out for blood and the Bengals are bolstered by the return of Vontaze Burfict. While that may be a factor in roughing up Pittsburgh, they still have the triple threat of Big Ben, Brown and Bell. Enough said.
Verdict: Steelers W

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh SteelersImage from sportsblog.com

Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
STRAP yourselves in Philip Rivers, you’re in for a tough 60 minutes. Perhaps the best defensive group in football was embarrassed last week and the Broncos are hungry for revenge. Expect Von Miller and Co to make life a living hell for Rivers and the rest of the LA squad.
Verdict: Broncos W

Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
THE SuperBowl rematch from a year ago rounds out the weekend, with both teams struggling early in 2017. The Patriots defense is perhaps the worst in the league and after leading 17-0 at one point last week, the Falcons blew a big lead against Miami. Both teams need a win BAD, but only one can claim the points. After a quiet start to the year, I’m predicting big things from Julio Jones that will help make Atlanta winners.
Verdict: Falcons W