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June 30th NFL news ... Welcome to Betting football pro, the site for the pro football gambler.
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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-0) at ATLANTA FALCONS (1-2)
The Falcons look to get back to .500 while the Patriots try to stay undefeated when the two teams square off at Georgia Dome on Sunday night.
The last time New England and Atlanta played was in September of 2009 where the Patriots held a 445 to 257 yards advantage and prevailed 26-10. New England was a 4-point underdog in that game and was able to win-and-cover for the third straight time against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed 296 passing YPG this season (25th in NFL), which doesnt bode well against a Tom Brady-led offense that could have TE Rob Gronkowski (back) for the first time this season. However, Atlanta also has a potent air attack (289 passing YPG, 7th in NFL) and will provide the first real test for New England's suspect secondary, which has faced three of the league's worst starting quarterbacks (Josh Freeman, Geno Smith and EJ Manuel). The Patriots are 39-16 ATS (71percent) as an underdog under head coach Bill Belichick, but the Falcons are is 8-1 ATS in September home games under head coach Mike Smith. Although New England is 14-4 ATS (78percent) coming off of a Belichick-coached game where his team allowed six points or less, Atlanta is 19-5 ATS (79percent) after a loss under Smith.
The Patriots are 3-0 SU to start the season, but their offense hasnt played well at all, gaining just 4.5 yards per play (3rd-fewest in NFL) and scoring only 19.7 PPG (22nd in league). New England is coming off a 23-3 victory over the Buccaneers in which Tom Bradys receivers finally provided him with some competent play. Aaron Dobson had seven catches in the game for 52 yards while Kenbrell Thompkins was the recipient of two red-zone touchdown passes. WR Julian Edelman also chipped in with seven receptions for 44 yards, as he's tied for the NFL lead with 27 catches this year. Brady was 25-of-36 for 225 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT in the game, marking his 51st straight game with at least one touchdown pass. Many of those touchdown passes during his streak have gone to TE Rob Gronkowski who has an incredible 39 TD catches in 43 career games. The Patriots rushing offense really sputtered in Week 2 versus the Jets (24 carries for 54 yards), but chewed up 156 rushing yards as a team versus the Bucs, led by LeGarrette Blounts 65 yards on 14 carries and Brandon Bolden's 51 yards on just three rushing attempts in his season debut. One the defensive end, New England was near perfect, allowing just 323 yards of total offense against a weak Buccaneers team. For the season, the Patriots have allowed just 11.3 PPG (T-2nd in NFL) and 309 total YPG (T-8th in league), while forcing an impressive seven turnovers. With the offense beginning to get healthier and the Patriots still undefeated, its interesting to see just how good this team will be in a couple of weeks when Gronkowski and top WR Danny Amendola (groin) return healthy.
Atlantas defense has really struggled this season, allowing 24.7 PPG (T-19th in NFL) and 375 total YPG (23rd in league). They defense hasnt been able to get stops when it has needed to, both on third down (48percent conversion rate, 5th-worst in NFL) and in the red zone (70percent efficiency, T-23rd in league). Without RB Steven Jackson, who is out for a month with a thigh injury, the Falcons' backfield duo of RBs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling was very productive last week, combining for 139 yards on 29 carries (4.8 YPC). Snelling also caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. QB Matt Ryan went 23-of-38 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the game. WR Julio Jones continues to give opposing defenses nightmares as he caught nine passes for 115 yards. He now has a league-high-tying 27 receptions for an NFL-best 373 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Jones also leads the league with 194 yards after catch, which has been key because fellow WR Roddy White is still dealing with a high-ankle sprain that has really limited his usually stellar production. TE Tony Gonzalez is also off to a slow start with just 11 catches for 93 yards and one touchdown, a big drop-off from his 2012 season when he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight scores.
Football betting: NFC East/North Regular Season Wins Predictions
Over under lines from www.sportsbook.com the home of NFL betting.
The Dallas Cowboys (O/U: 10) are hoping to become the first team to ever play in its own stadium at a Super Bowl this season. After gaining a victory in the playoffs last year for the first time since, Dallas could be poised to make a deeper postseason run in 2010. Quarterback Tony Romo leads a balanced offense. The club will need to improve its red zone offense this season after ranking just 14th in the league in scoring offense last year despite finishing 2nd in the NFL in total offense. The schedule appears to be one of the most difficult slates in the league this season. The Cowboys will have to battle five teams on the road that reached the playoffs in 2009. Dallas fails to meet football betting expectations for an under.
The New York Giants (O/U: 8.5) struggled to a 3-8 finish in its final 11 contests of 2009 after a 5-0 start. The collapse of the defense was the main problem for New York. After ranking 5th in the NFL in scoring defense in 2008, the Giants slipped to 30th in the category last year. On offense, quarterback Eli Manning has enabled New York to finish in the top 8 in total offense in each of the last two years. Like Dallas, the Giants must face five playoff squads from 2009 away from home. Once again, New York fails to produce a winning season for an under.
It's a new era for the Philadelphia Eagles (O/U: 8.5) after the offseason trade of veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb. Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick will be counted on to keep Philly's offense moving in 2010. Under McNabb, the Eagles finished in the top 6 in the NFL in scoring offense in three of the last four seasons. With the exception of a trip to Dallas, Philadelphia won't face a team on the road that went to the postseason in 2009. After recording just one losing campaign in the last decade, the Eagles win at least nine games again for an over.
New Washington Redskins (O/U: 7.5) head coach Mike Shanahan is hoping that McNabb will boost a franchise that posted only two winning seasons in the last decade. While the defense has ranked in the top 10 in the league in total defense in each of the last three seasons, the offense has struggled in recent years. McNabb will certainly help but the lack of other playmakers on offense will doom the Redskins to an under in the difficult NFC East.
In the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers (O/U: 10) are looking to build on last year's trip to the playoffs. After ranking in the top 6 in total offense and defense in 2009, the club appears to be strong enough on both sides of the ball to make a run at a Super Bowl bid in 2010. While there are a few difficult road games on the schedule, Green Bay is good enough to get over the number this season.
The Minnesota Vikings (O/U: 9.5) are still waiting on a decision from quarterback Brett Favre. While many football betting skeptics are quick to dismiss Minnesota's hopes without Favre in 2010, the club did win ten games en route to a division crown in 2008 without him. Running back Adrian Peterson and an outstanding defensive line could enable the Vikings to contend this year, if Favre shuts it down. For the third straight year, Minnesota wins at least ten contests for an over.
After being the most aggressive team in free agency this offseason, the Chicago Bears (O/U: 8) are hoping to challenge the Packers and Vikings in the NFC North. While the addition of Julius Peppers will aid the defense, the unit still has some question marks heading into this season. On offense, the lack of quality wide receivers will hinder the club's air attack. Chicago suffers through another losing campaign for an under.
The Detroit Lions (O/U: 5) have been limited to just two wins over the last two seasons. With the recent draft choices of quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Detroit has the potential to build something down the line. This year, Detroit improves a little but not enough to avoid an under.