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A few months ago I was going to write the Cowboys will be fine going with Dak Prescott as the #2 QB behind Tony Romo.  Then the play that changed this article and the Cowboy’s season with Romo breaking a bone in his lower back in the pre-season.  The Dallas Cowboys currently sit at 3-1 after a win today over the SF 49ers and Romo is still expected to be out another month. Dak Prescott was a 4th round draft pick has had a good enough preseason for the Cowboys to name him the starter. Prescott has shown Russell Wilson ‘esk’ qualities and hasn’t turned the ball over yet through 4 games.   I am not saying he’s the next Russell Wilson, however he has shown his type of leadership and play! The major thing that Prescott has going for him is the other 10 players around him. One of the best offensive lines in the league, plus weapons like of Dez Bryant, TE Jason Witton, Cole Beasley and 1st round pick RB Ezekiel Elliott who has been a stud so far. Time of possession will a important key for Dallas this season. The more they can keep the ball, the less their defense will be on the field, which is one of their biggest question marks!  I think he will come back on October 30th after their BYE week against the Eagles.  If that happens it will be eight weeks since the injury. Let’s see how this plays out. One thing is for sure, you are going to be hearing about this a thousands times thanks to the media and if the Cowboys are 6-1 or 5-2 I think you have to stay with Dak. Written by Mike Anthony for VegasTopDogs. Source: Vegas Top Dogs

Tony Romo or Dak Prescott

Personnel, including coaching changes made in the offseason. · The results from last season compared to previous years. · The season-ending momentum of the team, good or bad, and how it may impact this year’s team and making some smart wagers in the NFL this year.   With the above as a background, I present a thumbnail sketch of 5 teams, who I believe will outperform expectations in 2015.   Atlanta Falcons – HC Dan Quinn (2nd year) Following a 14-4 SU, 11-7 ATS 2012 season, the Falcons nosedived under former HC Smith. The last 2 seasons Atlanta was a combined 10-22 SU, 14-18 ATS. When they lost the embarrassing finale to rival Carolina (34-3), it was the final straw for the Atlanta coaching career of HC Smith. Main culprit could be considered a defense that in the last 2 seasons allowed 27 PPG and 389 YPG. Enter former Seattle DC Dan Quinn to reverse the carnage. It helps that the Falcons will face one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season and that the hire of new OC Kyle Shanahan will blend with returning QB Ryan to maintain the offensive excellence. Never easy to back a 1st year HC for improvement, but the work done by Quinn in Seattle speaks for itself. Fade the Falcon at your own risk!   Buffalo Bills – HC Rex Ryan Now 1-2 on the season look for them to catch a nice run as they seem to have the offense and defense clicking. New ownership in the form of Terry Pegula vows to return the Bills to the promised playoff land. With that comes the hire of former NY Jets HC, Rex Ryan. After 6 seasons with the Fly Boys (the 1st 2 of which resulted in conference championship appearances), Ryan’s Jets failed to crack the .500 mark in his final 4 seasons, culminating with a 4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS log last season. But, we all know that Ryan has a strong defensive pedigree (Jets never allowed more than 335 YPG L4Y) and that he brings intensity, passion and experience to the fray. That leaves the offensive side of the ball, where the Bills had stagnated with 21 PPG and no more than 343 YPG each of the last 3 years. Expect that to change with the addition in the off-season of skilled position players, such as QB Cassel, WR Harvin and RB McCoy. With the rest of the team buoyed by a December finish that included 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS against the likes of Denver, Green Bay and New England, there is plenty to like about the Buffalo Bills this season, including the opportunity for a September home victory over perennial leader New England (without QB Brady).   Carolina Panthers – HC Ron Rivera (6th year) It is not often that a sub .500 team makes it to the NFL playoffs. But now sitting at 1-2 after 3 weeks of action the Panthers need to wake up, the NFC South was so weak last year that the Panthers got their invitation to the post-season party by default and went to the Super Bowl behind Cam Newton. HC Rivera has fielded solid defenses in the last 3 seasons with his Panthers never allowing more than 333 YPG. But what I really like about this group is their dominance at the point of attack, which has seen them out-rush their opposition 124-89 (2 years ago) and 131-107 (LY). With QB Newton maturing as an NFL signal caller, I see continued upside for the Panthers, who face a very manageable schedule to right the ship.   New Orleans Saints – HC Sean Payton (10th year) The peripatetic New Orleans Saints have records of 14-4 SU, 7-9 SU, 12-6 SU, and 7-9 SU in each of the last 4 seasons. Time for the bounce in 2015! Issues from last season revolved around a defense that went from allowing 19/301 in 2013 to one allowing 26/384 last season. Other issues were the sudden demise of the once strong New Orleans’ Super Dome home. When the Saints trounced Green Bay (44-23) on October 26th, it ended a run of 19-0 SU, 17-2 ATS since the beginning of 2011 with current HC Payton at the helm (excluding 2012 with interim HC Vitt). When the Saints finished their home season on a 0-5 SU ATS slide, it certainly had to be the biggest turnaround in NFL history. Priority number 1 will be returning that home field dominance, when New Orleans plays a very manageable home schedule beginning with Tampa Bay, September 20th. A big reason for last year’s decline was multiple injuries on the defensive side of the ball. With many of those players returning and a draft day that focused on that side of the ball, look for DC Ryan to return this group to its dominance of 2013. The offensive pieces have changed a bit with the loss of receivers, Graham and Stills. But, there is still the offensive mastermind that is HC Payton and the excellence and experience that QB Brees brings to the table. Look for the bounce back by New Orleans this season, fueled by a far healthier defense and a return of their home field dominance.   NY Jets – HC Todd Bowles (2nd year) This is a risky call, considering the Jets went 8-8 SU, 6-10 ATS last season and let go of respected HC Ryan at its conclusion. Enter 1st year HC Todd Bowles and an entirely new coaching staff. That includes OC Chan Gailey, who must work with QBs, Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, to improve an offense that has averaged 18 PPG 3 consecutive seasons. But, any offense who out-rushes their opponents 142/4.5 to 93/3.8 deserves far better than 4-12 SU. Along with defensive improvement that is anticipated with big name off-season acquisitions and a solid defensive draft, these NY Jets will not surprise if they are one of the biggest turnaround teams in the NFL this season. […]


Anybody writing off the Minnesota Vikings because they lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season is making a mistake. Unlike most NFL teams, the Vikings are ground-oriented. Their MVP is Adrian Peterson not their quarterback. Peterson led the NFL in rushing last season. He’s a top-four runner again this season, one of only three franchise running backs with the others being Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott. The Vikings, Rams and Cowboys can survive without their starting quarterback because of a stud running back. Other teams can’t. Fantasy-wise, I had Bridgewater ranked 28th out of the 32 starting quarterbacks. I get that Bridgewater has a number of intangibles and is better in real football than fantasy. He was likely to improve this season, although I don’t think it would have been by leaps and bounds. He still would have been far more game-manager than attacker. The oddsmaker seems to usually underrate the Vikings especially when it comes to their defensive personnel, which has elite talent that is still peaking. Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff are way above average, too. The Vikings addressed their major weakness by upgrading their offensive line during the off-season. Their line is good enough now that the team recently released John Sullivan, who had been one of their better players before getting injured last season. Keep in mind, too, that Shaun Hill is one of the better backup quarterbacks. He’s a savvy veteran who is more downfield-oriented than the usual, scatter-arm, dump-off passing backup quarterbacks littering the NFL landscape. Most contending teams would be totally screwed if their starting quarterback went down. Not Minnesota. The Vikings surround their quarterback with talent – not the other way around where the quarterback has to carry the team. Bridgewater had 10 games last season when he threw for less than 188 yards. The Vikings still won eight of those games. Minnesota is a top-five NFC team with or without Bridgewater. Written by Stephen Nover for VegasTopDogs.com Source: Vegas Top Dogs

Don’t Count The Vikings Out