Philadelphia Eagles -3 @ NY Giants O/U 44
I feel like this line would be closer to a pick em if not having the Giants slightly favored had the Eagles not won the Super Bowl last year, or if the Giants pulled out the win last week. They were a 63 yard field goal with time expiring away from coming out with their second win of the season. Still the winner of this game can possibly be in first place in the NFC east after this week. The division is still up for grabs so even though these teams have 3 combined wins they are both in the thick of things. My gut tells me to go with the Giants here. I think their situation with Odell Beckham is something the locker room can rally behind. The Eagles are struggling to move the ball this year and have not looked good on the road at all.
Seattle Seahawks -3 vs Oakland Raiders O/U 48.5 *Played in London*
The Seahawks traveled to London today and have a regimented day ahead of them in preparation for this weekends game. I think this is important with such a heavy amount of travel involved. Coach Jon Gruden of the Raiders on the other hand has expressed concerns of whether or not he will make it to London. Recanting stories of getting vertigo in previous trips to Europe. He was quoted saying he was “more worried about [the trip] than [their] goal-line offense right now”. Admittedly I do not know how much of that was said in jest but I would not be surprised if there is some truth to that. This is already a Raiders team that has looked unorganized from the top down this year so it would not be a surprise. Preparation is such a huge part of the NFL and I think the Seahawks being better prepared will be the difference here.
Chicago Bears -3 @ Miami Dolphins O/U 41.5
This game is interesting. The Bears and their dominant defense travel to Miami to play a Dolphins team that has struggled in their last two games away from home. They have a significant home field advantage against cold weather teams that are not used to the humidity of Miami. It will be interesting to see if that has an effect on the Bears who have not been able to move the ball well this year, besides in their one game against the league worst Buccaneers defense. The Dolphins defense has played pretty well this year but they have been let down by their offense. Their offense has had issues converting third downs all year and especially let the team down by surrendering 2 touchdowns to the Bengals defense last week which were ultimately the difference in the game. One situation to monitor are the injuries on Miami’s offensive and defensive lines. I expect to see a better effort out of them at home but they have a tough task against the Bears and their top ranked defense. The first half under 21 is a good pick for this.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 O/U 53
This is an interesting game. I really don’t know which way to lean. The Steelers finally looked good for a full game last week. Their defense held the high powered Falcons offense to only 17 points and scored a late touchdown off a fumble recovery in a 41-17 win. The Bengals had 2 defensive scores in their 27-17 home win against the Dolphins. I think the over is a possibility here. Both of these defenses have had issues stopping people despite the Steelers looking good last week. You have to consider that the Falcons have played considerably worse on the road and only scored 18 and 17 points in their two road games so far. These divisional match-ups are always very unpredictable so I will probably be off this one all together.
Indianapolis Colts @ NY Jets -2.5 O/U 45
The injuries to both teams will be something to monitor going into this game. The Colts may be without TY Hilton for the second week in a row and they may be without Eric Ebron this week as well. That could be a huge loss as Ebron was Andrew Lucks most popular target in their last game. The Colts offense has not looked special at all so far this year. They face their toughest test this week against a Jets defense ranked 6th in overall efficiency. The Jets offense will be looking to continue improving after a good week against the Broncos. I’m leaning towards the Jets here but I will probably stay away from betting a side. The Colts defense is better than the Broncos so I don’t see this game starting as quickly. Thus making this game a good candidate for a first half under.
Carolina Panthers @ Washington -1 O/U 44.5
I can not understand this line for the life of me. It was well known that professional money was on Washington last week. I’m thinking that sentiment has carried over to public perception and people are actually thinking they are good. It may also be their one home game against the Packers where they won so they are thinking they will win at home against Carolina. To put it simply the Panthers do what Washington wants to do better than them. That is running the ball and stopping the run. Playing old school ball control football. I do not know how Washington will be able to stop the Panthers running attack. I don’t think Washington will be able to establish their running game either. The Panthers have Thomas Davis returning to their defense and may have Greg Olsen returning to their offense this week as well. There is no play other than the Panthers for me here. The Panthers have been getting disrespected by the media and bookmakers since the off-season and this line is no different.
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings -10.5 O/U 43
The media narrative going into this game is that the Vikings have turned their season around after beating the Eagles and their defense is good again. The problem is it’s not really true. They were the beneficiaries of playing an Eagles team that struggles to move the ball more than any other team the Vikings have faced besides maybe the Bills. They also scored a long defensive TD and got a fumble recovery at their own 5. The Cardinals defense has looked better than the Vikings thus far. The problem is their offense has not looked good. They have certainly gotten a boost with Josh Rosen at quarterback but it is a very small sample size. Overall their offense has struggled to move the ball. They benefited from 5 turnovers last week in a win over the 49ers in San Francisco. That will be tough to repeat against the Vikings offense. As much hate as I give Kirk Cousins he is much better than CJ Beathard. This is just a weird game. I started writing this being all in on the Cardinals but their struggles have made me back off a bit. If anything I think this game is a good candidate to go over the total.
LA Chargers -1 @ Cleveland Browns O/U 44.5
This game is interesting with the Browns coming off their first division win in 3 years. The Chargers made easy work of the struggling Raiders last week and have to prepare to go to London the week after this game. Historically, teams do not do well in the games before they play in London. The Chargers will be staying in Cleveland after the game to make their travel to London a shorter trip. This effects preparation a little bit because the players have to get ready to be away from home for a longer than normal period of time. The preparation they are already doing for London eats into the preparation time for this current week against the Browns. One benefit for the Chargers is they will have defensive tackle Corey Liuget returning. He is their best interior lineman and will be a welcomed addition to their defense. The Chargers offense is ranked 3rd in overall efficiency but that has come against the 6th easiest schedule of opposing defenses. They face their toughest test this week against a Browns defense ranked 2nd in overall efficiency. The Browns have forced the most turnovers and have the highest turnover differential so far. They have won the turnover battle in all but one game (Raiders) and this has been a huge help for them since their offense is ranked 3rd to last in overall efficiency, second to last in passing efficiency. The Chargers are tied for the 3rd fewest giveaways this season. I think this is where the game will be won or lost for the Chargers. I can’t find a reason to not be on the Chargers other than the upcoming London game. One interesting thing to keep an eye on will be special teams as these are the two worst ranked special teams so far.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons -3.5 O/U 57.5
These two division rivals come into this game with the two worst defenses in the league. The Falcons return home after struggling to get anything going in Pittsburgh. Their defense struggled which was nothing new but their offense struggled as well with Matt Ryan being sacked 6 times. They return home this week where they have performed much better. The Buccaneers come off a bye after a 48-10 loss to the Bears in Chicago the week before. I honestly do not know what to expect in this divisional matchup between two terrible teams. Anything is possible in this game. I don’t like either team. I will be staying away from this one completely.
LA Rams -7 @ Denver Broncos O/U 52.5
This total is high after the Rams could not stop the Seahawks last week. Although Denver’s offense is ranked higher in efficiency than the Seahawks, I do not think they can repeat the same kind of performance on the Rams defense. The Seahawks had everything in that game go their way and still lost. The Broncos on the other hand have not looked good all year. They are coming off a loss to the Jets that never seemed close. I have been saying all year that the Broncos are overrated both offensively and defensively. Despite having two of the best interior defensive linemen in Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh the Rams have struggled against the run. They are ranked 28th overall and will be looking to stop a Broncos rushing attack ranked first in overall efficiency. Right now both of the Broncos starting tackles are on the injury report so that will be a situation to monitor before this game. I will probably stay away from this game.
Jacksonville Jaguars -3 @ Dallas Cowboys O/U 40.5
This total is so low with both of these offenses struggling so far. The Jaguars offense has had its moments when they have looked good. The Cowboys offense on the other hand has not looked good at all this year. The Cowboys have probably been the least exciting team all year. Even in their two wins they did not seem to do anything that would make you think they will be a competitive football team. Their offensive line was supposed to be their strength and they have struggled with injuries. Their offense is really devoid of talent other than Ezekiel Elliot. Their defense has been mediocre and have only forced 4 turnovers so far which is the 2nd fewest out of the entire NFL. The Cowboys are going to have their hands full with a Jaguars team coming off a loss where the offense committed 5 turnovers. One thing to monitor will be the health of some of the Jaguars offensive and defensive linemen. Malik Jackson and 3 of their starting offensive linemen are on the injury report along with running back Leonard Fournette. If these linemen are all healthy I like the Jaguars to win and cover here.
Baltimore Ravens -3 @ Tennessee Titans O/U 41
The Ravens are 3 point favorites on the road again. This time in Nashville against the Titans. The strength of both of these teams is their defense. Neither one of these teams has looked dominant this year besides the Ravens in their season opening win over the Bills. That seems like ages ago at this point. I don’t like this game. I don’t like betting on either team. I hate the way they play. I am going to stay away from this game. Both of these teams are too unpredictable for me. I have been on the wrong side of these teams all year so I will not partake in this one.
KC Chiefs @ New England Patriots -3 O/U 59.5
This total is a little high for my liking. I think the film is out on how to stop Mahomes. He has struggled in his last two games and this will be his toughest test. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs defense is horrendous. They have not stopped anyone and I see that trend continuing here in Foxboro. These are the same Chiefs that spoiled the Patriots season opener last year winning 42-27. I don’t like to handicap based on revenge angles but I certainly think that will play a factor in this game. To go along with that Bill Belichick has had extra time to prepare for this week’s game which is always a huge advantage for the Patriots. The Chiefs have had a good run to start the season but all good things must come to an end at some point. I think the Chiefs lose here. They may make it interesting late but I see them losing somewhere in the vicinity of 24-20.
San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers -9.5 O/U 46.5
The 49ers had 5 turnovers last week in their loss to the Cardinals. If they do that again they will lose big. They should probably lose this game big anyway. The 49ers don’t really have any talent on their offense and their defense has been even worse. It’s tough to put money down on a side with this game. The Packers should have no problem winning this game and covering the spread. CJ Beathard stinks and you will never find me betting on a team with him starting. On the other hand the Packers really haven’t shown much to be favored by this many points. I think this line is more to do with the overreaction of how bad the 49ers looked last week. If I had to pick a side its the Packers but I will probably stay away.