Denver Broncos -2.5 @ Arizona Cardinals O/U 41.5
This game will be a matchup of ineptitude. The Cardinals and their struggling offense face off against a Broncos team that came into the season a bit overrated on both sides of the ball. They were able to sneak in through the backdoor and cover their first game of the year last week. The Broncos offense will face a tougher task against a Cardinals defense that came into last week ranked 8th in overall efficiency and did pretty well to contain the Vikings last week. Their struggles came with their offense who were unable to convert a 3rd down all day and had only 25:45 in time of possession compared to the Vikings 34:15. Denver’s defense is currently ranked 2 spots higher than the Vikings so the Cardinals offense could struggle again here.
Tennessee Titans vs LA Chargers -6.5 O/U 45.5 *London Game*
Last week my best bet was the Ravens over the Titans and the Titans were shut out. Their offense has struggled all year and are now ranked 29th in overall efficiency. This comes against the toughest schedule of opposing defense and they could struggle again this week against the Chargers. The Chargers defense is currently only ranked 12th compared to the Ravens 2nd but the Chargers have faced a slightly tougher schedule than the Ravens. The Chargers pass rush has also been significantly better since the return of Corey Liuget. He is not a big name player but he makes a significant difference on the interior of the defensive line creating push up the middle and helping free up outside pass rushers. When Joey Bosa also comes back this defense will be scary. The only teams the Chargers have lost to and given up a lot of points to are the Rams and Chiefs who are both ranked 1st and 2nd in offensive efficiency. The Chargers are ranked 3rd on that list. This spells trouble for a Titans defense that has so far faced the easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Chargers will be traveling to London from Cleveland on Thursday and so far there is no information on when the Titans will be going. I like the approach Seattle took last week by going early and planning a full day of practice and activities so the team gets better acclimated to the time change. We will see if more teams use that approach in the future.
Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts -7.5 O/U 43.5
We’re going to have another Nathan Peterman outing this week as Josh Allen is still hurt. No chance I find myself on a ticket backing a team with Peterman starting or on the Colts laying over 7 points. I’m not wasting any more time with this game.
New England Patriots -3.5 @ Chicago Bears O/U 49.5
This will be interesting game to see how the top ranked Bears defense handles an elite Patriots offense. On the other side the Bears offense has struggled so far this year other than in their game against the Bucs. They seemed to have done just enough to win last week only to have their defense give up a 75 yard TD to Albert Wilson. The Bears defense struggled a bit and allowed the Dolphins to move the ball enough to keep putting points on the scoreboard and stay in the game. They were also worn down by the humidity in Miami which will not be an issue for them this week in Chicago. What will be an issue for them is stopping Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. This should be a good game.
Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 O/U 45.5
These two teams played last year on a Thursday night where Carolina was the home team and lost by 5. This was a pretty close game throughout an I expect this years to be similar. The Panthers are coming off a road loss to Washington and are now 0-2 straight up and against the spread in road games. The Eagles are coming off a game where they played well albeit against a struggling Giants team. They face a much tougher task this week against a Panthers team that has played much better than people (besides me) expected. If the Panthers can get back to playing ball control football and avoid turnovers they should come out with a win here. I am not sold on the Eagles being good after beating down the lowly Giants.
Detroit Lions @ Miami Dolphins
No line for this game has been posted yet. With the Lions coming off a bye I just wanted to take the time to mention, so far this year teams are 1-3 straight up and 0-4 against the spread following a bye.
Minnesota Vikings -3.5 @ NY Jets O/U 47
The NFLs most overrated QB in history Kirk Cousins, was able to mask another 2 turnovers last week by beating up on a Cardinals team ranked 30th in overall efficiency. This line is all due to public perception. The Vikings went to the NFC championship last year and are known for having a great defense. They also beat the Eagles a couple weeks ago in a game that is fresh in the public’s mind. They are now coming off a two game win streak and they seem to have “put it together”. Except when you look at the teams they are beating it is not very impressive. The Eagles they beat are not the same team that won the Super Bowl and then the Cardinals who are arguably the worst team in the NFL. the numbers say the Jets are a much better team than the Vikings and I agree with the numbers. The Vikings defense has not performed that well and they have done it against an easy slate of offenses. That bodes well for the Jets offense that has not played very well this year but have faced the 8th toughest schedule of opponent offenses. One factor is a Mike Zimmer defense going up against a rookie QB. This is a spot where he has had success in the past. Another thing to keep an eye on will be the Jets injuries in the secondary. If they can come into this game healthy I think the Jets can win outright.
Cincinnati Bengals @ KC Chiefs -6.5 O/U 58.5
The Chiefs are coming off their first loss last week but are still 6-0 against the spread. The Bengals are coming off a game where they took a late lead only to have the game ripped away in the final seconds. The Bengals offense has played pretty well this year. I think the spread would be a lot for the Chiefs to cover even at home. This game should be a shootout as the total indicates. The Bengals defense is ranked 24th in overall efficiency and the Chiefs are ranked 28th. The Chiefs looked good a couple weeks ago at home against the Jaguars. The Chiefs defense forced the 26th ranked Jaguars into 5 turnovers. They will have a much tougher task this week against the Bengals offense ranked 8th, one spot below the Patriots whom the Chiefs just lost to.
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 O/U 50
The only reason this line makes sense to me is because the Bucs are at home. We have seen the south Florida heat take its toll on Dolphins opponents with them being undefeated at home so far. The Bucs are 1-1 at home with their loss coming on a Monday night game where its a little bit cooler. They had one day game against the favored Eagles and won 27-21. The Buccaneers got off to a hot start but have struggled in their last three games. Their main issue this year has been their defense ranked last in overall efficiency. Luckily for them they will be going against a Browns offense ranked 3rd to last in offensive efficiency. The Buccaneers 5th ranked offense goes up against the Browns 6th ranked defense. This matchup with the strengths and weaknesses of each team having to face off against one another is intriguing to say the least.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars -5 O/U 41.5
The struggling Jaguars will be looking to get back on track this week against a division rival Texans team that has won 3 straight. The Jaguars have not had the greatest 2 game road trip losing to the Chiefs and then being blown out by the Cowboys. In these last two games the Jaguars lost the turnover battle 7-2. The Cowboys game was such a blowout you have to consider it an anomaly. The Cowboys have played much better at home and this game got out of hand quickly for the Jaguars. The Texans have won 3 straight after starting the season 0-3 but none of their wins were convincing. These wins came against three struggling teams in the Colts, Cowboys and Bills. The Jaguars will be a much tougher matchup than those previous teams. This game could potentially be for first place in the AFC South if the Titans lose to the Chargers in London to start the day. I’m not at all sold on the Texans and have been saying all year that they are not good. I think the Jaguars get back on track here.
New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens -2.5 O/U 49.5
This is going to be a good game. The Saints 4th ranked offense faces off against the Ravens 2nd ranked defense. The Ravens are coming off a very convincing 21-0 win in Tennessee where they recorded 11 sacks. That will be a tough performance to repeat against the much more prolific Saints offense. The Saints defense is only ranked 26th in overall efficiency but they are 1st against the run. Their defense is ranked 26th in points against but most of those points came in two games against prolific offenses. Against the Browns, Giants and Washington the Saints have only surrendered 18, 18 and 19 points. The Problem with playing the Ravens is 18 points may be enough for them to pull out a win. Their defense has been phenomenal and has given up the least points per game so far this year. This is truly the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. Drew Brees is also 0-4 in his career against the Ravens and they are the only team he has never beaten. None of those games matter now but that is interesting to know.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins -1.5 O/U 41.5
I’m already thinking about the nap I’m going to be taking during this game. Fuck the NFL schedule makers for only giving us 3 games in this afternoon slate. We need more east coast afternoon games. There is 8 early games and 3 late games. Give us 7 and 4 or 6 and 5 so we don’t have to contemplate blowing our brains out watching these boring teams on redzone when the other 2 games inevitably go to commercial. The lack of east coast late afternoon games are an epidemic that needs to be fixed. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The next NFC east game that is exciting will be the first. I have nothing else to say about this game.
LA Rams -10 @ San Francisco 49ers O/U 52.5
The Rams continued their dominance last week winning in Denver. The Broncos covered a high spread late as the game was in hand. The 49ers are coming off a Monday night game where they very well should have won the game. Their last drive started in good field position at their own 46 and they only needed a field goal to win the game. They ended up turning the ball over and Aaron Rodgers instead led his team to a game winning field goal drive. The 49ers have done ok in their last three games without Jimmy Garoppolo even though they did not win any of them. They face a much tougher test this week with the Rams coming to Santa Clara. Despite their struggles the past couple weeks the Rams should absolutely win and cover this game. I may not be on it because I want to see if they will but I think they absolutely should. What I mean is if they do not cover they will start to show some very visible chinks in their armor.
NY Giants @ Atlanta Falcons -6 O/U 54.5
I mean if Eli can’t get the ball downfield on this banged up secondary than he won’t ever do it. One advantage for the Giants is the extra rest will help Eli rest his throwing arm. I’m surprised we don’t see Eli with ice wrapped around his shoulder after every drive like a pitcher at this point. It seems inevitable for that time to come sooner rather than later if he continues playing. The Falcons are a significantly better team at home and should probably blow the Giants out here. Give everyone a taste of “what could have been” if the defense stayed healthy. Will Julio get his first TD here? I can’t speculate but overall this game is shit. It would have been a lot cooler if this game was flexed so we could see something like Patriots Bears or literally anyone else in prime time. I’m tired of seeing Eli Manning and his stupid face every weekend. Make no mistake when Eli is good he is electric that just has not happened in years.