This is by far the toughest slate of the year so far. After a 1-3 week we need a good week to get back on track. It is tough to find winners in this group. Sometimes the best move to make is passing on a game you are not sure of. There is still plenty of NFL left and the NBA just started too. I will start getting in depth with the NBA soon, I just like the beginning to play out a little bit.
Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans -7.5 O/U 44
The Dolphins are way undervalued and the Texans are overrated here for sure. The Dolphins are coming off their worst loss of the season and the Texans are coming off their biggest win. The Dolphins will welcome the return of Devante Parker who is coming back at the perfect time with the injuries to Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson. Along with Jakeem Grant and Danny Amendola they make up a pretty good receiving core against the Texans 14th ranked pass defense. This is also the Brock Osweiler revenge game. The Dolphins defense has fallen from the top 5 to 15th in the past two weeks but I look for them to get back on track in this game. I also like Adam Gase coaching against Bill Obrien. I think the Dolphins catching 7.5 a lot. Get that number while you can.
Philadelphia Eagles -3.5 @ Jacksonville Jaguars O/U 42 *London Game*
This season has been a lot tougher on both of these teams than it was last year. They have both had games where they have looked great and games where they have looked terrible. Jacksonville’s offense has been really struggling the last three weeks with only 28 combined points. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone decided to bench quarterback Blake Bortles in the last game to try to send a message to the team. Blake Bortles is currently undefeated in London and I think he gets back on track here against an Eagles defense that has struggled this year. I like the Jaguars catching points in their home away from home. The Eagles may win but I think whoever wins will be within 3 points.
Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions -3 O/U 49.5
This is one of the most intriguing game of the week for me. To see if the Lions can continue their momentum against a Seahawks team coming off a bye after their London trip. The Lions defense should be expecting a bump from the addition of Damon Harrison. They certainly need it as they are currently ranked as the 3rd worst efficient defense. I will probably stay off this game because I am not really sure what to make of either team. If I had to choose it would be the Seahawks but I can easily see this one being a push.
Washington -1 @ NY Giants O/U 42.5
I want to once again point out how gross NFC East teams are to watch. Luckily this isn’t a late game or stand alone game. Anyways back to the game. I don’t know how you could be buyers on the Giants when they are not even buying into themselves and are trading their players. Maybe this is to send a message to the players but I definitely don’t think they’re the better team. It is the NFC East though and anything can happen. I will probably be off of this one as well.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs -10 O/U 53.5
The Chiefs are 6-1 this year and 7-0 against the spread. This line is really high with the Chiefs win on Sunday night fresh in the publics mind. Both teams are ironically are coming off 45-10 wins, each of their biggest wins this season. Although the Broncos win came agains the lowly Cardinals and the Chiefs win came against a Bengals team that has been competitive this year. The Broncos are somehow ranked 5th in overall efficiency which does not make any sense. They are 3-4, 2-4-1 against the spread and have not looked great all year. Ten points is a lot but there is no way I could find myself on the Broncos.
Baltimore Ravens -2 @ Carolina Panthers O/U 44
This is another very intriguing game. The Ravens are coming off a loss where they had a chance late to tie and fell short when Justin Tucker missed his first extra point ever. The Panthers on the other hand are coming off a 21-17 win where they outscored the Eagles 21-0 in the fourth quarter after falling down 17-0. The Ravens offense really struggled last week against the Saints defense who is actually ranked five spots lower than Carolina. The Saints had some success running the ball on the Ravens defense and the Panthers will be looking to do the same. I’ve been saying since pre-season that the Panthers were underrated. The Ravens offense has struggled on the road and I think that continues here. I like the Panthers to win this game.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers -8 O/U 50
Remember a couple weeks ago when both of these teams were 2-2-1? Since then the Steelers have won their only game and the Browns lost both of theirs. Despite the Browns number 2 ranked defense I can’t find myself backing the Browns here. Their offense has been horrible, ranked 3rd worst in the league. Browns head coach Hue Jackson has mentioned he will be having more say in the offensive play calling. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. The Steelers are also considerably better at home. In their last home game they sacked Matt Ryan 6 times, and in the Browns last game Baker Mayfield was sacked 5 times. This could be another game where they roll here.
NY Jets @ Chicago Bears -7.5 O/U 45
There are a lot of large spreads this week and this is another one. It is tough to be on the Jets with all of their injuries. They seemed to have finally caught up with them last week against the Vikings. The Bears lost a really close game to the Patriots last week. They gave up a defensive touchdown and a special teams td and only ended up losing by 7. Both of these defenses are ranked in the top 10 in overall efficiency. I think the Jets are going to really have trouble moving the ball. They struggled last week against the Vikings mediocre defense and now has to go up against a much tougher Bears unit. I think the Bears cover here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cincinnati Bengals -4.5 O/U 54.5
This game is gross. I hate watching both of these teams. I like this game to go under. The Bengals offense has been struggling in the last three weeks and they have gone 1-2 in that time. These are two ugly teams playing an ugly game in an ugly city. The Bucs ugly pass defense is ranked last and the Bengals recently ugly offense had most of their early success through the air. This makes my gut feeling pick the Bengals but I would not be surprised with any outcome. I want no part of this game. Maybe a first half under but again I would not be surprised if the offenses finally picked up.
Indianapolis Colts -3 @ Oakland Raiders O/U 50
How lucky are we to have this game along with only 2 others for the afternoon slate? I will mention every week here that the NFL needs to schedule games more spread out, so we don’t have to spend any time watching these trash teams. The Raiders are in complete disarray with reports coming out the team doesn’t trust Derek Carr to be their leader along with them trading Amari Cooper. The Colts are coming of their best win of the year over the struggling Bills. This is another game where I could not find myself backing either team. The Raiders are such a mess right now. The Raiders are either going to get a terrific win with a pissed off performance like they did against the Browns or a game where they quit and lose by 50. No in-between.
Green Bay Packers @ LA Rams -9 O/U 57
This is the only game worth watching in the afternoon slate this week. The other 4 teams have 5 combined wins compared to the Rams at 7-0. I don’t think Aaron Rodgers has ever been a 9 point underdog in his career but the Rams are really good. More specifically, the Rams also have the best running game in the league and the Packers run defense is 4th worst. Another factor here is the coaching matchup. Rams head coach Sean McVay is much better than Packers coach Mike McCarthy. With that being said it is tough to cover that many points against Aaron Rodgers. After starting 3-0 against the spread the Rams are 1-2-1 in the last 4 weeks. I think this game will go slower than people are expecting. I’m not sure they will reach that total.
San Francisco 49ers -1 @ Arizona Cardinals O/U 42.5
The last of the forgettable afternoon games. I am once agains asking that the NFL please schedule more east coast games at 4:05 and 4:25 so we are not stuck watching these terrible teams. Anyways I am not sure what to expect with this game. My gut feeling is to take the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan is a better coach than Steve Wilks. Now after seeing the Cardinals defense once he will be able to exploit it better a second time around. On the other hand the Cardinals defense is still very good and they get a boost when they play at home. On top of that the Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and replaced him with Byron Leftwich, We will see if he provides a spark to the offense. Kyle Shanahan is 0-3 vs the Cardinals since becoming head coach last year.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikins PK O/U 52
This game is a pick?!?!? Allow Kenny Powers to explain how I feel abut this game (start at 1:24):
Kirk Cousins is so overrated. The Vikings defense is not only overrated but just lost their best player Xavier Rhodes. I know they get Everson Griffen back but I don’t think he will make an impact right away. The Vikings are being way overvalued here as the home team coming off 3 straight wins against inferior opponents. This is Sean Payton’s third time facing this Vikings team in the last two years. The Vikings come into this game with the 19th ranked pass defense facing the easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Saints should be able to have their way through the air. I expect the Saints to be fully ready for this game. Not only do I think they win easily on the road, I have a prop bet as well. I am taking Adam Thielen under 99.5 receiving yards. This is the week his streak ends.
New England Patriots -14 @ Buffalo Bills O/U 44.5
I mean what is there to say about this game. The only side is the Patriots but laying 14 points on the road is never easy in the NFL. The Bills still have the 6th overall ranked defense but their offense is last and last by a lot. The Bills are currently on pace to have the worst offensive efficiency ever recorded. This stat began being tracked in 1986 and since then the game has favored the offenses more and more. Yet here we are with the Bills setting records with their futility. The Bills offense is so bad that even though their defense is ranked 6th that they are ranked dead last in overall efficiency as well. I’m no sure I will be on this game but if I am the only side is the Patriots.