Texans at Browns (-4)
This is a game that is likely to be strongly affected by wind so caution is advised on a betting front.
Both offenses are likely to have a lot of joy here. The Houston run D is just about the worst in the league and Nick Chubb surely has a huge game here, especially with the Cleveland O-line getting stronger. Deshaun Watson meanwhile should be able to find his receivers pretty comfortably considering the Cleveland pass D is really disappointing this year but I’d have some concerns on what the strong winds will do to his throws though I expect him to deal with it better than Mayfield will.
I’m a little in 2 minds here as I thought the Browns would be a larger favourite on the opening spreads considering they’ve had good results against teams around the level of the Texans. The bookies have generally been getting the heavily backed teams beaten in recent weeks and I’m a little concerned Cleveland are a trap team here. I’m going to say they cover but that’s purely down to the weather and this game is a no bet for me unless you want to take a Nick Chubb rushing prop.
Browns 28-20 Texans
Jaguars at Packers (-14)
I hate games with inflated spreads as the main questions you have to ask yourself is when are the starters likely to get pulled and will the reserves of the losing team play hard enough to get a backdoor cover.
The Packers are getting fit again and with the Jaguars falling apart on defense the result of who wins outright looks in little doubt. I expect this to be an Aaron Jones game with Rodgers just making throws as and when he needs to. The Jags should have some success on offense considering the Green Bay D can drop the odd shocker now and then and Chark will be able to have some joy provided the wind doesn’t ruin things.
I actually can see the Jags covering or losing by exactly 14 but have little confidence to bet it since the money seems to be heading the other way. I’d be tempted if it went to 14.5 but for now I’ll leave this as a game I won’t bet.
Packers 31-20 Jaguars
Eagles (-4) at Giants
The Eagles are finally getting healthier and I genuinely believe they could be a solid if not spectacular team and with the offense finally coming back together, they’ll have too much for a Giants team that tried to blow a game they should’ve won by a mile with all the mistakes Washington made.
With Wentz getting receivers and O-linemen back, look for him to start proving the people who seem to think he’s awful very long. He finally may have some protection and is a far superior QB to Jones in my eyes. Look for the Eagles pass rush to give him a lot to think about and there is a definite potential for turnovers.
I don’t see this being a high scoring game so there’s no standout TD scorer bet for me but I like the Eagles to cover here comfortably.
Eagles 24-10 Giants
Buccaneers (-6) at Panthers
McCaffrey is hurt again so look for the Panthers to struggle compared to last week. They may have seemed a hipster upset pick for some but the Buccaneers have a far better D than the Chiefs and they will have something to prove having been humiliated on national TV.
Because of this, I really like the Bucs to cover. The pass rush of the Panthers is far less of an issue than the Saints rush is and the secondary is pretty pedestrian so I’d expect the quality receivers of the Buccaneers to have a lot of joy today and for Brady to throw a few TDs. Look for Godwin and Gronk as TD scorer bets.
Overall, I love the Bucs to cover here. They’ll be able to slow down the Carolina offense and I can’t see their offense being slowed too much here.
Buccaneers 34-17 Panthers
Washington at Lions (-3)
This is another spread which is suspiciously low for me. I’d have said the Lions were a tier above Washington in standard so maybe the bookies fancy Washington today.
This game for me comes down to who scores first. If Washington get out the gates then they can use the run more on offense against a Lions team that has been torched by the run this year but if they get behind then they have to rely on Alex Smith to make some throws which brings in the risk of turnovers.
I can’t really do an indepth preview of a game that feels like a complete coinflip for me since if Detroit get ahead, they’ll win but if Washington get ahead, they could easily win. The market looks spot on so I’ll just say Lions by 3.
Lions 20-17 Washington
Broncos at Raiders (-3.5)
This game has turned into a bit of an injury bowl, so the Raiders have 1 starting offensive lineman fit while the Broncos have lost their whole D line. The key for me is that Denver are getting guys back in the secondary so should get a little less torched than they did last week.
The Denver offense is interesting for me as Lock seems to be Jekyll and Hyde on individual drives and can start games terribly but come alive late. The Raiders offense will likely get to 24 or so points so it’s whether Denver can do the same and it will all be on the passing game since the Raiders run D is solid. Jeudy will be able to torch this secondary so hopefully for Denver, Lock can find him.
I like Denver to cover here, there’s been a huge move for them and I want to follow it. The only doubt is that they can get behind early in games so this is more likely to be a back door cover than an outright win for Denver so I’m less confident on this than I am for the Bucs and Eagles.
Raiders 24-21 Broncos
Bills at Cardinals (-2.5)
This feels like another coinflip game. It’s very likely that this is a shootout similar to what these teams both had last week and I don’t think the 56 point line is enough. The betting market has seen movement in both directions and I can’t split these teams.
Both teams have defensive injuries so the offenses are even more likely to score points and it feels like a game where the team who gets the ball last wins. Any skill position player is a viable TD scorer as well.
I see this as a coinflip so I’ll just take the underdog in Buffalo but would rather bet points than the spread here.
Bills 34-31 Cardinals
Chargers at Dolphins (-1.5)
This one is interesting. I genuinely believe the Chargers are the more talented team but the Dolphins have a coaching and mentality edge and are potentially still an underrated team. Flores is a seriously good coach and not many people talk about it.
The key to victory for the Chargers is the pass rush as that’ll be their way to slow Miami since the secondary is terrible and the Dolphins receivers will likely get open enough for Tua to have a good day. Meanwhile the Dolphins have a strong secondary and though Allen is likely to get open for Herbert a few times the rest of the receivers may struggle today.
The betting for this has been pointing more towards the Chargers but I like the coaching edge Miami have and the home advantage so I’ll pick them here.
Dolphins 26-21 Chargers
Bengals at Steelers (-7)
This is another line I could’ve seen being bigger. It’s annoying as well since I had the Bengals as a team that could be under the radar good this year but bookies have picked up on them being a decent enough team to keep games close.
There’s a question mark on the fitness of Roethlisberger which is frustrating as I thought the number should be nearer to 10 than 7 but money is still coming in for the Bengals so I’m tempted to say there’s some injury news to come. But I just wonder if Burrow will have a similar experience to the one he had against Baltimore where the pass rush gave him a nightmare and caused him to do everything wrong. I can see Pittsburgh really clamping down on the Bengals offense and not needing to score too many points to cover.
I’m going to take Pittsburgh here but I have concerns about injuries so will not bet this until nearer to kickoff when the injury report is out. I just think their defense will cause huge problems for the Bengals.
Steelers 24-13 Bengals
Seahawks at Rams (-3)
Seattle are starting to get exposed as the flawed team they are at the moment and have more defensive injuries to deal with here. Meanwhile the Rams are a bit hit and miss but are well coached and coming off a bye. This seems as good a chance to beat the Seahawks as they’d possibly get.
The main concern for Rams fans is that Wilson will likely want to bounce back with a big game having had his worst performance of the season last time out. But the injuries really weigh up against Seattle and the extra time to prepare for the Rams surely will outweigh that. Woods and Kupp have fairly easy matchups so if Goff plays anywhere near half decent then the Rams could have a big day on offense.
I still see this being a shootout overall but I’m thinking the Rams will mostly control it if they come out of the gates well.
Rams 38-28 Seahawks
49ers at Saints (-10)
This is another unappealing large spread but I can see the 49ers covering.
The 49ers have too many injuries still to be a consistently good team while the Saints are finally looking like the team people expected them to be so I’d expect them to win this game outright. I just wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers lost only by 7 or so points. There’ll be plenty of points and I’m fairly sure any of the guys on the Saints could score a TD. An aspect of the matchup that people may forget is how much offensive success Kyle Shanahan has had against the Saints whenever he’s played against them and this is enough for me to like the 49ers despite injuries.
As I’ve said above, the 49ers should have enough success on offense to keep this game close without ever looking like winning.
Saints 30-24 49ers
Ravens (-7) at Patriots
I feel the number is only low here since both teams will likely run the ball a lot meaning there won’t be many points here.
But I still like Baltimore a lot. Newton is awful against teams with a good pass rush and he has no receivers to throw really at the moment. This means the Patriots will have to use the ground game to win here and while the Rvaens have an injury or 2 on the D-line, they are still deep enough to cover for it. Meanwhile I like Jackson to do enough here to game manage and pull off a win here. The Ravens will likely be able to find guys open in the passing game based on what the Jets offense managed to do against the Patriots.
Overall, I like Baltimore and for one of their tight ends to score a TD with Andrews being the obvious pick. They can cover even if the game is low scoring since I can see New England only scoring 13 points.
Ravens 24-13 Patriots
Vikings (-3) at Bears
Usually I love betting the Bears against the Vikings since Matt Nagy seems to weirdly be able to consistently beat the Vikings but here I’m less sure.
The Bears offense is utterly awful right now due to an injured O-line, bad play calling and will not have Allen Robinson fully fit. I also don’t believe Foles likes Nagy as a coach and a bad QB/coach relationship is a real concern. The main positive the Bears have is that Cousins will likely struggle here as well and this could quickly become an ugly game. If the Bears can do a similar job on Dalvin Cook as they did on Derrick Henry then the game becomes more competitive.
Overall I like the Bears but it’s not a confident pick. I’m not going to bet it because I can see them losing an ugly one but the Vikings will have issues here as well.
Bears 20-17 Vikings