Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears
Spread: Bears -3
If Trey Flowers was fit I’d be taking the Lions here since he’d dominate the dreadful Bears O-line. Unfortunately him and a couple of other guys are injured on the Lions D-line and since they have an awful secondary they may struggle to stop the Bears here despite them having a poor offense. Both teams have been absolutely torched by the run recently as well so I’d expect a lot of longer drives here which may mean a lower scoring game despite the lack of defense. The difference for me between these teams is purely that the Lions have more injuries in important positions than the Bears so Chicago is the way to go.
Bears 24-17 Lions
Dallas Cowboys vs LV Raiders
Spread: Cowboys -7.5
I like Dallas here, betting good teams on a Thursday at home tends to be a strong play and they’ll need a rebound game after a lacklustre performance in Kansas. This should be a good opportunity as Las Vegas have been leaky against the run as of late and this will play into the wheelhouse of a Dallas offense built off of it’s ground game. Neither team have been at their best on offense as of late but Dallas have the talent edge and I’d expect them to win this game by 10.
Cowboys 31-21 Raiders
New Orleans Saints vs Buffalo Bills
Spread: Bills -6
Originally I loved this number for New Orleans since the Bills offense has been spluttering in recent weeks but the injury report has changed things up. New Orleans are missing Alvin Kamara and 2 offensive linemen and I can see that making their offense 1 dimensional and Trevor Siemian lacks the weapons to beat this high quality defense. I struggle to see the Saints scoring a lot of points and the Bills can probably do enough to get to 24 points and cover as they’ll need to keep winning to get the coveted number 1 seed in the playoffs.
Bills 24-14 Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Atlanta Falcons
Spread: Falcons -2
I think the line is a little bit off here. I’d have had these teams as a pick em and then given the Jags a couple of points for being at home. The Atlanta offense has been woeful lately since they can’t block or run the ball and Jacksonville are quietly getting quite a defensive line going. They performed well against a 1 dimensional offense in the Bills recently and with Patterson likely to be limited, the Falcons may be pass heavy in this one. My only concern with this pick is the Jaguars struggle in the middle of the field so Kyle Pitts can have a big game in this one. The lack of a Falcons pass rush should help Lawrence as well since he is very capable of making throws when given the time. I’ll take Jacksonville to win by 4.
Jaguars 24-20 Falcons
Miami Dolphins vs Carolina Panthers
Spread: Panthers -2
I like the Panthers a lot here. Miami are a weaker team and they don’t have the resources to attack the recent weaknesses of the Panthers. The Panthers have been weak to the run lately but the Miami rushing attack is horrible so the Panthers D should have a strong day here. I also expect the Panthers to struggle a bit on offense since Miami tend to be strong against the run and weak against the pass but the difference is Carolina have an elite running back in CMC and have more playmakers on offense than the Dolphins. This will probably be an ugly game but Carolina have more to play for and more game changers which will be enough to get them over the line.
Panthers 20-13 Dolphins
Houston Texans vs New York Jets
Spread: Texans -2.5
Zach Wilson is back and I can see him getting a win here. The Jets are quietly starting to improve as they play more aggressively on offense and they were unlucky to lose last week against a Dolphins team that beat the Texans lately. Based on that form, I like them to win. The Texans offense has been horrible as of late and their defense has struggled a lot against the pass as well so the Jets can do enough to get the win in a surprisingly high scoring tanking competition.
Jets 27-24 Texans
New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles
Spread: Eagles -3.5
I like the Giants at this number but the Eagles to win. Both teams figure to perform well on offense as the Giants will be far more aggressive on offense with Jason Garrett finally fired and the Eagles have been vulnerable against aerial attacks as of late, I’d be on the Giants outright but Blake Martinez is out for the season which will make things tough for them against the running game of the Eagles. This game figures to be very competitive and potentially high scoring but the Eagles can win with a late field goal and continue their hot streak.
Eagles 28-27 Giants
Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Spread: Bengals -4
If the Steelers have all 3 of Watt, Fitzpatrick and Haden back then I’d expect them to win this game, but if any of them are missing I’m on the Bengals here. The Bengals played excellently last week and will have a high amount of offensive success if these guys are injured again, especially on the ground based on the Steelers struggling against the run lately. But if they’re fit then this turns into a slugfest and these are the sorts of games Pittsburgh thrive in. For now they look to all have a chance of playing so I’ll take the Steelers but this is subject to change.
Steelers 20-17 Bengals
New England Patriots vs Tennessee Titans
Spread: Patriots -6.5
This spread is way too high. The Patriots don’t project to do much on offense here given the Titans have an elite run D and Jones has struggled in games where his offense has been 1 dimensional. The Titans are excellently coached and even though they have a lot of injuries against an elite D, they can pull off some surprise plays and score a couple of touchdowns which will be enough to cover though I still expect them to lose here.
Patriots 21-17 Titans
Indianapolis Colts vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: Bucs -3.5
I love Tampa in this spot. They match up very strongly against the Colts given they’ve been able to restrict elite running backs this season and if they keep Taylor to around 80 yards, Wentz will have to do a lot more throwing this game and that should mean kamikaze deep throws and turnovers. The Colts haven’t been great against the pass recently and that should also play into the wheelhouse of the pass heavy Tampa offense. Tampa with a win can move within 1 game of the Cardinals and should be focused on pushing for the number 1 seed. They can win this comfortably.
Buccaneers 28-17 Colts
Denver Broncos vs LA Chargers
Spread: Chargers -2.5
I like Denver here, I’m hoping to see a +3 line but I expect them to win this game regardless. Denver are weaker to the run than the pass which doesn’t suit the Chargers and they’ll have a blitz heavy scheme that Herbert will struggle against. Denver also can run the ball well at home and it’s already well documented that the Chargers can’t defend the run, if the Broncos get into an early lead then they can control this game and pick up a win in a divisional matchup.
Broncos 21-13 Chargers
San Francisco 49ers vs Minnesota Vikings
Spread: 49ers -3.5
This is a good spot to bet the Vikings. They’ve consistently been in close games this season and have the better quarterback in this matchup. They’re also strong defending the middle of the field which should slow down the 49ers offense. Minnesota have had a high amount of games go down to the final drive and that gives us line value here as a 49ers field goal win is still a cover for the Vikings. I can see Minnesota winning outright as they have more momentum behind them having just beaten a divisional rival.
Vikings 26-24 49ers
Green Bay Packers vs LA Rams
Spread: Rams -1
I like the Rams here. The Packers are heavily injured on offense and the fact they played so well on that side of the ball last week was miraculous in all honesty. Unfortunately they’re facing off against an elite D who are in must win mode or they’ll be out of the race for the number 1 seed. The Rams on offense will need Stafford to be fit again as his back injury was clearly affecting him but I expect the bye to do the trick and they should run the ball effectively as well in this game. I expect this to be a 1 score game that the Rams edge out.
Rams 20-17 Packers
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
Spread: Ravens -3.5
This depends on if Mayfield plays. Mayfield playing would be a negative for Cleveland as he is clearly not fit and will struggle against the blitzing of the Ravens D. But if Case Keenum plays, other players will likely step up and this might make things harder for the Ravens on D as they struggle against the run and tight ends. The Ravens figure to have success on offense as they will run the ball well against a Cleveland run D that has struggled in recent weeks so they should be able to control the game if getting to a lead and will definitely win if Mayfield plays. I’d normally bet this quite confidently but the sharp money has come in for Cleveland as this line opened at Ravens -5 so I wonder if either Jackson is hurt or there’s something I’m missing on the stat line that has driven this move. For now I’ll take the Ravens but this is subject to change.
Ravens 24-20 Brwons
Washington Football Team vs Seattle Seahawks
Spread: Washington -1.5
I’m on Seattle here. They’ll have DJ Reed back this week which will help stop Terry McLaurin and they’re defense should be better suited to expose Heinicke than the Panthers were last week. The Seahawks will also have success on offense as the Football team are missing both edge rushers and that will give Wilson time to exploit the poor secondary of Washington. Wilson will be improving with every game coming back from injury and this seems to be a good spot to take Seattle as Washington have been heavily overbet in this game.
Seahawks 27-20 Washington