Denver Broncos vs Indianapolis Colts
Spread: Broncos -3.5
I’m going to take the upset here. A lot of people have been backing Denver for this one but I don’t think there’s a lot between these teams in spite of the Colts having a poor start to the season. They have had O-line issues but with the loss of Randy Gregory, the Broncos won’t be as strong on the D-line front. The backup for Taylor is Nyheim Hines who has proven to be a solid running back in his time and looks stronger than a fumble happy Gordon for Denver. The Broncos will likely do some damage in the air but they are very penalty happy so that may stall some drives. This won’t be a classic, but the Colts can grind out a win.
Colts 21-20 Broncos
Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants
Spread: Packers -8
I definitely believe the Packers will win this one, both teams will likely try and play a similar brand of ground and pound football here and the Packers have better players to execute it, but I don’t trust their offense enough to give up over a touchdown here in points. Both teams are fairly strong against the pass but struggle to defend the run which may lead to a game of long drives and I can see both teams also turning it over at least once. The Packers are more used to winning than the Giants and that may be enough to grind out a field goal win here as I trust Rodgers more in the clutch than Daniel Jones.
Packers 20-17 Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons
Spread: Buccaneers -8.5
I’m going to take Atlanta to cover in this one but I’m fairly sheepish with this pick. I don’t see how they’ll be able to stop the Bucs offense. The Falcons have been very much a bend but don’t break defensive unit but the Bucs have a strong redzone game so they’ll likely convert a lot of their drives into touchdowns. The reason I like Atlanta to cover though is that their run game could do well here. The Bucs are coming off giving up 200 yards on the ground to a weaker rushing offense in the Chiefs and the Falcons have plenty of players that can run the ball well, I like the coaching staff of the Falcons and they can scheme up a plan to keep this close but I do expect them to lose this one.
Buccaneers 28-20 Falcons
Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears
Spread: Vikings -7
This isn’t a pick that I massively want to bet but I’m taking the Vikings to win, but the Bears to cover. Chicago should be able to run the ball on Minnesota and with the Vikings struggling against the Saints on offense last week for a decent chunk of the game, I can see the Bears defense stepping up here and managing to keep this game close. The Vikings will likely pull it out late as they have developed a winning mentality and I don’t trust Fields to overturn a deficit late if need be but I can see this game being a close one.
Vikings 21-17 Bears
New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions
Spread: Patriots -3
I’m taking New England for this one. I imagine the Lions will be very popular with the public as nobody will have particularly heard of Bailey Zappe but he actually played really well in a hostile environment on Sunday and the Lions are terrible against the run so he should be able to run a fairly straight forward offense in this one. The Lions meanwhile will likely also have a strong day on offense with the Patriots being weak to the run and I can see the Lions O-line dominating the Patriots for the most part but the Patriots D do have playmakers and they can force a turnover or 2 here which will swing the game their way.
Patriots 30-24 Lions
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
Spread: Jaguars -7
This looks like a fair spread. The Jaguars played really well in Philadelphia but were ruined by fumbling the ball 5 times and failed to cover the spread. They should win as they’ll be able to produce a more balanced offense than Houston who will likely have to be pass heavy against a stout running defense like the Jaguars. This will likely lead to a turnover or 2 from Mills and that will give the game to Jacksonville. I’m going to sit on the fence with this spread though as the Texans seem to force a lot of opposition penalties and Lawrence just had a turnover heavy game. I’ll take Jacksonville by 7.
Jaguars 24-17 Texans
Cleveland Browns vs LA Chargers
Spread: Chargers -3
This pick is dependent on injury news, but I’ll take the Browns for an upset win here. The Chargers beat Houston comfortable as expected but they still do have some key injuries and that will hurt them against better teams like Cleveland. I also expect people to be down on Cleveland after their loss to the Falcons but they lost their 2 best pass rushers for the game and made stupid coaching mistakes to kill them off. The Chargers don’t defend the run well so expect the Browns offense to hum along nicely here and while the Chargers should have success throwing the ball here, I worry that their rushing game is still struggling and that may cost them here.
Browns 24-21 Chargers
New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins
Spread: Dolphins -3
This is going to be one of those classic ones where I’ve missed something but as far as I’m concerned, the Dolphins should cover here easily. Their weakness is their inability to generate pressure but the Jets are heavily banged up on the O-line and don’t run the ball particularly well so the Dolphins will likely blitz Wilson a lot and force him into turnovers. The Jets will likely struggle to fully stop the pass offense of Miami and they give up a lot of yards per attempt so that suggests the Dolphins will have success throwing the ball deep down the field. The Jets will score some points but not enough to be close in this one.
Dolphins 27-20 Jets
Buffalo Bills vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Spread: Bills -14
I fully expect the Bills to win this one. They are a far superior team than the Steelers and I expect Pickett to turn the ball over a fair bit while finding his feet in the NFL. The Steelers defense struggles without TJ Watt and with more injuries turning up on that side of the ball, they’re going to struggle to compete here. That being said, I’m not confident about the Bills covering, they’ve been in some dogfights lately and have a massive game to look ahead to next week. I can see them getting ahead early and taking their foot off the gas a bit. I don’t particularly want to bet either team here so I’ll say the Bills win by 14.
Bills 27-13 Steelers
New Orleans Saints vs Seattle Seahawks
Spread: Saints -5.5
I like the Saints a lot here. They’ve been unlucky in recent weeks with self-inflicted wounds stopping them from beating Minnesota and Carolina, their defense is very good and their offense is starting to improve a bit and it looks like Kamara is back. Seattle have been fortunate to face poor defenses in recent weeks and the Saints don’t blitz a lot which is what Seattle are strong against on offense. The Saints on offense should be able to do what they like if they stop turning the ball over, even if they do turn it over once they can still cover given we get 6 and 7 point wins as a cover.
Saints 27-17 Seahawks
Washington Commanders vs Tennessee Titans
Spread: Titans -2.5
I’m a firm believer in backing well coached teams on the spread against poorly coached teams. This for me is the biggest coaching mismatch of the week and it’s in favour of the Titans. The Titans have bounced back to form and though they were outgained last week, they have a knack of making key plays in big moments. The Commanders meanwhile have a very unoriginal offense, a bad O-line and their secondary is dreadful. This should be a better matchup for them as they should run well and they can be competitive but I expect them to shoot themselves in the foot when it counts.
Titans 24-21 Commanders
Carolina Panthers vs San Francisco 49ers
Spread: 49ers -6.5
This will likely be a defensive slugfest. Both offenses have struggled this season and both teams have excellent defenses, both offenses are especially poor in the redzone and both defenses are especially good in the redzone. The 49ers are a better team so have to be the pick to win, but the Panthers can definitely cover this spread, if we look at this game in field goals instead of touchdowns, the Panthers can score 2 less and still cover. I can see a 12-9 sort of game with the 49ers edging it due to making less turnovers, but this actually isn’t a bad spot to bet an underdog outright.
49ers 12-9 Panthers
LA Rams vs Dallas Cowboys
Spread: Rams -4.5
I’m taking the Cowboys to win this outright because of their defense. They’ve been excellent against the pass and poor against the run, but the Rams are a poor running team so this looks like a good matchup for them. Cooper Rush will likely have some issues with turnovers here, but the Rams defense can also be gashed for big plays and with Stafford potentially turning the ball over at times and giving the Cowboys short fields to work with, they can produce enough offense to get a win here.
Cowboys 20-17 Rams
Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles
Spread: Eagles -5
The Eagles match up pretty well here. Arizona should have success on the ground but you can’t run the ball all game if the other team are scoring and Kyler Murray will likely struggle a lot against this defense, I can see him turning the ball over once or twice. On the other side of the ball, Philadelphia match up nicely with the Cardinals defense with their tight ends and pass catching backs and this is a good opportunity for Hurts to have an efficient day. I’m taking Philadelphia here but I’m not sure I’d bet it.
Eagles 27-20 Cardinals
Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Ravens -3
I’m very keen on the Bengals here. They have been excellent on defense so far this year and should keep the running game of the Ravens quiet. They also should be able to generate pressure on Jackson with their excellent pass rush and he still has a killer interception in him based on last week. But the offense of the Bengals is where I expect the big mismatch to be, Burrow is excellent against the blitz and the Ravens defense has struggled this year, they can be beat deep and they give up a lot of yards. I like the Bengals to win surprisingly comfortably.
Bengals 30-21 Ravens
Kansas City Chiefs vs Las Vegas Raiders
Spread: Chiefs -7
This is another game spread wise I’m going to bottle. I think Chiefs -7 is just about the right number. Both teams are evenly matched in some aspects but the Chiefs are slightly better at getting the QB and have a slightly stronger passing game, if this was Chiefs -7 in Vegas I’d take the Raiders but the point or 2 you get a home takes my spread for this to -7. Both teams will have success throwing the ball and may struggle a bit on the ground and the defensive coordinator of the Raiders has had success against Mahomes before so maybe that could be an interesting plot point. I’ll sit this one out from a betting front and go Chiefs by 7.
Chiefs 27-20 Raiders