Chicago Bears vs Washington Commanders
Spread: Bears -1
I like the Bears a lot in this spot. Fields showed massive improvement last week as a passer which bodes well against a porous Washington secondary. Also the Bears offense are better at running the ball than Washington which gives them a clear edge since both rush defenses are poor. The Bears also force far more turnovers than the Commanders and with Wentz going on a tough road trip here with his history of turnovers, this should be a comfortable win for the Bears.
Bears 24-14 Commanders
New York Giants vs Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Ravens -5
I expect there to be a lot more offense than projected in what the bookies have in the points total and this is a tough matchup to call. The Giants looked vulnerable over the middle of the field against the Packers and that’s where Baltimore tends to do well, but a positive for the Giants is that the Ravens struggle against the run so they can clock control if necessary. I don’t see a particular coaching mismatch here as well so it’s tough to split on the spread front. I’ll take the Ravens to edge it on the spread as they have a better QB and they block better than the Giants in the passing game.
Ravens 30-24 Giants
New Orleans Saints vs Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Bengals -1.5
I like the Saints here. They have home advantage and they should match up well against the offense of the Bengals. The Bengals have struggled to block well and Burrow is strong against the blitz, the Saints rarely blitz though which negates that aspect and the Bengals are a poor running team at the moment. The Saints on offense will need to rely on Kamara to do the damage for them with the Bengals being weaker against the run than the pass but with homefield advantage and an extra days rest, I’ll take the Saints to win.
Saints 24-21 Bengals
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Colts -2
I know Jacksonville were atrocious last week, but I’m still taking them here. The Colts offense is straight up horrible and the Jags D did still play well last week, they’re excellent against the run and they always struggle against Houston for some reason so I’m willing to ignore the performance last week and take them here. They can have success throwing the ball and eke out a win in an ugly game.
Jaguars 17-10 Colts
Miami Dolphins vs Minnesota Vikings
Spread: Vikings -3
This pick depends entirely on the concussion protocol result for Bridgewater. If he’s fit then I’ll back the Dolphins outright, the Minnesota secondary is terrible and they can easily get torched deep all day, but if he isn’t then Miami will play a short passing offense and lose this one. Both defenses will likely struggle in this one given Miami are giving up huge chunks in the passing game and both run defenses are average. For now I’ll take Miami as Bridgewater should play but check back Thursday for a possible pick change.
Dolphins 28-24 Vikings
Cleveland Browns vs New England Patriots
Spread: Browns -3
I like New England a lot here. The Browns are dreadful against the run so New England can run their preferred offensive gameplan and we get a huge coaching mismatch here in the favour of New England. The Browns will likely be able to run a balanced offense here but I’d be worried about them throwing a stupid turnover and making a mess of this game. I’ll take New England outright here in a run heavy matchup.
Patriots 20-17 Browns
Green Bay Packers vs New York Jets
Spread: Packers -7.5
I’m very keen on the Jets here. +7.5 would be my bet of the week and I could see them potentially pulling off the upset outright here. The Packers are overrated purely because they have Aaron Rodgers, but he’s playing poorly this year. His deep ball has fallen off a cliff and his receivers are poor. The Jets meanwhile are starting to build a nice offense built around their running backs which is very useful against a Packers D that is bad against the ground game, I also believe the Jets have a significant coaching advantage in this one. I’ll take the Jets for the outright upset.
Jets 24-21 Packers
Atlanta Falcons vs San Francisco 49ers
Spread: 49ers -5.5
The Falcons are 5-0 against the spread this year and I like them to make it 6-0, they have the better coach in this matchup and the 49ers are dealing with secondary injuries and have lost Nick Bosa. This weakens their defense sufficiently to imagine that the streaky offense of the Falcons will put up a few drives against them. The problem for Atlanta is they may have serious issues stopping the 49ers, it feels like the sort of game where Atlanta will put up a real fight, but may fall agonizingly short in getting the win.
49ers 24-21 Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: Buccaneers -8
I’m not massively enamoured by either team in this game. Tampa Bay were decent against Atlanta but were sloppy at the end and could’ve lost if the refs didn’t bail them out with some awful calls at the end. The Steelers meanwhile have a lot of injuries and will need guys like Fitzpatrick back to be competitive in this one. Pickett does look like a good quarterback though and there is the talent there for a few scoring drives. I imagine the Steelers will be too injured to win this one but they can cover this spread at least.
Bucaneers 24-17 Steelers
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cardinals -3
I’m taking Seattle here. There will be little to no defense on show here but with Arizona being slow starters this season (they haven’t scored a first quarter point yet) Seattle may be in a position to dominate proceedings and with Smith being excellent against the blitz combined with Arizona’s high blitz rate, this looks to be an excellent offensive matchup for Seattle. I expect Arizona to make a late comeback, but to not quite get there.
Seahawks 34-28 Cardinals
LA Rams vs Carolina Panthers
Spread: Rams -10.5
This should be a beatdown. The Rams will likely take apart a Carolina D that was disappointing last week but the main reason to bet this game is that the Panthers are starting PJ Walker, they’ll likely have their gameplan be get the ball to McCaffrey as much as possible but that won’t be great because it’s an obvious plan and the Panthers have a bad O-line. I don’t see Carolina getting past 10 points so the Rams should cover here.
Rams 27-10 Panthers
Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills
Spread: Bills -3
I’m on Buffalo here. Firstly, they have far more incentive to win here than Kansas, this is an obvious revenge spot and I still don’t believe they’ve had the statement win yet that declares they are clearly the best team in the league. They also have built their team specifically to beat a team like Kansas, they generate pressure without blitzing and they’ve shut down Mark Andrews already this season so they can potentially do the same to Travis Kelce. Meanwhile the Chiefs D got torched last week, Buffalo has a good O-line that can give Allen the time to find guys deep downfield. This matchup feels like it comes at a better time for Buffalo than at Kansas and I’ll take them to win by 10.
Bills 34-24 Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys
Spread: Eagles -5
I’m on the Eagles here. I thought initially I may be on Dallas when I saw the Eagles had 2 offensive linemen go down against Arizona but it looks likely that they’ll be good to go here and that should mean the Eagles can mostly negate the excellent pass rush Dallas has. The Cowboys have a vulnerable secondary if they can’t generate pressure and Hurts having elite mobility will help extend plays to find his guys down the field. Meanwhile, Dallas may have some issues as Rush isn’t as mobile and the running game may be where they have some joy. But I worry they’ll give Elliott too many carries instead of Pollard and that could cost them the game here. I’ll take the Eagles by 8.
Eagles 24-16 Cowboys
LA Chargers vs Denver Broncos
Spread: Chargers -5
I normally love fading terrible head coaches, which is exactly what the Broncos have. But I don’t believe Staley is a particularly good coach here and his game management is borderline kamikaze. In situations like this I usually just say to back the underdog so that puts me on a Broncos cover here. I don’t have them winning though, the Chargers offense is superior to what Denver has and I can see Herbert making a late drive in the clutch to win this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a lower scoring game and I’ll say Chargers by 3.
Chargers 24-21 Broncos