New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cardinals -1.5
These teams are very evenly matched and there isn’t an obvious coaching edge in this one either as I think both head coaches are poor. I’m going to slightly lean with New Orleans though as home advantage isn’t that major in the league these days and I believe they have a more well round offense than Arizona. I expect this one to be quiet early and then explode with 4th quarter points. I’ll take the Saints to grind out a win in a close one.
Saints 27-24 Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Bengals -6
I didn’t think I’d be saying this at the start of the season but I actually think this is a nearly even matchup. My spread would be Bengals -3. That’s only because I trust their defense more than the Falcons defense and the Falcons have secondary injuries to deal with. But the Falcons can continue to run the ball well here to have long drives, this could come down to the end of the 4th quarter and the Bengals have the players to get it done in the clutch in a similar scenario to what happened for them last week. I’ll take the Bengals by 3.
Bengals 24-21 Falcons
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Ravens – 6.5
This is a coaching mismatch so I’ll be on Baltimore here. Both teams are much more happy running the ball than throwing the ball and with the Ravens having a stronger rush D than the Browns, this might turn into a game of Baltimore having long drives and Jacoby Brissett being forced to make lots of throws. He tends to turn the ball over in those sorts of situations so I can see Baltimore winning this one comfortably.
Ravens 24-14 Browns
Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys
Spread: Cowboys -7
I’m going to take an upset here. I believe the Cowboys are overrated and they proved that last week until the Eagles lost a key offensive lineman, Detroit has a top 3 O-line in the league and they can negate the Dallas pass rush and carve up a vulnerable secondary if their receivers are fully healthy off the bye week. I do expect Dallas to succeed on offense as well but they do pick up a lot of penalties and that may stall them on some drives even against a dreadful defense. I’ll take the Lions outright.
Lions 27-24 Cowboys
Green Bay Packers @ Washington Commanders
Spread: Packers -5.5
The Packers are a really bad team this season and I still don’t think the spreads have fully caught up to it. This for me should be near a pick em spread as both defenses have a clear weakness (the Packers against the run and the Commanders against the pass), but they also aren’t great on offense at taking advantage of said weaknesses. This for me will be a really ugly game but I am going to take Green Bay to edge the win purely because they have Rodgers and he can still pull a clutch drive out in a must win situation.
Packers 17-14 Commanders
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Spread: Titans -3
I like the Titans here but I’m not massively keen on this game. Both teams are pretty lacklustre on offense and even though the Colts had a breakout this week, the Titans have an excellent defensive line and they can put pressure on Matt Ryan, his throwing still doesn’t look great and the Titans have a slight coaching advantage. On offense they’ll be able to pull a couple of drives together against a defense that can give up a lot of yards and I expect them to grind out a 1 score win.
Titans 21-17 Colts
New York Giants @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Jaguars -3
I’m on the fence with this one. The public consensus will be that the Giants have a good record and can beat a slumping Jaguars side, but the Jaguars are underrated and they figure to run the ball well against a bad Giants run defense. But my problem with taking the Jaguars is that the Giants are a seriously well coached team and coaching is usually what determines whether a team covers a spread or not. The Jaguars on pure talent should win this by a touchdown but the Giants play really hard on defense and have a habit of making big plays late in the game, I’ll bottle it and say Jacksonville by 3.
Jaguars 24-21 Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Spread: Buccaneers -11
This isn’t a game I would want to bet, the Buccaneers are a lazy team that don’t play hard for 4 quarters but the Panthers are legitimately terrible. They have no offense outside of McCaffrey and given the Bucs are good against the run and struggle more with downfield passes, this should be an easy day for the Bucs defense. I can see Tampa scoring around 20 points and covering but I have no interest in this game.
Buccaneers 20-3 Panthers
Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders
Spread: Raiders -8
I’m taking the Raiders here. The Texans are awful against the run so I imagine a game script where the Raiders are too fast for them, can dominate on the ground and force Mills to throw the ball more instead of Houston being able to utilise their rushing attack. The Raiders don’t have a good secondary but they can rush the passer and this looks like a game where Houston may finally get a decent beating.
Raiders 27-10 Texans
New York Jets at Denver Broncos
Spread: Broncos -1
This is a weird one. The Broncos are definitely the better team, but they are so poorly coached that I can still see them losing this one. The Broncos are a solid but not spectacular rushing defense and they may struggle with the run heavy offense of the Jets, they also have had major blocking issues and the Jets had an excellent D-line performance in Green Bay last week. I’ll take the Jets to win by 7.
Jets 20-13 Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers
Spread: Chiefs -2.5
The 49ers are getting guys back from injury so while this spread may seem a little low, I’m going to take them to pull the outright upset. This is the first chance they’ve had for a SuperBowl revenge game and Kansas have been constantly playing tough games. Mahomes struggled at times under pressure last week and with Nick Bosa coming back this week, the Chiefs may finally feel the issues of not having a superstar at wide receiver to go alongside Kelce. Jimmy G can do enough to be efficient here as I don’t expect him to be chasing the game like last week.
49ers 24-21 Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks at LA Chargers
Spread: Chargers -6
This is another one of those coaching mismatches. Pete Carroll is doing an excellent job this year while Brandon Staley has been a car crash of a coach. The Chargers have a key offensive line injury and Keenan Allen isn’t fully fit so they may not be able to take full advantage of a porous Seattle defense. Meanwhile, Geno Smith should have plenty of success with his deep balls based on what we saw from Denver against the Chargers last week and the Seahawks run the ball well. I’m going to take the upset here.
Seahawks 27-21 Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins
Spread: Dolphins -7
So this is a weird game. Both teams are strong against the run and terrible at running the ball, they’re also both terrible against the pass and good at passing the ball. So do we think Tua is 7 points better than Pickett, my answer is no. Pickett has looked excellent and Trubisky even looked excellent last week, the Dolphins really struggle to get to the QB and Pittsburgh can get the points to cover. I’m actually tempted to take the upset as well, the Steelers had a good coaching performance last week and they can build on it this week.
Steelers 24-21 Dolphins
Chicago Bears at New England Patriots
Spread: Patriots -8
I think the Patriots win this by 7 which puts me on Chicago, which isn’t ideal but I do like the Bears to run the ball well in this matchup and with the Patriots likely to be run heavy as well, this could be a shortened game where only 1 Patriots turnover is needed to ensure a Chicago cover. The Patriots have turned the ball over a lot so far this season so that projects well. But the Patriots will likely get to Fields a lot and are a better team than the Bears. New England win this one by 7.
Patriots 24-17 Bears