San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Spread: 49ers -3.5
The spread has moved a couple of points from the advance spread of 49ers -1.5 but I don’t think it’s moved enough. The Seattle defense is back to being miserable and they have no run game without Walker, he might play here but will likely be hobbled. Meanwhile, Purdy has looked decent for the 49ers and they’re so stacked when fully healthy that even if he does struggle, they have enough playmakers to win this game. I have the 49ers by a touchdown.
49ers 24-17 Seahawks
Indianapolis Colts @ Minnesota Vikings
Spread: Vikings -4
This is a tough one to decide, I believe this is a coaching mismatch in favour of the Vikings but the Colts have a very good defense and could keep this game low scoring. I’ll still take the Vikings to cover though, they can force turnovers and that may be enough for them to cover here.
Vikings 23-17 Colts
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Spread: Browns -3
I don’t get why the Browns are favourites here. Especially by 3. The Ravens are excellent against the run and Watson has been woeful since returning. He’s still not sharp at all and people are seemingly overrating him. Huntley is a capable backup for Baltimore and with the Browns being a woeful defense against the rush, I’d expect them to be dominated in this one.
Ravens 24-13 Browns
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Spread: Bills -7.5
This is tough. Both teams are well coached but are arguably also overrated. When you dig into the stats there actually isn’t a massive gap between the teams, the Bills are slightly better but this should be nearer to a Bills -4 sort of spread and I’ll take the Dolphins to cover here. They have explosiveness on offense and they won’t have to score many points to cover the spread.
Bills 24-20 Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Spread: Saints -4
I like the Falcons to win this game. There isn’t a major gap between these teams that would make it nearer to Saints -2 and Dennis Allen is completely inept at coaching so that can be the difference between these teams. Desmond Ridder makes his debut for the Falcons and while he can be erratic, he also has shown that he can drive a team down the field and the Saints are dodgy against the run. I’ll take a Falcons win by 3.
Falcons 27-24 Saints
Dallas Cowboys @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Cowboys -4.5
I like Jacksonville to cover, but think the Cowboys might nick this one. The Cowboys defense is very pass rush reliant but the Jaguars are good at protecting Lawrence and their offense should be able to perform well in this game. But the Jaguars defense is very vulnerable in general and the Cowboys having stronger offensive playmakers will be the difference in this one.
Cowboys 28-24 Jaguars
Detroit Lions @ New York Jets
Spread: Lions -1
I’ve got the Jets winning this one. It’ll be a cold weather game most likely and they’ll thrive more in tough conditions than the Lions and especially Jarred Goff. If Mike White is out then this pick may change but if he’s in then he can take advantage of a defense that struggles heavily against the pass. Both teams are strong against the run so it will likely descend into a QB duel and I’d rather have White against a bad pass defense than Goff against a good one.
Jets 20-14 Lions
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans
Spread: Chiefs -14
I’m taking the Texans to keep this somewhat competitive. As I’ve said previously “tanking” teams tend to play harder at home while finding a way to lose and the Chiefs defense is pretty poor. Also this is likely going to be a look ahead spot for the Chiefs given it’s a seemingly easy road game and the playoffs are around the corner. I expect them to do enough early on to blow out to an early lead and then take their foot of the gas and let the Texans get a backdoor cover against their porous defense. I do expect the Chiefs to score a lot though, the Texans D is horrible and the Chiefs should be able to run whatever offense they want on them.
Chiefs 31-21 Texans
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Spread: Eagles -9
I like the Eagles to win and cover here. They’re miles superior to the Bears, they have a coaching advantage and I don’t see this being a look ahead spot for them. The Bears defense can’t stop anything and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles scored on every drive near enough and the return of Jordan Davis should force the Bears to be 1 dimensional and keep them down to around 20 points.
Eagles 35-21 Bears
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers
Spread: Panthers -3
The Panthers are weak to the run and the Steelers are weak against the pass, so this game boils down to do you trust the Steelers to run well more or the Panthers to pass well. I believe the Steelers are the right side for this, Darnold was only averaging 5 yards an attempt last week and Harris is playing better at the moment for the Steelers. This will likely be a slugfest and the Steelers can pick up the win.
Steelers 17-16 Panthers
Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos
Spread: Broncos -3
I don’t want anything to do with this game. Both offense project to majorly struggle and this will definitely be a low scorer. I’m going to take the Broncos by 3, their defense is more likely to force a turnover and they have home advantage but this game will be very forgettable.
Broncos 17-14 Cardinals
New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders
Spread: Raiders -1
I’ve got New England here. Their defense is quietly very strong and with the Raiders being weak against the pass on pure talent I’d have the spread at New England -1. You then bring in the coaching mismatch with Belichick vs McDaniels and this spread is nearer to a New England -4 sort of number for me. I’ll take the Patriots to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Patriots 24-20 Raiders
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: Bengals -3.5
Both teams are even defensively but the Bengals have a huge advantage with their offense here. Their passing game has been excellent this year and Tampa Bay are a terrible team. They clearly are dreadfully coached and they’ve been blown out by the backup of the 49ers and should’ve been blown out by the Saints. The only reason this spread seems to be so low is that Tom Brady plays for the Bucs but I can’t see him dragging this poor of a team into a close game. I’ll take the Bengals by 10.
Bengals 27-17 Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans @ LA Chargers
Spread: Chargers -3
I think there’ll be a surprisingly large amount of offense in the game. The Titans are weak to the pass and good against the run but the Chargers don’t run the ball so that is irrelevant and the Chargers are horrible against the run so Henry should have a big day here. The spread on talent is probably right but this is a coaching mismatch so my line would be a straight pick em. With that in mind I’ll take the line value with the Titans and say they pull off the win here.
Titans 27-24 Chargers
New York Giants @ Washington Commanders
Spread: Commanders -4.5
These teams tied earlier in the season and I don’t think there’s much between them. I’d give a small edge to Washington because they’re at home but 4.5 points seems a bit on the high side. They’re both decent on defense and while the Commanders are balanced on offense, the Giants bias towards the run but Washington are only an average run defense. I think the only edge in the game is Washington having home advantage so I’ll say they win by 2.
Commanders 23-21 Giants
LA Rams @ Green Bay Packers
Spread: Packers -7
I don’t see this as a 7 point game. The Packers are not a good team and I really don’t think there’s much between these sides. The Packers are poor against the run while both teams are level defensively against the pass. The Packers do have a clear advantage with skill position players but I can only see them winning by a field goal instead of by a touchdown. This could be low scoring with the conditions and I’ll take the Packers to grind one out.
Packers 24-20 Rams