It was a bounce-back week for yours truly with an 8-6-1 effort against the spread with a few games where I just missed covering by a point and that ever so wonderful push. Overall, I went 10-5 in straight up game picks. I called the Cowboys win and cover, as well as a big Broncos cover at home and a Ravens stomping of the Titans. However, I was up-ended by the Bears blowing the game to Miami and I need to stop picking the Raiders no matter how good I want Jon Gruden to be as a coach in his return to the sidelines.
This Sunday boasts four marquee matchups football fans will want to see. The first is Tom Brady and the Patriots traveling to the Windy City fresh off a big-time win at home over the Chiefs to take on Khalil Mack and the Bears. Also in the 1 PM window Sunday on FOX is a matchup featuring the defending champion Eagles hosting the Panthers who lost last week in Washington D.C. In the 4 PM window we get the high powered Saints offense traveling to Baltimore to take on a very deep and talented Ravens roster. And lastly the Sunday night game sees the 5-1 Chiefs return to Arrowhead to take on the Bengals fresh off a home loss to the rival Steelers. Time to jump in with this week’s picks.
All lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas
Thursday Night Bonus Pick: Denver Broncos (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5): DEN -2 Confidence: 8
Case Keenum and the Broncos travel to a dome to take on a very under-whelming Cardinals roster with rookie QB Josh Rosen still cutting his teeth in the league. Denver had a respectable home showing against a stacked Rams team and only lost by a field goal. I fully expect Denver’s defense to triumph on the road with a better defense and much more talented football team. Take the Broncos to win and cover.
London Game: Tennessee Titans (3-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2): LAC -7 Confidence: 7
The Titans were rolled last week by the Ravens and face an equally as talented football team with a distinct Quarterback advantage with the veteran Phillip Rivers. The Chargers defense is great and should play well on the road across the pond against an under-whelming Titans offense. Marcus Mariota missed time earlier in the season and has yet to hit his stride. The Titans QB was sacked a whopping 11 times last week and the offense has scored more than 20 points just once this season. Take the Chargers to win and cover in London.
New England Patriots (4-2) at Chicago Bears (3-2): CHI +3.5 Confidence: 6
Much like last week, you’re going to have to wait for my full game preview for my analysis on how the game goes on Saturday. The Bears are a seriously talented team with a Hall of Fame talent on defense. Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels have their hands full as does the defense with Mitch Trubisky playing the best football of his life this season.
Buffalo Bills (2-4) at Indianapolis Colts (1-5): BUF +7.5 Confidence: 7
The line jumped big time on this one once it was announced that QB Josh Allen would miss this week with the injury to this throwing elbow and the veteran journeyman Derek Anderson would start. I still like the Colts to win the game with Andrew Luck, but after they got throttled by the Jets last week, I just don’t see this team being capable enough to blow out a scrappy Bills team. Take the Bills to cover.
Houston Texans (3-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3): JAX -5 Confidence: 7
Man, I would not want to be the Texans this week. As good as they have played in recent weeks, they have to travel to Florida to take on a Jaguars defense that is fired up after being demolished by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. Jalen Ramsey will be fired up and do his best to shutdown Deandre Hopkins and Watson will be under constant pressure. I’ll take Jacksonville to win and cover bouncing back from two straight losses.
Detroit Lions (2-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-2): DET -3 Confidence: 7
The line on this quickly flipped when it was announced Ryan Tannehill would not play once again with Brock Osweiler getting the start at home. The Lions fresh off a bye, have a chance to pull back to .500 in South Beach. I like Detroit and Matthew Stafford to win and cover with an extra week of rest and preparation.
Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1) at New York Jets (3-3): MIN -3.5 Confidence: 8
Vegas must really love the Jets or hate Minnesota traveling east to New York for the line to be this low. Either way, the Vikings have looked much better in recent weeks with Kirk Cousins captaining the offense. Expect a big game from him against the team that was the runner-up in the sweepstakes for him this past off-season. Cousins and the Vikings defense comes up with another impressive showing and Minnesota covers easily. Sam Darnold still makes too many mistakes for my liking to pick the Jets in this spot.
Carolina Panthers (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3): CAR +5 Confidence: 7
The Eagles looked like themselves again last week handing a smackdown to division rival Big Blue in their own house. Whether or not it was a product of them truly returning to form or just how bad the Giants are remains to be seen, but Eagles fans are confident nonetheless while Panthers fans just saw the team get handed a loss to the Redskins on the road. The Panthers are a talented football team with the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Luke Kuechly and Cam Newton, but Philly is just as talented with Carson Wentz balling like he did last week. This game is going to be one of the best to watch this weekend as I mentioned and come down to the wire which is why I will take Carolina to cover and am even picking them to sneak out with a win in Philly.
Cleveland Browns (2-3-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3): CLE +3 Confidence: 7
Both teams are fresh off loses in week 6. Tampa surged back to almost upset the Falcons while the Browns were stomped at home from start to finish against the Chargers. Two explosive Quarterbacks that can make big throws and big plays in an instant. The x-factor here is the Browns have a much more talented defense that can slow down the Tampa Bay passing attack while the Bucs just fired their defense coordinator this past week. I’ll take Baker Mayfield to get it done in Tampa this week leading the Browns to their third win of the season.
New Orleans Saints (4-1) at Baltimore Ravens (4-2) BAL -2.5 Confidence: 6
I like John Harbaugh in the Ravens in this spot. Drew Brees and the Saints have looked awesome all season, but on the road in a hostile environment against a veteran QB and HC will be a true test. New Orleans has the advantage of a bye week before this game, but Baltimore just thumped the Titans and will be riding high. This game will come down to the wire and be one fans will love to see on Sunday afternoon, but I think a big kick from Justin Tucker seals the win for the Ravens.
Dallas Cowboys (3-3) at Washington Redskins (3-2): WSH -2 Confidence: 7
Washington responded from a Monday night blowout at the hands of the Saints with an impressive showing all around at home in a win over the Panthers. Alex Smith will be tasked with doing it again at home in an NFC East showdown with Dallas fresh off a home win over a very talented Jags team. The Cowboys are hit or miss this week and after a big statement win how fitting would it be for Jason Garrett‘s bunch to come out flat on the road against a division rival? I like the Skins to win and cover at home.
Los Angeles Rams (6-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-5): LAR -10 Confidence: 7
The Rams are really freaking good. Even without a top target in Cooper Kupp, Sean McVay has plenty of weapons for Jared Goff to torment the 49ers with on Sunday. San Francisco is still a long ways out as far as talent of their roster, which is highlighted with the loss of their franchise QB, but will still put up a fight like last Monday Night. The Rams will roll on Sunday in Santa Clara and the real question is just how many touchdowns Todd Gurley will score as he’s on pace for a historic season.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-1): KC -6 Confidence: 8
Did everyone watch last Sunday night? Sure the Chiefs lost, but they scored 31 points in 10 minutes against the greatest defensive mastermind to ever stand on the sidelines to make it a nail-bitter. Patrick Mahomes is legit and KC can strike at any moment with a long score to Kareen Hunt & Tyreke Hill. The Bengals are very talented and have looked good most weeks, but on the road in Kansas City in that environment, there’s not a chance Andy Dalton can match scores with Andy Reid‘s offense. Chiefs win and cover.
Monday Night Football: New York Giants (1-5) at Atlanta Falcons (2-4): ATL -5 Confidence: 10
I am very much looking forward to this game from merely a fantasy football perspective. As a proud owner of both Julio Jones & Tevin Coleman I am pumped to have those two on Monday night against a terrible football team in New York. Maybe it’s the week Jones finally gets that elusive touchdown grab, but at the very least Matt Ryan will explode for a massive performance in the dome. I wonder if we are witnessing one of the final starts of the Eli Manning era. He has looked downright awful and washed up out there and if the Giants get trounced on national television they have one more matchup with the Redskins before their bye. At 1-7, you’d have to figure the new regime wants to play the young QB in Kyle Lauletta to see what they have before entering the 2019 draft. The old regime dealt them a bad hand, but hey at least they have a flashy new running back to pile up the stats while the team continues to get demolished. Falcons win and cover easily.