Last week was one of those perplexing weeks for yours truly. Despite the fact I went an impressive 11-3 overall in game picks, I was off on the spreads for a number of the game’s where I correctly predicted the victor. Another positive result, but a 7-6-1 record in Week 7 against the spread. I’m confident this week and once more will be adding a bonus Thursday night pick. Here we go.
All lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas (as of 10/25)
Thursday Night Football: Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3): MIA +7.5 Confidence: 7
Brock Osweiler is back under center this week for Miami with Ryan Tannehill still sidelined with a shoulder injury. Houston has looked like a completely different football team over these last few weeks beating down the Jags last week, but on a short-week against a good offensive-minded head coach in Adam Gase and a revenge game for Osweiler against his former employer, I like the Dolphins to cover and make this a tight game. I’ll take the Texans to win because I don’t think Miami has anyone to contain Deshaun Watson, Deandre Hopkins and Lamar Miller, but the Dolphins will cover.
London: Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4): PHI -3.5 Confidence: 8
The Jags are a mess. Despite looking like a well-rounded team early on including a massive home statement win against the Patriots, the franchise is imploding under Doug Marrone. Blake Bortles was benched in favor of Cody Kessler during last week’s game, but Bortles remains their starter while their was reportedly a massive skirmish in the locker room last week following the game where star defensive players had to be separated. The Eagles meanwhile have struggled to put it all together out of the gates after surrendering a 17-0 lead against Carolina last week, but this is the week they get back on track. Wentz looks good against the Jaguars in London and Philly cruises to the win.
Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Carolina Panthers (4-2): BAL -2 Confidence: 6
Man, I really like the Panthers in this spot favored at home coming off a big win over the Eagles. However, the Ravens are a stacked football team that will have to respond after a tough loss last week after Justin Tucker missed a game-tying PAT in the closing moments. This game is going to be tight to the wire, but I think the Ravens pull out a win late on a field goal from Tucker to redeem himself.
New York Jets (3-4) at Chicago Bears (3-3): CHI -7.5 Confidence: 7
The Jets got their doors blown off at home by Minnesota last week and now have to travel out to Chicago to take on a Bears team that took the Patriots to the wire. While one could argue the Bears did not play well enough to be in the game outside of a few Pats fumbles, the fact is despite their points allowed and Trubisky’s inability to make big plays in the passing game, they were in it. The Bears will come out and respond with a win at home and get after the rookie Sam Darnold. Matt Nagy dials up another solid game plan and the offense puts up 30-plus to cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-3): CIN -4.5 Confidence: 7
The Bucs pulled out and overtime win over the Browns while the Bengals were thumped on primetime television at the hands of Mahomes and the Chiefs. The good news for Cincy is they are back home and in the 1 PM time slot where they thrive. The Bengals are talented and Andy Dalton doesn’t have the pressure of playing when everyone is watching. They win and cover at home over Tampa Bay.
Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Detroit Lions (3-3): DET -3 Confidence: 6
The Lions are coming off a great win on the road against Miami. They finally have a running game Matthew Stafford can lean on and their defense has been much improved. They just added veteran defensive tackle Damon Harrison in a trade that should sure-up Matt Patricia‘s defensive line. Seattle just isn’t the same these days and really is a one man team. The Lions contain Russell Wilson and walk away with a hard fought home win over the Seahawks, it will be close, but I’ll swallow the field goal here.
Denver Broncos (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-1): DEN +10 Confidence: 7
That’s a huge line for as good of a defense the Broncos have. Both teams are coming off blowout wins on primetime television and meet again in an AFC West showdown. These two teams just met a few weeks back on Monday Night Football where Kansas City was victorious 27-23. That game was in Denver and now the Broncos have the tough task of traveling to Arrowhead, however I’ll still take the Broncos to cover this huge line. I like the Chiefs to win the football game with the Patrick Mahomes show rolling on. If the Broncos were going to win, it was going to be at home, but it will be a tighter game than many pundits are expecting. I’ll take the back-door cover from Case Keenum against a pretty mediocre Chiefs defense.
Washington Redskins (4-2) at New York Giants (1-6): -1 Confidence: 10
Wow, I am stunned with this line. The Giants are in the process of rebuilding mid-season trading key defensive players and I only have to swallow a point for a legit team on the road? Like it? I love it. The Redskins are good and are about to go on a serious run. It started last week beating the Cowboys and with veteran Alex Smith captaining the ship, they are destined for the playoffs. Pick of the week, with this current line.
Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1): CLE +8 Confidence: 7
The Browns love playing in overtime. They went there last week and lost, and did it in the opening week to tie with the Steelers. That said, I’ll take Baker Mayfield and the Browns to cover and I’m not ruling out them winning the game on the road in Pittsburgh. I think Big Ben and the Steelers survive to win a close one at home, but I’ll take the points with a really good Browns defense and dynamic signal caller.
Indianapolis Colts (2-5) at Oakland Raiders (1-5): OAK +3 Confidence: 7
Alright, here I go again picking Jon Gruden‘s re-building Raiders. They just traded Amari Cooper, Marhsawn Lynch is on injured reserve and the locker room has reportedly turned on their franchise Quarterback. The Colts meanwhile beat down the Bills last week and are riding high. I like the Raiders for two reasons here to cover and win the game. First, guys on this roster are fighting for their place long-term. No one is safe as they tear it down and get set for the impending move to Vegas. That will motivate guys enough to play up for a home contest. The same applies for franchise QB Derek Carr to prove to everyone he is the Raiders guy for their move to Vegas. I expect a good showing from the QB and the Raiders offense as they win a tight battle at home.
San Francisco 49ers (1-6) at Arizona Cardinals (1-6): ARZ +1 Confidence: 8
The old battle of the bad NFC West teams. One team is without their franchise QB for the season and just doesn’t have the talent to compete from week-to-week while the other is a bad football team with a rookie QB still learning his way in the league. The good news here in the Cardinals have a new offensive coordinator in Byron Leftwhich after Mike McCoy was fired and that should spark some results and creativity in the gameplan for Josh Rosen. Add that to the fact the Cardinals are at home this week and I’ll take them to win.
Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) at Los Angeles Rams (7-0): GB +9 Confidence: 7
Somebody has to give the Rams a battle and this show-down sees Aaron Rodgers travel to sunny Los Angeles to clash with Jared Goff and the Rams. The Rams are stacked and I will take them to win, but more than likely this one will be back and forth like the game with Minnesota and this has 38-31 written all over it. Rodgers makes it close, but his defense just isn’t capable of holding the Rams down enough for the Pack to win the game.
New Orleans Saints (5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1): Minnesota (pick) Confidence: 7
Sunday Night Football has a terrific matchup in store for viewers this week with two of the best teams in the league, not just the NFC, going head-to-head. Mike Zimmer vs. Sean Payton, Drew Brees vs. Kirk Cousins with the whole country watching. The Vikings got that big win a few weeks back against the Eagles, but came up short earlier on against the Rams. This game could ultimately decide who gets a first round bye down the stretch and at home in this spot, I’ll take Minnesota. The Saints are great, but they’re just not the same team on the road as they are at home. Even though this one’s in a dome, I like the Vikings to win the game on a 4th quarter drive from their franchise QB.
MNF: New England Patriots (5-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-5): NE -14 Confidence: 9
I’m not even going to do a preview this week, so this will suffice. Derek Anderson is out of retirement and playing Quarterback on Monday Night Football against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Are you kidding me? I would hold Gronk out another week against this Bills team that took a beat-down from the Colts, 37-5. While you don’t often see two touchdown lines, this one might be a little generous as this has an Alabama football game written all over it. The Patriots will do their job in house on their own in preparing, then come out and slaughter “Bills Mafia” in their own house. The over/under is 44.5 and I think New England gets that by themselves while pitching a shutout on the other end. Lock it in.