Vegas took a beating last week with heavy favorites doing what they do against inferior opponents putting up points and covering the spread. Those who continuously bet the over are rewarded and I went 9-4 straight up and had the same record against the spread surprisingly hitting on 69% of my picks last week. The theme continues this week of rolling with the heavy favorites for the most part.
Time to dive in. All lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas.
Thursday Night Football: Carolina Panthers (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1): CAR +3.5 Confidence: 8
How about this Thursday Night game we are in store for this week? Two playoff caliber teams fighting it out on primetime television in a non-conference battle between two elite offenses and two strong Quarterbacks. The Panthers are a tough and dynamic football team that has what it takes to battle with the Steelers and I like what Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton can do on a short-week against Pittsburgh. I’m taking Carolina to cover the spread and I like them to grind out a win in the Steel City on a short week.
Detroit Lions (3-5) at Chicago Bears (5-3): DET +7 Confidence: 7
The Bears are rolling in off a massive win over the Bills and draw another home date with a division rival from Detroit. Matt Patricia’s boys have their backs against the wall and need to go into enemy territory and come out with a win if they have any chance of sniffing the playoffs this year. The Bears have a really good defense, but I think Matthew Stafford wins this one on another heroic last minute comeback drive. I’ll take Detroit to cover that lofty touchdown spread and I like them to steal a win on the road.
New Orleans Saints (7-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-3): NO -6 Confidence: 9
Is everyone buying the Saints as the most complete football team in the league right now? I for sure am with Drew Brees playing some of the best football of his illustrious career and the freakishly athletic Alvin Kamara in the back-field, the Saints are dynamic. Oh and they just added a veteran Pro Bowler Dez Bryant to go across from Michael Thomas. The Bengals are a pretty decent little team that could sneak into the playoffs with a wildcard spot, but Andy Dalton doesn’t have a chance to go score-for-score with that Saints offense. New Orleans wins and covers, lock it in.
Atlanta Falcons (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-6-1): ATL -5 Confidence: 9
I was just about out on the Falcons, then they went out and stomped the Redskins in their own building. Matt Ryan is playing some of the best football of his career with Steve Sarkisian calling the offense perfectly and spreading the ball to all of their weapons. The Falcons have been hit hard on defense with some major injuries, but just beefed up their pass rush adding veteran Bruce Irvin who’s excited to play for his hometown team. Falcons win and cover easily against a Browns team that has lost its way under an interim head coach.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) at Indianapolis Colts (3-5): IND -3 Confidence: 7
The Colts get a home date this week against a Jaguars team that has fallen apart over the last couple months. They’re not buying into their QB and even started moving defensive playmakers such as Dante Fowler to the Rams. They are currently planning to have Leonard Fournette back this week, but I’m still taking the Colts to win at home this week and cover with a much improved defense and offensive line for a healthy Andrew Luck under Frank Reich.
Arizona Cardinals (2-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-1): KC -17 Confidence: 8
A college line in the NFL. There’s a reason this line is so huge, the Chiefs offense is dynamic and can put up points in bunches add to that the homefield advantage of Arrowhead against a rookie HC and QB in Josh Rosen and despite the defensive woes of Kansas City, this game has 34-13 all over it. I’ll swallow the two touchdowns and a field goal for the home favorite this week as they should cruise to their 9th win of the season before the massive showdown with the Rams in Week 11.
Buffalo Bills (2-7) at New York Jets (3-6): BUF +7 Confidence: 7
The Jets will be without their messiah for this home date with the Buffalo Bills. While the veteran Josh McCown is more than capable of getting it done at home, this one will be low scoring and ugly. I like the Bills to cover even if Nathan Peterman is under center. Josh Allen may be nearing a return same with veteran Derek Anderson, but without Darnold and the Jets injury-depleted roster, I’m taking the Bills much better defense with LeSean McCoy on offense to cover AND win.
Washington Redskins (5-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) WSH +3 Confidence: 8
The Redskins were embarrassed last week at home by a very good Falcons offense. Despite that and two devastating losses on the offensive line, I’m still rolling with Alex Smith and Jay Gruden to win football games here down the stretch and get into the playoffs. They draw the Buccaneers this week and Ryan Fitzpatrick for a matchup in Tampa and will get back on track with a road win despite the talent the Bucs have on offense. I like the Skins +3 to cover and win.
New England Patriots (7-2) at Tennessee Titans (4-4): NE -7 Confidence: 8
The Titans are a solid football team. They have a good young coach in Mike Vrabel and have starting putting the pieces in place to contend in future years for the division and win big games, but they’re not at that point yet. The Patriots fans will travel well with a trip to a great city in Nashville on the horizon that will minimize much of the home field advantage. Marcus Mariota just can’t contend with the likes of Tom Brady yet, we saw that last year in the playoffs and New England will cover and win on the road before taking a down week for the bye in Week 11.
Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-7): LAC -10.5 Confidence: 9
The total tear-down in Oakland continued this week with the release of veteran Bruce Irvin after they were embarrassed by the 49ers on Thursday night. I’m expecting another rout in the Bay Area this weekend with the Chargers firing on all cylinders and getting the chance to pick the bones of a weak division rival. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers should easily cover this lofty spread in a road contest in route to their 7th win.
Miami Dolphins (5-4) at Green Bay Packers (3-4-1) GB -10 Confidence: 8
The Dolphins roll with another week of Brock Osweiler and this time aren’y fortunate enough to be playing the Jets. They travel to Lambeau to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers who are coming off a Sunday night loss to the Pats. Continuing with the theme here I’ll take the Packers to win decisively at home and cover the big spread over a Dolphins team that is still without their QB and historically struggles on the road in colder temperature. The Packers have the added motivation of almost a must-win game here at home as 3-5-1 after a home loss to the Dolphins doesn’t bode well for their playoff hopes or cool down Mike McCarthy’s seat at all.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) at Los Angeles Rams (8-1): LAR -10 Confidence: 9
The Seahawks just can’t hang around with the top half of the league anymore. They lost last week at home to a much more talented and complete Chargers roster and that trend will continue as they draw the Rams in their own house fresh off a 10-point loss to the Saints. Sean McVay will have his guys ready to respond with a win and I would not want to be Seattle on Sunday. Rams win and cover.
Dallas Cowboys (3-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-4): DAL +7 Confidence: 7
The Eagles are fresh off their open week and get to sample their newest weapon in Golden Tate for a healthy Carson Wentz. This is a tough spot for the Cowboys after a devastating home loss to the Titans off a bye. Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott need this game to silence the critics and I can see this being a very tight NFC East battle that the Cowboys sneak out a win with on the road in hostile territory.
New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco 49ers (2-7): NYG +3 Confidence: 6
You can’t really have any faith on the Giants this season betting for or against them, but if you must make a bet this is the way I would go. Nick Mullens is a cute story, but he’s not as good as the Raiders made him out to look last week. This is Pat Shurmur‘s chance to make an impact with Big Blue before people start calling for his head. The Giants have the two most dynamic players on the field in OBJ and Saquon Barkley and they are the reason I’m taking New York +3 and to win on the road off the bye.