Another great week straight up at 10-4 in game picks, but against the spread just over the 50/50 mark at 7-6-1. Carolina getting destroyed on Thursday night didn’t start the week off great, but I rebounded with a strong Sunday performance including rolling with the road team Dallas to cover AND win which they did on Sunday night and ended on top with a Giants win and cover on Monday night in Santa Clara.
The big game everyone will be talking about this week is the Rams vs. Chiefs clash on Monday night that has already been relocated back to Los Angeles from Mexico City due to poor field playing conditions. But there are legitimately 11 watchable games that you could make a case for either side. The Raiders and Cardinals showdown doesn’t make that cut.
All lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas.
Thursday Night Football: Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) at Seattle Seahawks (4-5): GB +3, Confidence: 7
Both these two teams are trailing the Wild Card picture in the NFC and this Thursday Night clash will go a long ways towards building momentum to make the playoffs. Seattle is a tough place to play, but on a short-week coming off a hard-fought loss to the Rams with that deteriorating defense, I will take the elite Quarterback in Aaron Rodgers with the points on a short-week. Packers win the game to remain in the hunt.
Dallas Cowboys (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5): ATL -3, Confidence: 5
I don’t know how you can really have any confidence betting in either one of these teams. They each have a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in them from week-to-week. You don’t know which version shows up. Dallas was handed a bad loss at home by the Titans and responded with a great win in Philly while Atlanta handed the Redskins a beat-down to cement their case as a wild card threat in the NFC before losing to Baker Mayfield and the Browns. In this case I’ll go with the better Quarterback in Matt Ryan at home with the more explosive Falcons offense to cover the spread and win the game.
Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-5): line not yet released: BAL
The line for this game isn’t out due to the health concerns regarding Joe Flacco who is more than likely not going to play. At home with the better defense, better head coach and offense led by Lamar Jackson I’ll roll with the Ravens to win and depending the spread, I like them to cover.
Carolina Panthers (6-3) at Detroit Lions (3-6): CAR -4.5, Confidence: 8
I wanted to believe the Lions could make a run with Matthew Stafford and Matt Patricia, but they are too far off in terms of their defense and overall quality of their football team. Meanwhile Carolina is sitting in the 5 spot in the NFC and want to remain there trailing the Saints in the division. After getting handed a 52-21 loss on Thursday night, Ron Rivera has a few extra days to prepare for Detroit and get his team to show up this week and take it to the Lions. Christian McCaffrey will run all over the Detroit defense in route to a blowout road win.
Tennessee Titans (5-4) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5): TEN +1.5, Confidence: 8
This is an AFC South battle that could go a long way towards deciding the eventual division champ or even a wildcard position in the conference. The Colts have turned a corner in recent weeks with Andrew Luck locked in and his offensive line protecting him, but the Titans just had a season-changing performance against New England and Mike Vrabel will continue to put pressure on opposing offenses. If Mariota looks like he did last week, the Titans should have little problem winning the game. Take Tennessee with the points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at New York Giants (2-7): TB +1.5, Confidence: 7
Dirk Koetter needs this win if he has any chance of remaining the head coach of the Bucs after this season. Tampa is in an interesting spot as far as whether or not to re-build or contend for wins. They’re going with Ryan Fitzpatrick here and I like his chances to put up points on the Giants defense this Sunday at Metlife. I’ll take the better team and the points to win on the road.
Houston Texans (6-3) at Washington Redskins (6-3): WSH +3, Confidence: 6
The Texans are off a bye where they turned things around in the first half and looked like a very competitive football team. This showdown will have massive ramifications in each of these teams respective divisions and I will go with the more experienced Quarterback and the team that’s the road-dog in this spot. The Redskins are beat up on the offensive line, but Alex Smith will go mistake free and the Skins pull out a hard fought home win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6): PIT -6, Confidence: 8
The Jaguars are a total mess. Doug Marrone appears to have lost his team and could be kicked to the curb if the locker room continues to implode underneath him. Meanwhile, the Steelers offense has rallied together without Le’Veon Bell and is a force to be reckoned with. Ben Rothlisberger can hang tough in the pocket through the rush and put up points against the Jags. I’ll take the Steelers to win and cover on the road.
Oakland Raiders (1-8) at Arizona Cardinals (2-7): OAK +5.5, Confidence: 4
Here I am putting my faith in the Raiders again this week. I would not dare tune in to this game between two terrible football teams, but I will however take the points here for Derek Carr and the Raiders against an ugly looking Cardinals team. I am taking Arizona to eventually win the football game with a rookie QB and head coach having something to prove unlike Jon Gruden‘s Oakland team that has almost quit on the season.
Denver Broncos (3-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-2): LAC -7, Confidence: 9
The Chargers are one of the most complete teams in football and had star defensive end Joey Bosa return to practice this week. He may not be ready to go for this Sunday, but I like the Chargers here to beat up on their divisional opponent from Denver. If it gets really ugly this Sunday, this could wind up being the last game that Vance Joseph coaches for the Broncos.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) at New Orleans Saints (8-1): PHI +9, Confidence: 7
That’s way too many points for me to swallow here against the defending champions with a great young Quarterback in Carson Wentz and weapons on the outside. Drew Brees and the Saints are on fire and look un-beatable, but I think this game is close down to the wire and the Saints end up winning it by a touchdown. I’ll take the Eagles and the 9 points on the road.
Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) at Chicago Bears (6-3): MIN +3, Confidence: 8
The Vikings are well-rested for the Sunday Night Football showdown with one of the best defenses in the league anchored by Khalil Mack. Mitchell Trubisky has played great in the new offense under Matt Nagy and has another big game ahead of him this week at home against Minnesota. However, fresh off the bye with a rested defense and smart head coach in Mike Zimmer, I like the Vikings to keep it close and pull out a late-win from Kirk Cousins. This is why they paid him all that money, and this game will go a long way towards deciding who wins the NFC North.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) at Los Angeles Rams (8-1): LAR -3.5, Confidence: 8
The game we’ve all had circled as football fans for a long time. Two elite offenses with brilliant play-callers and dynamic young QB’s who can take the top off a defense in one strike. This game was moved from Mexico City due to poor playing surface back to Los Angeles which bodes well for the Rams who get back a home game. No disrespect to Patrick Mahomes, Tyreke Hill, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid, but the Chiefs are not the Rams. Sean McVay has his team motivated and ready to go in front of their home fans and the Rams have way more play-makers on the defensive side of the ball than the Chiefs. It’s going to come down to which defense can just hold the opposing offense a few times, as the record 64 over-under number tells, but I like the Rams as a much more complete roster. On offense even without Cooper Kupp, they still have two top WR’s in Robert Woods & Brandin Cooks then an MVP caliber RB in Todd Gurley. I’m very much looking forward to this game, but I’ll take the Rams to score last and win covering the spread and the over on the night.