New England Patriots (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I haven’t typically excelled at the Thursday night games because I don’t feel it’s always about the matchups and more about which team is less banged up and motivated on Thursday night on a short week. I like the Patriots here, I guess.
Pick: Patriots -5.5
Final score: Patriots 19, Bucs 14
Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at New York Giants
The New York Giants are favored in the battle of the disappointments. There are two deserving Hall of Fame quarerbacks in this game, both leading teams that are 0-4 on the season and leading pedestrian offenses. The Chargers are rushing averaging 3.6 yards per rush, and a -3 turnover ratio. The Giants have their own issues in the run game and are averaging an even worse 3.2 yards per rush.
The bigger issue for the Giants is this: the Chargers are struggling, but one thing they are doing well is rushing the passer. The Chargers have 12 sacks this year and are led by two very talented players in defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, two players I’m not sure the Giants are going to be able to handle. The Chargers should be able to rush four and create pressure on the Giants with frequency to disrupt their offense. The other big issue is injuries: the following players for the Giants did not practice of were limited on Wednesday: Janoris Jenkins, Weston Richburg, Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham, Orleans Darwka, Paul Perkins. It doesn’t mean these players won’t play, it just means the Giants are just a bit banged up.
Buffalo Bills (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
The division-leading Bills are getting no respect. The Bengals have A.J. Green and not much else. They are struggling to run the football, they can’t pass to anyone other than A.J. Green. I’m not sure if the Bills are going to be great this year, but they have a plus defense and will keep games close. I like them with the points and think they may just win outright. LeSean McCoy is due for a breakout game.
Pick: Bills win out-right
New York Jets (+1) at Cleveland Browns
I picked on the J-E-T-S for three straight weeks, but they have been better than the Giants. I did not see that coming. They are statistically better than the Browns in pretty much every category.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t know if the Jaguars are actually any good, but I do know their defense is extremely talented. That’s what happens when you get a top five defensive pick every year and a ton of cap space to add talented players. They are number one in the league in pass yards allowed on defense and have a whopping 18 sacks. Defense keeps teams close in games.
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Miami Dolphins
This line is going to be dependent on whether or not Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota plays. The Dolphins are scoring 8.3 points per game. I thought watching the Giants offense was brutal. I still like the Titans, but they are not showing me the consistency I’d like.
I went down the injury report for both teams and it looked like the 49ers were worse than the Colts, and the Colts are home. Both teams are terrible.
Arizona Cardinals (+6.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
I think the Eagles are better, but the Cardinals still have a lot of talent and I think 6.5 points is too many.
Carolina Panthers (+2.5) at Detroit Lions
The Panthers and Lions are both giving up 17.5 points per game. The Lions have a terrific +9 turnover ratio.
Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have the league’s number one scoring offense. They also have game wreckers along their defensive line.
Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) at Oakland Raiders
Green Bay Packers (+2) at Dallas Cowboys
I’m not sure the Packers aren’t the better team and they are getting points.
Kansas City Chiefs (-1) at Houston Texans
The Chiefs might be the best team in the league.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Chicago Bears
I think the Bears are going to win this game even though it’s going to be Mitchell Trubisky’s first start.
Week 1: 10-5
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-5
Week 4: 10-6
Season overall: 37-21