Chicago Bears (+ 7) at Green Bay Packers
I like big point spreads in divisional games. I think they tend to be closer than usual. I also think the Bears are underrated. They are not good, but they have a tough running game and are playing competent football. The Packers have the world’s best football player and a lot of holes. Give me the points.
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Oh great, another London game. They have not been the best games. All of these Thursday night games and London games aren’t helping the quality of product in the NFL. And in general I would avoid London games like the plague though I really liked the Jaguars last week (because they are becoming accustomed to the trip). This year Drew Brees has six touchdowns, no interceptions, is averaging nearly 8 yards per pass attempt, has a QB rating of 109 and the Saints are still 1-2 even with a +3 turnover ratio. They are averaging 4.5 yards per rush, they are out sacking the QB 7 to 3. Lots of positive numbers that indicate success on offense. The problem is their defense is just terrible, but the Dolphins defense isn’t much better. They are allowing 9.4 yards per pass attempt. I think Saints will win this week by more than 3.
That Panthers offense is bad. But their defense is very good. The Patriots are beat up a little bit on both sides of the ball and I think the Panthers have enough to stay in the game, but not win it.
LA Rams (+6.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Fun fact to know: The Rams fired Jeff Fisher and now have the league’s number one offense. They are scoring 35.7 points per game over the first three weeks of the season. Teams are sitting on Ezekiel Elliott and making Dak Prescott beat them, and while the Cowboys continue to win Prescott looks much closer to average than extraordinary. He’s averaging only 6.4 yards per pass attempt. The Rams get after the quarterback, they have an explosive offense (still sounds funny) and they are getting a good amount of points. I like the Rams here.
There’s no line posted yet because of the injury to Sam Bradford, but either way I think the Vikings are the more talented well rounded team and they are home.
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Houston Texans
I’m a believer in the Titans. Marcus Mariota is one of the best players in the league in the red-zone and their run game is top notch. They have two running backs averaging more than 5 yards per carry. I think the Titans are better than Houston in nearly every facet.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at New York Jets
I thought the Jets were trying to tank the whole season, but they can’t even do that right. Jaguars are top 5 in both offense and defense early in the season. They have had a tremendous pass rush (13 sacks) led by FA signing Calais Campbell. Could the Jaguars actually be for real?
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns
Bengals bounced back in a big way last week, but couldn’t pull out the victory. Both teams have extensive injuries, but I think the Bengals have a little more healthy talent.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Baltimore Ravens
Steelers are getting 3 points in a divisional game on the road. That is like saying the Steelers would be 6-point favorites, I’m not sure I’m there on that.
Buffalo Bills (+8) at Atlanta Falcons
The AFC East first place Buffalo Bills are getting 8 points on the road against the Falcons. This is a good test for the Bills who are currently the league’s number one scoring defense. The Bills defense has been a little up and down the past few years, but seem to have regained their identity under their new head coach. The Bills rush the passer well and Tyrod Taylor, though not spectacular, takes care of the football.
New York Giants (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Giants are traveling to Tampa with all their pride on the line. The Buccaneers will be without Lavonte Davis and have a hobbled Gerald McCoy. I really like the Giants in this game. They are not a terrible football team and I think they will be very determined to not lose four straight. Plus, the things the Buccaneers have done well this year (stop the run) and the things the Buccaneers haven’t done well (rush the passer, stop the pass) play into the hands of the Giants. They do have DeSean Jackson, who is a lock for a 50+ yard touchdown, but the Giants are getting 3 points and are desperate for a win.
Pick: Giants win outright
Philadelphia Eagles (+1) at LA Chargers
Eagles are getting a point and I think they are the better team.
San Francisco 49ers (+7) at Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers are getting a lot of points in a divisional game and Carson Palmer turns the ball over too much for me to trust them as 7-point favorites without their best offensive player.
Oakland Raiders (+2.5) at Denver Broncos
The Broncos are averaging 143 yards per game on the ground. The Raiders are allowing 112.3 yards per game on the ground. That’s a clear matchup advantage for the Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts (+13) at Seattle Seahawks
I think the Seahawks will struggle with teams who rush the passer all year. The Colts don’t really rush the passer, and the Colts don’t really have any offense.
Washington (+7) at Kansas City Cheifs
The Chiefs might have the league’s most well-rounded roster. I think Washington is a flawed roster, but has enough offense to keep the game within striking distance.