Last week: 10-4, another strong week to push the season tally to 69-51
Last weekend brought heavy rains to several East Coast games, and this week brings the first threat of really cold and yucky weather in some locales.
All odds are from OddsShark as of 4 pm Wednesday
- Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (+3.5): I love that the Bills brought in Kelvin Benjamin at the trade deadline. He’s another weapon for Tyrod Taylor and a big body who can move the chains. The wideout played very well versus New England too with Carolina.
Having said that, I’m not sure the trade pays dividends early on a short week. It can make the other receivers wonder why the team felt they needed him. The Jets play hard and the defense has some punch. I smell the upset.
Jets 24, Bills 21
- Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-1): One of these teams is due for an offensive explosion. Both have great quarterbacks but are struggling to score points. The issue is more pronounced for Atlanta, which has fallen from a league high 34.1 PPG in 2016 to just 21.3 in 2017, good for 16th.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-7): Two teams heading in the opposite directions here, and the home team has the benefit of surviving their scare last week in Chicago. I believe the Saints apply the lesson from the Bears and refocus to smother a reeling Tampa Bay team which looks lost right now. I do worry about the death-gasp effort from the Bucs, but I wouldn’t bet on it. You probably shouldn’t either, not with their in absentia pass rush against Drew Brees.
Saints 30, Buccaneers 20
- Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (-8): Denver turns to Brock Osweiler. Denver fans turn to anything with alcohol in it.
Eagles 19, Broncos 6
- Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (NL): There is no line on this game because of the status of Joe Flacco, who got clobbered and concussed in last Thursday’s roasting of the Dolphins. Ryan Mallett takes over, and Mallett does have redundant skills to Flacco: big, big arm, slow, mistake-prone, oop-de-doop demeanor which can either be brilliant or ridiculous. Except he’s not as good at anything as Flacco…even when the Flacco elite meter is the guy who got beat out for the starting job at Pitt by Tyler Palko. I’m not going to trust that on the road against a Titans team coming off a bye.
Titans 33, Ravens 12
- Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars (-5): Jacksonville’s defense has notched 10 sacks in two separate games. They dominate the league with a sack rate over 12 percent, which means they’re getting a sack once in every 8 times the opposing offense tries to throw the ball.
Meanwhile the Bengals allow a sack on over nine percent of dropbacks, third-worst in the league. They tried to trade backup A.J. McCarron during the week (more on that in the $.10 this week), but they might need him this week. While I don’t trust Blake Bortles, he’s got a lot more assets at his disposal than Andy Dalton.
Jaguars 28, Bengals 17
- Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-13): Deshaun Watson set an NFL record in last week’s loss, becoming the first player to ever throw for 400+ yards, 4 TDs and run for at least 50 yards. Against this Colts defense minus Malik Hooker, he could come darn close to matching those incredible numbers. The Colts will score too, just not as often or as entertainingly.
Texans 37, Colts 28
- Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants (+4): Fingers are pointing in New York, where an underachieving and injury-riddled offense has ruined the season thus far. Now DB Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely. It’s hard to see the Giants overcoming all those problems and internal discord against one of 2017’s pleasant surprises.
Rams 30, Giants 13
- Washington at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5): Washington’s numerous offensive injuries ruin any chances they have for a road upset here. Half the starting offense missed practice with injury on Wednesday, and between the wounded line and bitter downgrade at wide receiver from last year, it’s real hard to see them beating a Seattle team which dramatically upgraded the OL by trading for Duane Brown.
Seahawks 29, Washington 10
- Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (+2): The 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo this week. You’ll see my more expansive thoughts on the deal in this week’s $.10, but here’s a teaser: don’t be seduced by his ridiculously handsome looks. Having said that, he’s the better QB in this game and the banged-up Cardinals are the perfect opponent for a winless team looking to get off the schneid.
49ers 24, Cardinals 23
- Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys (+1.5): One of two things is going to happen here for Dallas in the wake of losing standout RB Ezekiel Elliott to his suspension. They’re either going to rally and flip the collective bird to Roger Goodell by wasting the solid but vulnerable KC defense, or they’re going to look defeated and struggle. If the Chiefs can get an early double-digit lead, I think this one is over quickly. On the flip side, an early turnover and success on offense can help the Cowboys cruise. It’s not often where a game is as simple as winning the first quarter, but that’s how I see this one playing out.
Chiefs 27, Cowboys 20
- Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (+3): Congratulations everyone! Y’all get to go to bed early on Sunday. Unless you are a diehard Raiders or Dolphins fan, this game is about as interesting as cleaning your gutters or folding your mother-in-law’s undergarments.
Raiders 26, Dolphins 24
- Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (+3): Detroit never wins in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers remains out and the Lions defense is solid, but Detroit never wins in Green Bay. The Lions are favored, but Detroit never wins in Green Bay. Taylor Decker should return to solidify the OL for Matthew Stafford and help the run game, but Detroit never wins in Green Bay. The Packers could play this game with just 10 players on the field all night, and Detroit still never wins in Green Bay.
Packers 23, Lions 21
Auburn 30, Texas A&M 22
Penn State 28, Michigan State 17
Clemson 32, NC State 20
West Virginia 27, Iowa State 25
Ohio State 40, Iowa 21
Oklahoma 46, Oklahoma State 44, in OT
TCU 23, Texas 20