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Each of these teams has played exceptionally well at times this season, and each one has also won a few games it probably should have lost. Houston is riding a four-game winning streak, but the spread in this conference clash is a bit too wide to ride the home team.
I am going to take the points and Miami to cover ATS. Right now, the extra half-point on the touchdown spread makes all the difference in the world for the road team on Thursday night.
New York sunk as about as low as possible in last Thursday’s loss to Philadelphia which could mean it has nowhere to go but up. Atlanta has lost a few tough games this season, but it has also shot itself in the foot to lose twice as many games as it has won. I would still give the overall edge to the Falcons playing this game at home. However, that edge is thinner than the generous 5.5-point spread.
Each team has given up quite a few points on defense, but the inflated total line has scared me away from the OVER as a solid play given the Giants’ play on offense. I am betting that New York does not play as bad as most people think, especially against a team it could actually beat. I will take the Giants and the points to cover on Monday night.
The Panthers have been out-yarded in three of their five games this season. The run game has started to falter with their last two games producing the lowest totals on the ground. Statistically, Philadelphia has shone on run defense holding all but the Giants to 77 yards or fewer rushing yards. They are "beat up" at the DT position, but they may get back Haloti Ngata (check status) who has missed the last two games to fortify the unit. The Eagles offense looked sharp against the Giants and should be able to continue that success against a Panthers' defense that has had a tough time defending the pass. The weather is a bit of concern today, with winds expected in the high teens, but I'll take my chances on an improving Wentz against this secondary and the OVER.
What the big question for Bengals' fans heading into Sunday night's conference showdown would have to be is their team ready for the prime time spotlight as a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC. The Chiefs have already proven they belong in this elite group and they will be ready for an all-out aerial assault that should continue to light up the scoreboard.
Cincinnati should be able to score its fair share of points as well pointing me towards the OVER in this matchup. However, I have Kansas City winning this game by at least seven points as my “best bet” pick.
If there was any statement that could suggest that Chicago football was back, knocking off one of the titans of the gridiron would reinforce that implication. This young Bears football team plays with reckless abandon. Given the location of the venue combined with the hunger and spirit of Chicago, this one has upset written all over it. Chicago outright gets the call.
Defenses Thrive in London
Expect this to be a lower-scoring game than usual as both the Titans and Chargers have more than capable defensive units. The Titans offense has been inconsistent, and passing might be difficult against such a talented Los Angeles secondary. With that said, the lack of running game from the Titans leads us to believe the Chargers come out victorious 24-14.
Most of the public is going to be on the Texans this week given the Jaguars struggles over the last few weeks, but we’ve seen the Jaguars struggle for weeks on end before but bounce back in Florida. If Bortles can dodge the turnover bug, the Jaguars should win this game comfortably. We’re taking the Jaguars over the Texans 25-18.
This market opened with the Rams spotting a double-digit point total to the Niners. Despite indications of all the public money coming in on Los Angeles (73%), we have seen a reverse line movement which means only one thing: the smart money is on the Niners. We’ll go ahead and take the same position.
Outside of Washington, New Orleans has not crossed paths with a team that has the defensive awareness like that of Baltimore. And with respect to that, New Orleans plays at a much higher level at home with a clear-cut advantage as opposed to the paltry M&T Bank Stadium. Though the Saints score a league-leading 36 points per game, this was done against Tampa Bay, Cleveland, New York, and Atlanta. None of these teams come even close to Washington let alone Baltimore in terms of defense. The Saints are in for a rude awakening.
Somebody has to win this game unless we get another overtime tie. My lean would be towards Denver even though each team has a number of reasons for why it can lose on Thursday night. Rosen may be the quarterback of the future in Arizona, but I am banking on Keenum playing well enough under center for Denver to bring his team’s four-game SU slide to an end on Thursday night.
Lay the point and half and go with Denver both SU and ATS in a game that will most likely stay UNDER the current 46-point total line.
We’ll go ahead and once again trade away the field goal here for a Money Line play on America’s Team. The Cowboys have played a superior brand of football in Big D all year. Though they nearly blew a double-digit lead to the Detroit Lions in Dallas, we can write that off as getting too complacent more than football acumen in that contest. This team will assuredly play a full four quarters here against a team with a reputation that precedes itself. Given how Jacksonville fared in the last hostile environment it ventured in to, the Cowboys are primed here for an upset.
The last three games between these two clubs at Paul Brown Stadium have been close, but Pittsburgh was victorious in all three both straight up and against the spread. The Steelers come into this game off arguably their best game of the season and face a Bengals team that is dealing with a slew of injuries on offense. C Billy Price, WR John Ross, RB Giovani Bernard, and TE Tyler Eifert and his backup Tyler Kroft are all out. On paper, the Steelers will be the top passing offense that the Bengals have met this season and this is a defense that has already allowed three opponents to surpass 300 yards this season. I don’t believe there will be an offensive explosion by either team today, but the current form, the Cincy injury situation, and Pittsburgh's recent success as the visitor in this matchup have me on the visitor.
The 49ers have run into some tough luck early in the season and their chances to turn things around given their current situation on each side of the ball does not look all that promising. Green Bay has been on a roller-coaster ride since Week 1, but San Francisco at home could be just what it needs to get back over. 500.
The half point on the current spread favors the Packers in what could easily be a 10-point win on Monday night.
Redskins quarterback Alex Smith is a master of efficiency and will allow Washington to play ball control and keep electric playmaker Cam Newton off the field. The overall methodical approach of this team towards possession has proven to yield success, as it undermined Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago and limited Green Bay’s scoring opportunities. Be that as it may, Washington's fifth-ranked total defense (320.5 yards per game) will only make things more difficult for Cam Newton and company when they do have the ball. There is no spotlight on Washington here or records that are going to be broken at their expense, they can focus solely on the task at hand. We like their chances this week to bounce back and win convincingly against a Panthers team still hungover from last week’s epic win.
Houston will hone home field advantage and control this contest from wire to gate. Buffalo is set up for a considerable let-down here yet again, and chances are they don't have an answer for J.J. Watt or Deshaun Watson. Texans win big.
Kansas City has clearly established itself as the cream of the crop in the early part of the season. A win on Sunday night would put the Chiefs in the driver seat for the top seed in the AFC, but a loss would swing all the momentum back in the Patriots' favor. When you go against New England at home, you do so at your own peril.
Look for New England to successfully avenge last season’s loss to the Chiefs with a victory on Sunday night that covers the 3.5 points.
It is safe to say that this is an essential game for each of these division foes. Philadelphia still has the edge as the overall better team. However, it has yet to put together a full four-quarter effort. The Giants have played teams tough, but they have forgotten how to win. In what should be a hard-fought battle for all four quarters, whichever team makes the fewer mistakes should win.
My lean for Thursday night is towards the Eagles, but my ‘best bet’ pick is the UNDER on the current 45-point betting line.