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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.
The Chiefs offense has been balanced this season, but they haven’t faced a defense that not only can stop the run (11th in RYPG) but the pass (2nd in PYPG) as well. The forecast is calling for steady rain for this game which may make them one dimensional. The Jags will be without star RB Leonard Fournette, and it’s significant downgrade to T.J. Yelton, but they do have the superior running QB in Blake Bortles who has 132 yards and a 7.3 YPC average this season. Jacksonville will also be facing one of the weakest run defenses in the league allowing 123 yards per game on a league-worst 5.6 yards. Taking the points backing a team with the vastly superior defense is the way to go here.
The Browns can confirm that the culture is changing in Cleveland with a win here against a rival that has had their number. This team is hungry, and it is worth noting that this team also has not lost a game in Cleveland yet this season. They will endeavor to keep that trend up and running and should do so as well here. Take the Browns outright.
The Jets have a penchant for sneaking up on teams when they are off the radar. The same situation unfolded after all when they were a touchdown-pup on the road at Detroit. No one though the Jets could get the win and they dominated. This game has a similar feel, and the outcome may end eerily the same. Jets win.
You have to give Dallas credit for pulling out last week's win against Detroit, but there are still some significant issues with this team in all three phases of the game. The Cowboys have played their best ball this season in Big D, so winning SU on the road could be a reach. Houston is far from out of the woods in a disappointing start, but playing this game at home coming off a big win is a major plus.
Home field will be a significant factor between two teams that are not all that familiar with one another. I will lay the three points and take the Texans both SU and ATS.
The Colts continue to play hard each week with Luck back at the helm, and they should be able to keep this game closer than the current 10-point spread. New England needed to make a statement against Miami in a crucial division game, but it could struggle to dial up that same intensity this week.
I have New England winning this game SU, but I will take my chances on another solid showing by the Colts to cover.