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Tennessee is tough. They're a well-coached team that brings it every week. They can make some of their weaknesses show less when everything is clicking. But with the top seed in the offing in a season where it means more, the Packers might have a little more of an ax to grind in this particular matchup. I see a well-contested game where the Packers get a little separation late to get the win and cover at Lambeau on Sunday night.
These teams are headed in different directions as of late, and we usually love betting hot against cold. However, we still believe Miami's offense is better with Fitzpatrick rather than Tagovailoa. Yes, the Dolphins are winning and covering with Tago, but that's been mainly thanks to the defense. Miami produced just 13 points against Denver a few weeks ago, 20 against the Jets, 19 against Cincinnati, and had zero at halftime last week. Las Vegas, meanwhile, may be 1-4 over its previous five games, but it was right in three of those losses. And even if Carr can't play, Mariota looked good last week. Finally, we're never shy about betting against the public flow. We'll take the Raiders and the points here.
I am going, to be honest; As a handicapper, it is never a best practice to judge a team solely by their last performance. However, the Saints appear to be "off" and less potent on the offensive side of the football. The Saints will get a better match-up this Sunday against the Vikings defense, but who will take advantage of the match-up? RB Alvin Kamara has been contained for nearly the entire 2nd half of the season, and with Thomas out, there is no clear go-to threat in the passing game. Meanwhile, Minnesota has an established repertoire on offense. RB Dalvin Cook is the centerpiece and has become one of the NFL's best backs. Meanwhile, the continued emergence of WR Justin Jefferson is a huge boost to the passing attack alongside Adam Thielen. Overall, the Vikings' offense is downright dangerous, and if they can just get a little help from the defense, this is an opportunity for the Vikings to surprise the general public. I would not be surprised by an outright upset from Minnesota. As a result, I will take the points with complete confidence and point out that Minnesota has always played the Saints exceptionally well, covering eight of the last 12 meetings.
Pittsburgh is struggling a bit as of late, but it's still clearly the better team here, and it needs this one. Cincinnati is just an inferior opponent in this spot, maybe playing with its third-string QB. This looks like one of those games the Steelers lead by 10 points or so into the fourth quarter, then ice things down with a Roethlisberger touchdown pass or a defensive score. We're giving the points here with Pittsburgh.
It's not an easy spot for the Browns. While it is Cleveland who is fancied as the far better team, it is the Giants who have been imminently more-superior from a betting sense, at 8-5, as opposed to 5-8 for the Browns—a staggeringly-poor ATS mark for a team that has overperformed by most people's estimations this season. I just think their paths intercept here in a way that better suits Cleveland. I see urgency setting in as Cleveland pulls away from a Giants' squad that has maybe hit a wall. I'll take Cleveland.
I think the Steelers are in that period of the season that you see with many teams that get out to a fast start. And it doesn't mean they won't be a major factor in the postseason, but they have just hit a little lull. They're also playing teams that can better bring that to light lately—a revved up Washington team with a lot to play for and now a home Buffalo team that is peaking. I don't rule out the possibility that a Steelers' defense can have a major say in this game, but I see the greater effervescence on offense getting Buffalo to the winner's circle. I'll take the Bills.
A few things here prevent me from taking the obvious route. After all, the Chiefs won by 27 in Denver not too long ago, and the Broncos aren't flying high in light of all the injuries and now a dose of the virus complicating things further. Still, Kansas City is in a position to relax a little, a sense only enhanced by a second meeting against a team they smashed without even really having a good game across many fronts. Granted, banking on a letdown with the Chiefs hasn't really paid off great this year in spots. But in betting, these teams have been equally productive against the spread this season. And on Sunday night, the value appears to be with the Broncos. I'll take Denver and the points.
The Rams have to limit the turnovers. If they do that, I think they are the best bet in this match-up.
These teams played two tight, tough, low-scoring games last season, and while this one might not play low-scoring, we do believe it will be close. Also, following a big win last week, Seattle may be susceptible to a letdown. They ain't exactly playing great ball as of late, or this season, but we'll take the Eagles and the points here.
For those going with Chicago, I get it. Their tough defense will keep this a grind, and maybe the Packers have slipped almost imperceptibly to make this the kind of game where having the points is a good thing. That could very well play out, but I see the other perspective having more possibilities and upside. In the end, the avenue to a cover is just so much narrower when the offense you're backing is almost guaranteed to be facing an uphill battle. I see the Bears struggling to put up points, as the Packers pull away for the win and cover at home this week.
The Lions haven't been horrible in every game, and for them to deliver at home against a three-win team would hardly be earth-shattering. The Texans are out of their element and hardly reliable in this context. It's hard to shake the image of Detroit looking as awful as it gets last week. On the one hand, you don't want to get carried away with the Lions losing that way to a team that had lost five straight and was working with a first-time starting QB. But I think it is, in fact representative of something bad. I see the Texans passing-game resonating with good effect here, as the Texans get the win and cover in Detroit on Thanksgiving.
I don't question the character or even the quality of the Ravens. In fact, this is a high-urgency spot against a team they were unfortunate to lose to earlier this month. I just think if one were to anticipate a letdown spot for the Steelers, the following game against Washington would be a better candidate for that. Against the Ravens, I see a hard-fought contest where their greater efficiency on offense, along with their superior defense, is enough to ride them to the win and the cover. At root, I think at a time where the Ravens need to be getting better, they're getting a little worse..
This should be a good one, with Brady and Goff going against two pretty good defenses. We can easily see this game coming down to a late field goal, and if that's the case, four points will come in very handy. Ultimately we like the Rams running game to make the difference here. We'll take LA and the points.
Minnesota's playing the better ball as of late, it's got the better running game, and while the defense is a bit iffy, Chicago doesn't have the ability to take advantage. We don't usually like going along with the betting flow, but we like the Vikes here, minus the points.
I'm not certain that everyone is willing to see the writing on the wall, but that pertains to both teams. Unlike last season, there isn't much suggesting the Ravens will crack the elite of the AFC this year. But the Patriots might have actually sunk to levels lower than what people are thinking. And at this level, the inadequacies of the Ravens manifest to a lower degree. I see their defense and run-game being enough to get some separation on the Pats, as they get out of Foxborough with the cover and win. I'll take the Ravens.
The best value in this game revolves around the total, which is currently posted at 48 points. The Chargers' defensive issues and the emergence of Herbert have pushed their games towards a higher pace than many expected. As a result, the Chargers have hit the "over" in 5 of the last five games. Meanwhile, Miami is averaging 30 points per game over their past four contests as well. Miami's defense deserves some credit for the winning streak as they have played really well. With that said, I still expect the Chargers to find scoring opportunities based on the match-up. As long as Miami keeps their offensive momentum rolling, the total for this game seems off. This total should be in the 52-54 range, and I think we can find legitimate probabilistic value in siding with the over 48.