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Granted, the Chargers seem to be at their most dangerous when you're expecting them to fall on their faces. With this being in the high-altitude setting of Mexico City, it just adds another layer of funkiness to the equation. And there could be some big offensive production against a Chiefs' defense that has shown itself not to be ready for primetime. I suspect, however, that we will see a Chiefs' offense starting to resemble the terror of not too long ago—to enough of an extent where the Chiefs get out of Estadio Azteca with the win and cover.
This game stands a good chance of becoming a grinder. New England's offense is really only average at the moment, while Philly's offense is missing some key people. Meanwhile, these are two top-eight defenses. So 3.5 points could come in really handy. We're taking those points with the Eagles.
The part of this matchup that stands out most could be the Steelers’ defense. They have played a huge role in getting this thing turned around, which seemed so unlikely several weeks back. After scrapping and toiling so hard to right the ship, now is a weird time to relinquish their grip. The Steelers’ offensive output is a concern here, but I see some big plays manifesting on the other side of the ball, as the Steelers emerge from FirstEnergy Stadium with the big cover.
This isn't about the 49ers not being tested or being overrated. It's not about the Seahawks having a tougher road to this spot or that they've overcome more. There might be some matchup components on both sides of the ball that could shake out well for Seattle. I see this as being a competitive game where picking a winner isn't very easy. In cases like that, I'm inclined to take the points. I'll take the Seahawks.
Detroit is better than its record indicates. The Lions "coulda/shoulda" won three games they lost this season, and they came a yard away from forcing overtime last week. If they can just keep their heads, they can play their way back into playoff contention. Chicago, on the other hand, is a mess. The defense is still solid, but if you can't move the ball until the other team goes into prevent mode, what good is that? We like Detroit here, for the win.
These two teams are very evenly matched, and this game could easily come down to a late field goal, one way or the other. And in cases like this, we like the dog and the extra field goal. Also, we expect a bounce-back performance after the loss last week by Minnesota, while Dallas is playing on a short week, after winning Monday night. We're taking the Vikings and the points here.
I think this one comes down to dependability and expectations. Betting on the Chargers the last two weeks is the best time to play them—when expectations are low, and they are in a position to overperform, preferably against favored opposition. Some of that might apply here, but the Raiders are at home and typically get more out of what they have. I see this as being a spot for a potential Chargers’ letdown. I’m taking the Silver and Black.
The prospects of facing a rested Dallas team that appeared to shake off its funk with a 27-point win over Philly might elicit some fear from a potential Giants backer. And it should. I think that while the Giants fall short of a winning team at this point, things have maybe started to turn in the right direction for them. And until we see different, they will be a team that can spring a surprise here and there, while being resilient enough in spots like this to cover some spreads. With the Giants' defense making more plays, being at home, and playing a little more-stout overall, I see their offense doing enough to keep pace with the Cowboys on MNF.
Despite last week's outcome, the Chargers are more apt to find a way to lose a game this season, while the Packers are finding ways to win games. Somewhere along the line, we expect Rodgers to come through with a big play or two, while Rivers seems prone to making mistakes. Also, Green Bay ranks third in the League with a +7 turnover ratio this season, while San Diego ranks 23rd at -3, and the Packers rank fifth in a time of possession at 31:55 while the Chargers rank 19th at 29:19. We're backing the Pack here for our free NFL pick.
We don't expect Mahomes to play Sunday, and while Moore wasn't bad last week, it's just not the same. Meanwhile, Minnesota owns the better running game and the better run defense. We're going with the Vikings here for our free NFL pick.
Philadelphia seems rejuvenated after last week's win in Buffalo, while Chicago must be down after last week's excruciating loss. But the NFL can be a strange place and attempts to psychoanalyze teams often prove futile. Ultimately we view these two teams as very equal, neither great nor bad, and very susceptible to the weekly ups-and-downs most NFL teams experience. That's why we're betting the Bears here, plus the points.
The 49ers haven’t beaten the Cardinals since 2014, so sure that may give them the motivation needed to cover this spread. That said, they are coming off a complete massacre of the Panthers, have a short week to come down to earth, and have an important foe in Seattle on deck. The total is the way to play this game. San Francisco ranks second in the league in scoring defense, allowing 11 points per game and first in total yards allowed per game (224.4). The 49ers are all about running the ball, and while Tevin Coleman looked fantastic in place of M. Breida, it was one game. The Cards' most glaring weakness on defense is in the secondary, and that is not something that SF hasn't proven that they can exploit. Arizona scored nine points last week against the Saints; the third time this season that they have scored 17 or fewer points. My numbers have the Niners scoring 20 to 23 points and the Cards 10 to 14.
I don’t question that Miami is showing more life or that this isn’t a spot where they can thrive against a Steelers’ team that is compromised. Plus, this Steelers team, as large favorites, leaves something to be desired. There just seem to be some matchup areas where it’s going to be hard for Miami to negotiate. Against a Steelers’ defense that has gotten its act together the last few weeks, I see their stiffness and big-play ability being enough to turn this one in their favor. I see the Steelers seizing on some mistakes and getting out of this one with the win and the cover.
Green Bay (obviously) owns the advantage in the quarterback match-up, and with most other factors balancing out should win this game. But that Packers defense is still a bit iffy, and Moore can be effective. In fact, Kansas City might be forced to find more balance on offense without Mahomes, and that would be a good thing. NFL home dogs are having a tough 2019 so far, but we like the Chiefs and the points for our free NFL pick here.
Will Cleveland upset New England in Foxboro? I doubt that. However, the Browns can undoubtedly hang around in this game and come in under the number. After all, the Patriots have shown that they can play down to the level of their competition. Previous to their encounter with the Jets, the Patriots led the New York Giants and Washington Redskins by a mere touchdown at halftime in their respective matches against them. However, the difference between the Browns with the Giants and Redskins is that Cleveland has the offensive firepower to make this a four-quarter game. New England won't be able to pull away as easy, and even if New England takes control, back-door potential also exists in this affair. Grab the points.
The Jets cannot only cover here, but they can very well win this game outright. Last week's meltdown against New England was a perfect storm of dismay for Gang Green. The Jets could not curate 200 yards of offense, and they turned the ball over six times. With all this considered, the damage could have been far worse. The Jets will circle the wagons and clean things up in their first game back from their disastrous outing and will pose to be a tough out for the Jags.
San Francisco holds several statistical advantages here, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The 49ers have really only played one quality opponent this season, and their passing game is a bit iffy. Meanwhile, Carolina is playing some spirited ball with Allen, and scat-back Christian McCaffrey is dangerous. Plus, 5.5 points is a lot in the NFL this season. They might not win this game outright, but we're playing the Panthers plus the points for our free NFL pick here.
Buffalo started slowly last week, coming off its bye, but we expect a sharper effort this week. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is playing on the road for the third week in a row, and the first two games didn't go too well. We like the Bills here, giving the short spread at home.