Well, pretty much nothing happened after our picks segment from last Thursday. Everything is good. Great time to be alive. Let’s just get right to it.
Last week: 10-6 ATS
Season: 18-14 ATS
Chicago (+7) at Green Bay
We get Tony Romo tonight in primetime, back in his home state. I’m sure he won’t embarrass Mike Glennon’s quarterback play at all.
Meanwhile, the Packers have approximately zero healthy linemen, give or take a couple. Aaron Rodgers is going to have to be in scramble mode all day. This is one of those series (both teams geographically proximate, playing outdoors) where home field advantage is minimal. In fact, going back to 1960, the home team in the Packers-Bears series is 55-57. Bears +7.
New Orleans (-3) vs Miami in London
Miami just got embarrassed at the Jets, while the Saints turned things around with a big win at Carolina. Momentum would be in the Saints favor, but neither team is good enough to know what might happen. We’ve seen plenty of upsets and bad performances in London, including the Jaguars winning outright as an underdog in a big way a week ago. Dolphins +3.
SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES
Carolina (+9) at New England
I’ve played against the Patriots getting sizable point spreads all three weeks, so I’m not getting off the train now. The defense is a major problem. Despite Tom Brady’s heroics, they have been outgained on the year. They are 1st in yards on offense and last on defense, 29th in net yards per attempt allowed, and 31st in rush yards per carry allowed. I expect Christian McCaffrey to have a big game and Brady to work magic again. Panthers +9.
Los Angeles Rams (+6.5) at Dallas
I know the country is divided, but can we unite in our agreement that we don’t need to see Jerry Jones kneeling, turning to a camera, and giving his smirk on TV again?
How many bar bets could you have won betting that the Rams would be first in net yards per pass play after three weeks? It’s hard to believe, but I’m also not going to pass up points for a team that ranks first in passing per play, even if I have to pinch myself and double check. Rams +6.5.
Detroit at Minnesota (currently off board)
I’m not sure there was a wilder, more enthralling division series last year than Vikings-Lions, and it was a nightmare for Vikings fans. Detroit made the playoffs, and Minnesota missed, largely because of what happened in those games.
In the first game, the Vikings scored what looked to be the winning touchdown with just 23 seconds left. But Matthew Stafford was able to complete a deep ball to Andre Roberts, get the ball spiked with 2 seconds left, and Matt Prater hit a 58-yard kick to send it to overtime. In the second, the Lions tied it and then Sam Bradford threw an interception with 38 seconds left to set Prater up for another game winner as time expired. I’ll take the Vikings to win as we await the line.
Tennessee (-1.5) at Houston
The Titans already went on the road to Jacksonville and won in impressive fashion. A second road win here in division would be huge.
Meanwhile, you’ll have to forgive Bill O’Brien for not being aware of who that Tom Brady guy is and what he’s capable of, when he opted to kick a field goal to go up 5, rather than try to go for it on 4th and 1 and keep the ball away from Brady. Titans -1.5.
Jacksonville (-3) at NY Jets
One of the following two things will happen: the Jaguars will be 3-1 at the end of Sunday, or the Jets–who were supposed to be tanking for Sam Darnold–will be 2-2.
I have a general rule on these type of situations. When a team that is not accustomed to being favored, especially on the road, is favored, take the points. We saw it with Cleveland a week ago. The Jaguars are 2-5 SU as a favorite since the start of 2015. You have to go back to 2011 to find the last time the Jaguars were favored on the road, at Indianapolis in the year that Manning was out hurt. Jets +3.
Cincinnati (-3) at Cleveland
These two teams are dead last in turnover margin so far this year. So tune in to see if they both can somehow manage to finish the game with a negative turnover margin. I know it’s tough–some might say mathematically impossible–but I think they can do it. Bengals -3.
Pittsburgh (-3) at Baltimore
Pittsburgh was pretty bad last week, and appeared to be quite divided on the national anthem even though Tomlin tried to present a united front. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, some fans want to tear down the Ray Lewis statue, and most of them should want to tear down the offense.
While Joe Flacco was in the game, Baltimore had 16 net passing yards on 20 plays. Good thing we sent that one over the pond. Steelers -3.
Buffalo (+8) at Atlanta
The Falcons are 3-0, coming off a Super Bowl, and are probably if anything still undervalued. The Bills got turnovers against the Broncos at home and were able to get another win, but could not do much on the road in week 2 at Carolina. Atlanta -8.
SUNDAY 4:05/4:25 PM GAMES
NY Giants (+3) at Tampa Bay
Philadelphia (+1.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
I guess I’ll continue to go against the Chargers and their non-existent home field advantage playing at a soccer field where more visiting fans show up. Eagles +1.5.
San Francisco (+7) at Arizona
Is Arizona any good? They managed to beat the Colts in overtime. That’s a lot of points to lay when pondering that question. 49ers +7.
Oakland (+3) at Denver
Man, the Raiders looked dreadful on Sunday. The Broncos lost, too, but had turnovers that swung that one. The Raiders just couldn’t move the ball. Broncos -3.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Indianapolis (+13) at Seattle
Seattle just got embarrassed, at least with the rushing defense, in Tennessee. But Russell Wilson made plays and the passing game finally showed signs of progress. Meanwhile, the Colts are being priced as the worst team in the NFL sans Andrew Luck, and not sure I disagree, even though they were able to hold on and win against the Browns at home last week. Seattle -13. Cue the SNF ratings down talk after this matchup.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Washington (+7) at Kansas City.
Just so we can log what is and is not acceptable, yelling “Home of the Chiefs” and altering the lyrics of the anthem- not inappropriate. Yelling curse words at people during an anthem– also not inappropriate. However, not sure about combining the two to add a curse word to “Home of the Chiefs.” Chiefs -7.