Update: 11-14-11, 9:51 AM: with Big Ben OUT for the Steelers we are altering our picks on the Steelers/Lions gave to +8.5 for Detroit, and ‘Under’ 42.5.
BALTIMORE RAVENS -6.5 at MIAMI DOLPHINS (O/U 46.5)
Who will be under center for the Dolphins–Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett? For our purposes, it doesn’t matter. The Ravens and Lamar Jackson should have their way on Thursday Night.
PREDICTION: RAVENS 27 DOLPHINS 17
BUFFALO BILLS -13 at NEW YORK JETS (O/U 47.5)
The Bills disappointed us a week ago as they played flat and were upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars. I cannot fathom the Bills playing back-to-back games like that. I believe the Bills run away with this one.
PREDICTION: BILLS 31 JETS 14
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -10.5 at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (O/U 47.5)
Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts have been white-hot lately. With a balanced offense focused on Wentz and Jonathan Taylor, I don’t see how Jacksonville will slow down the Colts’ offense.
PREDICTION: COLTS 34 JAGUARS 16
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -7.5 at WASHINGTON FRANCHISE TEAM (O/U 51.5)
The Buccaneers could be down two of their top pass-catchers in this one as Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin are injured, and their availability remains in doubt. I don’t believe it will ultimately matter as Washington has been a mess all year long. I will take the Bucs to pull away late.
PREDICTION: BUCCANEERS 31 FRANCHISE TEAM 21
DETROIT LIONS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-8.5) (O/U 42.5)
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without Chase Claypool in this one. Luckily for the Steelers, they have plenty of options remaining in Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth. The Lions have been a complete disaster, and I see no reason you can trust Detroit on the road in this spot.
PREDICTION: STEELERS 23 LIONS 17
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at TENNESSEE TITANS (-2.5) (O/U 44.5)
The New Orleans Saints will probably keep their starting quarterback this week a secret for as long as they can. I continue to doubt the Titans, and they continue to surprise us. I don’t believe the Saints have enough firepower to keep up with the Titans in this one.
PREDICTION: TITANS 23 SAINTS 17
ATLANTA FALCONS at DALLAS COWBOYS (-9) (O/U 54.5)
I am expecting a shootout in Dallas on Sunday between the resurgent Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys looked broken on Sunday, but I believe they bounce back in a big way in this one. As good as Matt Ryan is playing, I don’t see how the Falcons can hang with the Dallas offense for four quarters.
PREDICTION: COWBOYS 34 FALCONS 24
CLEVELAND BROWNS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-1.5) (O/U 45)
The Cleveland Browns answered the bell a week ago when they blew out the Cincinnati Bengals. The New England Patriots are a resilient bunch as well. Without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, I believe the Browns lose a bit of their identity. The Patriots’ defense and running game notches the home victory in a defensive slugfest.
PREDICTION: PATRIOTS 20 BROWNS 17
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-1.5) (O/U 53)
The Vikings/Chargers game should be one of the more entertaining contests of the weekend. The Chargers have an Achilles heel, and that is their run defense. We know that Mike Zimmer and the Vikings coaching staff are team ‘establish the run.’ I like the Vikings to keep this game razor-thin, but ultimately, I will keep rolling with Justin Herbert and the plethora of weapons for the Chargers.
PREDICTION: CHARGERS 30 VIKINGS 27
CAROLINA PANTHERS at ARIZONA CARDINALS (-10.5) (O/U 44.5)
Keep an eye on the injury report leading up to this game, as both teams have had substantial injuries. The Cardinals keep preaching the long view, so Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins could sit again. We know Chase Edmonds will be out. For Carolina, the Panthers are turning the page from Sam Darnold to P.J. Walker. The good news is that Christian McCaffrey is back. Colt McCoy can keep the ship sailing, and the Cardinals can still get the win, but 10.5 points seem like a lot if Murray misses the game. I’ll take Carolina.
PREDICTION: CARDINALS 27 PANTHERS 21
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at DENVER BRONCOS (-1.5) (O/U 45)
The Eagles have transformed their offense to a heavy run-based approach. We know the Broncos pride themselves on the defensive side of the ball. I like the ‘under’ in this spot. I also like Denver to squeak out a victory and cover the spread.
PREDICTION: BRONCOS 24 EAGLES 20
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-3.5) (O/U 49.5)
The Seahawks/Packers game likely will feature the return of two legendary quarterbacks–Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. The difference in this game comes down to the defensive side of the ball. The Packers’ defense has stepped up their game lately. The Seahawks have shown little opposition all year long. I will take the Packers to cover at home in a lower-scoring game than anticipated.
PREDICTION: PACKERS 27 SEAHAWKS 20
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-2.5) (O/U 51.5)
The sky is falling around the Kansas City Chiefs at the moment. Everyone across the NFL is talking about the Chiefs’ offensive inefficiencies. This is my Public Service Announcement: Andy Reid has not forgotten how to coach. Patrick Mahomes has not forgotten how to play quarterback. The Chiefs have not forgotten how to play football. Vent over. Take the Chiefs and the ‘over.’
PREDICTION: CHIEFS 31 RAIDERS 24
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-4) at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (O/U 49)
The Rams offense laid an egg on Sunday Night Football one week ago. I believe that hesitation builds into this spread. Vegas doubts that the Rams are a title contender, and I am here to squash that notion. The Rams are one of the most complete teams in the league. The 49ers are a team that appears to be on the verge of a shift at the quarterback position. The 49ers lack an identity as a team. The Rams bounce back in a big way on Monday Night Football.