Last Week: 5-8-1
Thursday, Oct. 17th
8:25 pm CBS Mercedes-Benz Superdome
While Sean Payton may lop off Rob Ryan’s head before the season is over, there’s still enough talent on the Saints to get a couple more wins first. The Falcons, despite having a greater time of possession, 148 more yards, and 11 more first downs, nearly lost to the Redskins. Turnovers are a gift and a curse. The Saints did their fair share of turning the ball over against the Eagles (4), but I like the home team’s ability to bounce back from questionable performances.
Winner ATS: New Orleans
Sunday, Oct. 18th
1:00 pm CBS FirstEnergy Stadium
While I highly doubt Josh McCown will throw for 450 yards against the Boncos, the absence of Demarcus Ware will make the possibility greater. The Browns will have to do more on the ground than 28th ranked 88.4 yards per game rushing, but their defense should be able to pick up any slack on a diminished Peyton Manning who has more INTs than TDs this season.
Winner ATS: Cleveland
1:00 pm FOX Ford Field
Yes, the Bears got their first road win since week six of last season. However, I didn’t find that win to be anything I would claim a trend over. The Lions hit absolute rock bottom against the Cardinals, which means they’ll win this week. The analysis for this pick: football.
Winner ATS: Detroit
1:00 pm CBS EverBank Field
The Texans have to be lamenting the idea that a stellar defense on paper doesn’t equate to wins. I’d be less than shocked if they were reportedly going to try out J.J. Watt at QB this week. While Blake Bortles might not play come Sunday, it’s easy to forget that their backup Chad Henne used to be the starter in Jacksonville. I’m not sure anyone can’t beat the Texans at the moment.
Winner ATS: Jacksonville
1:00 pm CBS Ralph Wilson Stadium
Buffalo looked to have one of the best defenses in the league after the first few weeks. However, the Bills do this nearly every year. They get off to good starts and subsequently fall apart. Now Tyrod Taylor is likely to be on the injury report after getting mauled a few times against Tennessee. That’ll happen when your quarterback is also your leading rusher, by a lot (76 yards compared to the next highest Daniel Herron with 28). Cincinnati is not a team you want to face without a healthy quarterback.
Winner ATS: Cincinnati
1:00 pm FOX MetLife Stadium
The Jets look good at 3-1 and giving up the second fewest yards per game. However, they’ve played one fewer games than most and forced the fourth most fumbles in the league (7). They’ve recovered all seven of them. That’s not sustainable. The Redskins gave Matt Ryan all sorts of trouble last week, which is likely to carryover against the less capable Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Winner ATS: Washington
1:00 pm CBS TCF Bank Stadium
Minnesota will be fresher off the bye and without travel. Let’s face it; the loss of Jamaal Charles is worse of the Chiefs than almost any teams losing a comparable skill player. Charles took 56.3% of the team’s rushing attempts and had 19.2% of the team’s receptions. Losing that much productions and having to figure out how to turn it over to the rest of the team will be no easy task.
Winner ATS: Minnesota
1:00 pm FOX Heinz Field
While the Steelers are using their back up quarterback, they’re using him effectively. Mike Tomlin now has two games with Mike Vick to fine tune a game plan around his strength. The Cardinals have looked impressive this season, but their four wins, which have been dismantling-s, have comes against four teams with a combined 4-16 record.
Winner ATS: Pittsburgh
1:00 pm CBS Nissan Stadium
It will be intriguing to see how the Dolphins respond to a bye week, new coach, and Oklahoma drills. The team is likely to still be bad, considering that they decided to promote the tight ends coach to interim head coach verses one of the offensive and defensive coordinators, telling you something about how upper management feels about the play calling. Still, Tennessee hasn’t been anything worth feeling confident about.
Winner ATS: Miami
4:05 pm FOX CenturyLink Field
Seattle had a bit of a collapse, unusual for that quality defense. While they are returning home where they’ve given up ten points in two games, Carolina will be fresh off of a bye and will have the added benefit of Luke Kuechly returning.
Winner ATS: Carolina
4:25 pm CBS Levi’s Stadium
Baltimore now has ten or eleven starters in the IR. It’s one of those two, which in both cases is a lot. The 49ers have picked up since looking largely incompetent in weeks two through four. If Kaepernick can stay turnover free like he did against the Giants, his legs should be enough to take down a limited Ravens team.
Winner ATS: San Francisco
4:25 pm CBS Lambeau Field
While it’s difficult to pick against the Packers with their average margin of victory, the Chargers are third in the league in total offense and allow the ninth fewest passing yards per game.
Winner ATS: San Diego
8:30 pm NBC Lucas Oil Stadium
New England has settled themselves back in to their midseason streak of 2014 where they were murdering teams every week—except the Jets. The Jets always give them trouble. The Colts are not the Jets. And even if Andrew Luck returns, Tom Brady is having a better statistical season so far than 2007 when the Patriots were undefeated until the Super Bowl.
Wnner ATS: New England
Monday, Oct. 19th
8:30 pm ESPN Lincoln Financial Field
The Eagles’ 39-point effort over the Saints matched what many expected of them heading into this season. While it was an impressive show, it happened against one of the league’s worst defenses (32nd in yards allowed, third most points allowed). The divisional matchup helps with preparation and the Giants will likely be down at least one receiver with Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rueben Randle all nursing injuries or returns from surgery heading into the week. The outcome will rely on the availability of those three. If any combination of those three play, I’ll take New York to cover, but not necessarily win.
Winner ATS: New York
Bye week: Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Spreads courtesy of Vegasinsider.com