I’m still working on my power ratings and cheat sheet but there are five games that jump out to me that I wanted write about on Tuesday afternoon.
Bears at Packers -7 (-115)
I’ll start off by saying that I’m a Bears fan and have a strong dislike for the Packers. However, I have no problem picking against my favorite team in any sport if there’s value. In this spot I think there is tremendous line value on Green Bay. My numbers have the Packers six points better than the Bears on a neutral field. Add in home field and I would make this line Packers -9.5. Green Bay was an -11.5-point favorite on the look ahead line before Week 3 so another reason I believe there’s value. The other part of this handicap is the situation and matchup. Thursday night games are always tricky for me but I would give the Packers a significant edge here. Both teams won in overtime last week but Green Bay gets to stay at home. My initial thoughts on the matchups also favor the Packers. The way to beat Green Bay is attacking their secondary and Chicago isn’t equipped to do that. Mike Glennon threw for only 101 yards in Sunday’s win and a Bears wide receiver only caught one pass. There were 12 completions to the running backs and two to the tight ends. I usually don’t pick games this early in the week but I’ll make an official play on Packers -7 (-115).
Rams at Cowboys (-7.5)
I’m leaning towards the Rams here as more than a touchdown underdog. I’ve been impressed with the Rams so far even thought their two wins were against bad teams. But I don’t need them to win this game. Just need them cover a big number, which is possible because of the situation for Dallas. The Cowboys are coming off a Monday night game and have the Packers on deck in Week 5. I was unimpressed with the way Dallas played in Denver and last night in Arizona for the first 25 minutes. The Cardinals left points on the board and it felt they were winning by more than seven points for most of the half. Then the Cowboys offense woke up and Dak Prescott showed some of the form he displayed throughout 2016. It was a big win for the Cowboys but I think they might get caught overlooking the Rams. The Packers eliminated the Cowboys from the playoffs last year so their Week 5 meeting is a game Dallas circled before the season. I’m not going to make an official pick yet but think there’s a strong case to be made for Los Angeles.
Giants at Buccaneers -3 (-120)
The lookahead line for this game was Buccaneers -6. After both team’s results in Week 3, I agree that the line should be where it is right now. Despite losing and falling to 0-3, the Giants offense showed some signs of life and their defense got a big boost with the return of Janoris Jenkins. The Buccaneers looked great in Week 2 against the Bears but played probably as bad as they could against the Vikings this past Sunday. It’s hard to say who the real Buccaneers are but -3 seems a little too high considering their poor home field advantage. I might not pick this game at all but if I had to the Giants would be the only way to look especially if it somehow goes back up to New York +3.5.
Eagles at Chargers pick ’em
This is painful to do but I’m likely going to give the Chargers one last chance before completely writing them off this season. Just like in 2016, the Chargers find themselves on the wrong side of every close game. Anthony Lynn has really struggled as a head coach in his first three games and things could get ugly if they lose their third straight “home” game. Last week the Chargers gifted the Chiefs with three first-half interceptions from Philip Rivers and were never able to recover. This week they play an Eagles team off an emotional division victory over the Giants. There might be more Philadelphia fans at this game but it’s the perfect spot to fade the Eagles. I understand if you don’t have the courage to pick this Chargers team but I wouldn’t be surprised If I made that move before kickoff on Sunday.
Raiders at Broncos -2.5 -120
I briefly mentioned this game last week as a reason to pick against both teams in Week 3. The Broncos traveled to the Bills and the Raiders played Sunday night against the Redskins. Both teams lost and because of situations I won’t downgrade either team that much or at all in my ratings. I expected the Broncos to struggle on the road in a game sandwiched between the Cowboys and Raiders. Oakland’s offense was horrible so there might be more concern with that team. I might end up passing on this game entirely but the Broncos are the way to look because they’re at home and have a strong secondary to stop the Raiders receivers.