Tough week in the NFL to find games to pick. A lot of big lines and it’s hard to trust a lot of the teams that have nothing to play for. The one game I like is an early one on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles were written off after allowing five touchdowns each in games against Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford. Philadelphia showed life last week with a shocking defeat of the Patriots. The win puts the Eagles back in the NFC East race. However, they needed three return touchdowns to beat an injury-riddled Patriots squad. The Eagles could even lose this upcoming game and still be right in the division race.
The Bills travel to the Eagles in a game Buffalo needs to win to stay in the AFC playoff hunt. I think this game means more to the Bills and I won’t get fooled by the Eagles win over the Patriots last week.
Pick: Bills (pick) over Eagles
Colts (+6) over Falcons
Packers (+1) over Vikings
Broncos (-1) over Bears
Bengals (+4.5) over Cardinals
Patriots (-7) over Bills
There are a lot games to stay away from this week but I found three underdogs that I predict will cover and possibly win straight up.
Texans (+6) over Falcons: The line for this game was Falcons -3.5 before Week 3 action. The Falcons improved to 3-0 with a win over Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys. The Texans picked up their first win of the season at home against the Buccaneers. I don’t see why there was a 2.5-point line move in favor of Atlanta. A lot of people are impressed with the Falcons but they have won all there games as small underdogs. Now they have a different role as a big favorite and I think they struggle trying to cover this number. The Texans have a solid defense and will keep this game close.
Giants (+5) over Bills: The Bills are another team that the public is in love with after a 2-1 start. I was on the Bills last week and they dominated against the Dolphins. Now injuries have caught up with Buffalo as running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins are out for this game. The Giants have an extra three days to prepare for this one and are a few plays away from being 3-0. This is a pretty big number for quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the Bills to cover. I think Buffalo has a letdown after three grueling games against the Colts, Patriots and Dolphins.
Rams (+7) over Cardinals: The Rams burned me last week but they I’m going back to them this week. The lookahead line going into Week 3 was Cardinals -4 for this game. The Rams falling to the Steelers 12-6, and the Cardinals routing the 49ers by 40 points is the reason the line has reached a full touchdown. The Cardinals played a great game against the 49ers but that was set up by two interception returns for touchdowns in the first six minutes. The 49ers were only a 6-point underdog in that game and the Rams are a better team than the 49ers this season. Along with the line value, Jeff Fisher teams do great in an underdog role against division teams. Last year the Rams led the Cardinals going into the fourth quarter in Arizona. The Cardinals scored 21 fourth quarter points, including two defensive touchdowns to get the 17-point win. But the Rams played the Cardinals close and the score was misleading. Arizona is 3-0 but they beat the Saints, Bears and 49ers who are a combined 1-8 this season. My strongest pick of the week is to take the Rams against the spread.
Rams (+1) over Steelers: I think the wrong team is the favorite in this game. The Steelers are coming off a blowout victory against the 49ers but the result is misleading. The 49ers were coming off a Monday night game and had to make the long trip to Pittsburgh on a short week. The Rams had a letdown against the Redskins after beating the Seahawks in Week 1. I think the Rams bounce back and we are getting some value after their poor performance against the Redskins. The Steelers play the Ravens on Thursday night in Week 4 so this is a lookahead game for them.
Eagles (+1.5) over Jets: Another game where we can take advantage of overreaction. The Eagles are 0-2 and their offense is struggling. The Jets are coming off a big Monday win at the Colts. Coming back on a short week is a tough spot for New York. The Eagles would the favorite in this game if they won one of their first two games and I think now is the perfect time to buy low on Chip Kelly’s team.
Ravens (-2.5) over Bengals: This game is the season for the Ravens. They started 0-2 after falling to two AFC West opponents. Despite the two road defeats I think Baltimore still has a great chance of making the playoffs but they have to win this game. The Bengals might be a little better than the Ravens but considering home field and the situation, I think the Ravens cover.
Bills (+3) over Dolphins: The Bills were getting too much respect last week and closed as a favorite against the Patriots. They got in a shootout with the Patriots, and this Bills team won’t win games playing high-scoring games. They need to run the ball and play well on defense, which is what they did against the Colts in Week 1. There was a lot of preseason hype surrounding the Dolphins this preseason but they have not been impressive in games over the Redskins and Jaguars. I see this being a low-scoring game and the Bills winning straight up.
Lions (+3) over Broncos: Another situation where I will back a 0-2 team that needs to win. The Lions are a much better team at home and the building will be rocking on a Sunday night. Despite winning and covering in the first two games, I have not been impressed with Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense. If Denver loses to Kansas City then this line is probably closer to a pick ’em. I’ll take my chances with the Lions.
Chargers (+1.5) over 49ers: The 49ers have nothing to play for and Jim Harbaugh has one foot out the door in San Francisco. The 49ers also played the Seahawks last week and teams struggle the week after playing Seattle. The Chargers need this game to stay in the playoff race.
Vikings (+7) over Dolphins: The Dolphins aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but they are pretty much done. Their coach also might be fired and the Vikings have been a covering machine.
Raiders (+7) over Bills: The Bills had a huge home win against Green Bay, and have held Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers without a touchdown pass the last two games. However, the offense has been terrible and their touchdown last week was a special teams score. The Raiders have shown up the last two times at home and won. I think they will cover this number and possibly spoil the Bills’ postseason chances.
Bengals (+3.5) over Broncos: The Broncos are winning games but something is wrong with Peyton Manning. It looks like Denver is locked into the No. 2 seed so I don’t think they will give a maximum effort on the road. The Bengals are in a must-win situation and I think they will be able to run with rookie running back Jeremy Hill. A successful running game will keep the ball out of Andy Dalton’s hands, which would be ideal for Cincinnati in primetime.
Redskins (+8) over Eagles
Here are my three Week 15 NFL picks and the rest of the contest picks:
Panthers (-3) over Buccaneers
Under 50.5 in Packers vs Bills
Vikings (+7.5) over Lions
Raiders (+10.5) over Chiefs
Jaguars (+14) over Ravens
Falcons (+2) over Steelers
Here are my Week 10 NFL picks and the rest of the contest picks:
Chiefs (-2) over Bills
Under 49 in Saints vs 49ers
Under 46 in Buccaneers vs Falcons
Under 43 in Cardinals vs Rams
Cowboys (-7) over Jaguars
Dolphins (+3) over Lions
The rest of my Week 6 NFL picks:
Broncos (-10) at Jets
My line: Broncos -7.5
Steelers at Browns (-1.5)
My line: Browns -1
Pick: Pass (Contest: Steelers)
Jaguars at Titans (-6)
My line: Titans -5.5
Pick: Pass (Jaguars)
Packers (-3.5) at Dolphins
My line: Packers -3.5
Pick: Packers Continue reading
Picked four games this week. The rest of my contest picks are also included below.
Chargers at Bills (-1)
My line: Chargers -1
Click for analysis
Cowboys (-1.5) at Rams
My line: Rams -1
Analysis: I strongly lean towards the Rams because I don’t know if the Cowboys can win two straight games on the road. With Austin Davis as the Rams quarterback, I don’t trust St. Louis again.
Pick: Pass (Rams)
Redskins at Eagles (-6)
My line: Eagles -6
Click for analysis
The Chargers are the better team but I like the home favorite Buffalo Bills to win and cover the spread on Sunday. The scheduling situation is a big reason I like the Bills. The Chargers are traveling across the country for an early start time on Sunday. San Diego is also coming off a big win against the Super Bowl champions. Teams that play the Seahawks struggle the week after because Seattle is a physical team.
As I wrote about on my Thursday night preview, I’m reevaluating some of my preseason predictions. I was down on the Bills this season because of their quarterback play. I’m not sure E.J. Manuel is the solution in Buffalo but the rest of the roster has talent at almost every position especially running back and defensive line. It feels odd to think the Bills can be 3-0 by Sunday afternoon but I think that will happen.
Pick: Bills (-1) over Chargers