It’s only Thursday after but I have two picks I really like in the NFL.
Lions +3.5 over Eagles
I was down on the Eagles before the season when they still had Sam Bradford. After they traded Bradford I was still down on them because I thought they would be in a rebuilding year with Carson Wentz under center. The Eagles have started 3-0 and I’ll admit that I was completely wrong about them. However, they are getting too much respect here and shouldn’t be a favorite by over a field goal on the road. They beat the Browns, Bears and caught the Steelers after they had a physical win against the Bengals. The bye week was the worst thing to happen Philly and Wentz got an extra week for people to tell him how good he has been playing. Detroit needs this game to save their season and maybe for Jim Caldwell to keep his job.
Bengals -1 over Cowboys
I’ll keep this one short because I simply think the Bengals are a better team and don’t think the Cowboys have much of a home field advantage. I like that the Bengals played last Thursday and have an extra time to prepare. The Cowboys have had a very soft schedule and Dez Bryant looks unlikely to play. Dallas was down 14-0 at one point to San Francisco last week and the Bengals aren’t a team you want to play while trailing. I’m not a fan of Cincinnati’s offense but they basically just have to win here.
I’m fading both rookie quarterbacks who have combined for zero turnovers in seven games this season. Think they both slow down this week and make some mistakes. I am mulling over a few other games and will tweet out additional picks that I add before Sunday afternoon. I will say that I’m leaning towards the Ravens, Titans, Jets, Bills and Chargers against the spread but don’t fell confident enough yet to make any official.
Chiefs (-3) at Texans: A lot has changed to since the Chiefs and Texans played in Week 1. Kansas City lost five straight after their win at Houston but followed that up with 10 straight victories. It’s hard to find an impressive opponent in that 10-game stretch. They beat the Steelers with Landry Jones starting and the Broncos in Peyton Manning’s worst game of his career. The Texans started the season 2-5 but have bounced back to win the AFC South. The Houston defense has been dominant down the stretch.
The Chiefs are a field goal favorite on the road meaning they would be about a six-point favorite on a neutral field. This means Kansas City would be a nine-point favorite at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs closed as a 6.5-point favorite last week against the Raiders, and I think Houston is a better team than Oakland. So there’s line vale on the Texans but I don’t trust Houston enough to make this an official pick.
I am going to pass on picking a side in this game. One way I would approach this game is to take the Chiefs to cover the first half spread, and then take the Texans in the second half. The total of this game is 40 and I would only be able to take the under.
Steelers (-3) at Bengals: Four weeks ago the Bengals closed as a one-point favorite at home against the Steelers. Cincinnati still had Andy Dalton but money came in on the Steelers because they faced a must-win situation. Now there has been a four-point line move in a game with the same two teams at the same stadium.
Eagles (-3) over Redskins: The Redskins can win the division with a win but I think the NFC East will be decided in Week 17. I was dead wrong about the Eagles last week but think they bounce back here.
Buccaneers (-3) over Bears: This is a revenge game for Lovie Smith against his former employers. The Bears are already thinking about the offseason and the Buccaneers have pride to play for.
Broncos (-3) over Bengals: Can’t see AJ McCarron doing well in a primetime environment against a great defense. The Broncos need this game more and I think they win by over a field goal.
Colts (+6) over Falcons
Packers (+1) over Vikings
Broncos (-1) over Bears
Bengals (+4.5) over Cardinals
Patriots (-7) over Bills
Falcons (-7) over Buccaneers
Steelers (pick ’em) over Bengals
Giants (+3.5) over Saints
Cowboys (+6) over Seahawks
Broncos (+3) over Packers
This is my strongest opinion of the week as long as Ben Roethlisberger plays. The quarterback is expected to start after missing the last four games in a knee injury. Pittsburgh went 2-2 in that span with wins against the Chargers and Cardinals. Running back Le’Veon Bell, and wide receivers Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant have stepped up for the Steelers offense. The Steelers defense has always had impressive showings and seem to be improving as the year goes on.
The Bengals are 6-0 and coming off a bye. A lot of people are impressed with the team so far but I think this a week where the offense can be slowed down. Having a bye may have not been beneficial for this team who were really clicking on offense.
The Steelers need to win this game if they have any chance at the division. I think they should be the favorite in this game so I’ll take them at a pick ’em price.
Pick: Steelers (pick ’em) over Bengals
Have two picks in the NFL this week:
Seahawks (+3) over Bengals
Cardinals (-2.5) over Lions