Thursday, Sept. 22
Houston Texans (-1) at New England Patriots
NB: New England Patriots. First of all, I want to apologize for my 4-12 showing in Week 2. Just brutal. As for this game, what did I say in Week 1 about the Pats as an underdog (AT HOME THIS TIME!)? Take Belichick all day.
RH: Houston Texans. Just a one point spread on a short week against a rookie quarterback, where do I sign up for that? If anyone can pull this off and make me look foolish it’s Belichick, but I’ll take the Texans here.
Sunday, Sept. 25
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
NB: Denver Broncos. I am done picking against Denver, who has proven me wrong two weeks in a row. This defense is just too good and the Jets played the Bengals pretty well in Week 1 by getting to Dalton.
RH: Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are 12-7-1 ATS after a loss since 2012 and foolishly or not, I still do not believe in Trevor Semien at all. I really like the Bengals in this spot.
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
NB: Tennessee Titans. Titan Up! I think the Titans beat a pretty good Lions team last week. The Raiders got punched in the mouth last week, so I think they will come out strong. Having said that, the Raider defense needs to stop somebody before I start believing in them.
RH: Oakland Raiders. There’s a chance we all just overrated Oakland coming into the season, but I’ll take them as a slight underdog here. Detroit shot themselves in the foot over and over against Tennessee last week and had some calls go against them, so I’m not ready to buy into the Titans just yet.
Arizona Cardinals (-4) at Buffalo Bills
NB: Buffalo Bills. I might immediately regret this pick, but Rex needs to make one last stand as head coach or else he will be packing his bags Monday. I still think he has the locker room behind him, and the cross country 1pm kickoff for the Cardinals could help slow them down. Give me the home dog.
RH: Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were 5-2 ATS as a road favorite last season and the Bills are still missing key players on the defensive side of the ball. I don’t think firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman will fix the fact that Tyrod Taylor struggles to make consistent plays in the passing game. Arizona rolls in this one.
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (PK)
NB: Jacksonville Jaguars. On paper, this game should not be a pick ’em as the Jaguars have yet to show up for the 2016 season. The fact that it is makes me think that Vegas knows something that we don’t. I’m also not trying to get too excited for the Ravens, so this might hedge that a bit. Also, a wise friend once told me to “Always Go Yag”.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. I’m not positive why this game is still listed as a pick ’em, but in any case I’ll take the Ravens here. I think they are the slightly better team and the Jags could be on their last leg after starting the season 0-2.
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-9.5)
NB: Miami Dolphins. The Browns are 3-6 ATS on the road since the start of last season. They are also starting their third string QB who looked like he wanted no part of game action last week. That guy isn’t ready for action and the Dolphins desperately need this game. Big win for Miami.
RH: Cleveland Browns. Miami was a putrid 1-3 ATS as a home favorite in 2015, but Cleveland is Cleveland and are starting rookie Cody Kessler. This is more of a stay away than anything, but I’ll take Cleveland and the points here.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-4.5)
NB: New York Giants. The Giants haven’t been great as home favorites (2-4 ATS since 2015), but I’m going to ride against the Redskins until they prove me wrong. This team could be stumbling to a last place finish in the NFC East if they lose this game. Could Jay Gruden get fired before Rex Ryan? It could be in play.
RH: Washington Redskins. Washington has looked pretty bad so far this season on both sides of the ball. Kirk Cousins is costing himself more money with every erratic throw and poor decision. Having said that, I will reluctantly take the points here as I’m not quite ready to buy into the revamped Giants defense just yet.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
NB: Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is 33-18 ATS against the NFC North since Aaron Rodgers took over as starting quarterback in 2008. I can’t imagine he puts in another dud against a division rival this week. The Pack roll.
RH: Green Bay Packers. I am a bit worried about how the Green Bay offense has looked over the first two games, but I think they’ll get things back on track for their home opener. Chants of R-E-L-A-X will come down from the Lambeau Field stands by the end of the third quarter.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (-7)
NB: Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota is 16-3 ATS since 2015 and 6-0 as a road underdog. Until they trend a different direction, I think it’s a good call to keep riding the Vikings, even if Sammy Sleeves and Jerick McKinnon are running the offense.
RH: Carolina Panthers. The Panthers got back on track last week and have now covered in 8 of their last 10 games as a home favorite. Despite being 2-0, the Vikings could be in trouble. Adrian Peterson won’t be back anytime soon and starting left tackle Matt Kalil is now out for the season for an offense live that had been terrible over the first two games in terms of run blocking.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)
NB: Seattle Seahawks. I have a bad feeling about this one and recommend staying away. Having said that, Seattle will wake up from their slump at some point and a game against a bad Niners team at home? Sounds like a good chance to get back on track. If not, this could be the end of the Seattle Dynasty.
RH: San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have been surprisingly frisky so far this season and the Seahawks preseason offensive line nightmares have come true. With Russell Wilson also banged up, this team could struggle to score 10 points let alone outscore another team by 10 points.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5)
NB: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has been good against the run so far against David Johnson, Devonta Freeman, and Tevin Coleman. I think that continues against the Rams only offensive weapon Todd Gurley. The Bucs should be able to score two touchdowns, which will easily cover this spread if the first two games are any hint.
RH: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams still have a solid defense, but their offense has been brutal. Zero touchdowns through 8 quarters is pretty hard to do and the Bucs defense is good enough for these struggles to likely continue.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
NB: Pittsburgh Steelers. This should be one of those games where the contender shows they are leaps and bounds ahead of the upstart team. The Eagles have had solid showing against two bad teams, but their defense isn’t ready for Pittsburgh’s juggernaut offense. This game could get ugly in the second half if the Steelers’ defense can get to Wentz.
RH: Pittsburgh Steelers. I couldn’t be happier about the start to 2016 the Eagles and rookie Carson Wentz are having, the Wentz Wagon is a force to be reckoned with. However this isn’t exactly the Browns and Bears that they’ll be facing. I’ll take the Steelers in this one by double digits, look for Big Ben and Antonio Brown to pick on rookie corner Jalen Mills all day long.
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
NB: Kansas City Chiefs. I think both of these teams are good and will be in the playoff hunt come December. Last week showed a few games where teams coming off losses beating teams coming off wins (ATL over OAK, TEN over DET, CAR over SF). I am banking on that trend continuing this week with the public overrating teams they just saw get a win in Week 2.
RH: New York Jets. The Chiefs were 2-6 ATS as a home favorite last season and were 1-4 ATS coming off a loss. Combine that with how mediocre they’ve looked so far in 2016 and I’m taking the road dog in this one.
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
NB: Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis desperately needs this game. The Chargers have been good and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got out to another big lead in this one for the third straight week. However, Luck plays his best football coming from behind, and I think the Colts do everything in their power to avoid going 0-3.
RH: Indianapolis Colts. I have no real feel for this game as I have picked both team’s games wrong so far this season. The Chargers have been sneaky good on the road since the start of last season (7-2 ATS), but I’ll take the home team, the better quarterback and maybe the better coach? Maybe?
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
NB: Chicago Bears. This will be the third straight week I take the Bears. Maybe they will finally reward me this time? Hoyer is not a big downgrade from Cutler and I still haven’t seen enough from Dak Prescott to trust him to win by more than a touchdown.
RH: Chicago Bears. With the way Jay Cutler played on Monday night is Brian Hoyer really that much of a downgrade? I don’t think the Cowboys are 7 points better than any team right now and Dallas is an awful 8-24 ATS as a home favorite since 2011.
Monday, Sept. 26
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-3)
NB: New Orleans Saints. Give me New Orleans at home in a must win game to keep their season alive. I also expect there to be a ton of points in this one to make up for the Giants-Saints game last week. The real question is will anyone actually watch this game while the first Presidential Debate is occurring Monday night?
RH: New Orleans Saints. This will probably come back and bite me, but I’m going with the home team in this one. Since the start of 2014, the Falcons are just 5-9 ATS after a win. I’ll take Drew Brees and company in what should be a shootout.
NB: 14-18 (4-12 last week)
RH: 15-17 (7-9 last week)
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky