Thursday, Oct. 6
Arizona Cardinals (-4) at San Francisco 49ers
NB: San Francisco 49ers. First of all, a round of applause for my colleague finally winning a Thursday night game last week. For this game, Arizona needs this game to keep most of the playoff aspirations alive. I just don’t think the Cardinals are that good this year and Niners will play them well enough to keep it close. In Week 1, they won 28-0 in primetime over the same team that beat Arizona last week.
RH: San Francisco 49ers. Home dog against a back-up quarterback on a short week? Where do I sign? The Niners let me down as a home dog last week, but I’m hopping back on again this week for one more ride.
Sunday, Oct. 9
Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings (-6)
NB: Minnesota Vikings. Last week, I said that Vegas would finally adjust to Minnesota and I picked against them. Well, that was a bad decision. I’ve changed my mind will just ride the red hot Vikings no matter who the opponent, the starting QB, or the starting RB happens to be.
RH: Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are by far the best team in the NFL ATS since the start of last season with a record of 18-3. The Texans are 4-5 ATS as a road underdog in that same time frame.
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
NB: Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins are bad, I don’t trust Ryan Tannehill anymore, and the Titans are actually decent. Both of these teams are 1-3 ATS, so not a lot of confidence here. But I’ll take the 3.5 points against a Dolphins team that went to OT with the Browns two weeks ago.
RH: Tennessee Titans. I don’t have a good feeling about either of these teams. I think the Titans are the slightly better team, but the line here implies that Vegas thinks it’s the other way around. I will foolishly think I am smarter than Vegas one more time.
New England Patriots (-10.5) at Cleveland Browns
NB: Cleveland Browns. Even with the return of Tom Brady this week, the Browns have been too frisky this year to be a double digit home underdog. Brady should be a little rusty as well, after spending last week sunbathing naked in Italy. Not sure if he is ready for game action quite yet.
RH: Cleveland Browns. The Pats could win by 40 here and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised, but the Browns have been competitive the last few weeks. New England is also just 2-6 ATS as a road favorite since the start of last season.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
NB: New York Jets. I have to admit that the Steelers were pretty darn impressive last week, but you can’t let recency bias impact your picks. The Jets have been teetering lately, but are still a good team and should be able to keep this must win game close. I might be tempted to go Pittsburgh if the spread goes under a TD, but I’ll take the Jets and the 7 points.
RH: New York Jets. All this agreeing my partner and I are doing isn’t much fun, but I think this line is just too high. As bad as Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the last two weeks I think he can pull it together just enough to stay in this game.
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens (-4)
NB: Washington Redskins. The Ravens once owned M&T Bank Stadium opponents as one of the best home teams in the league. That hasn’t been the case lately, as Baltimore is an ugly 2-7-1 ATS at home since 2015. Pair that with Washington’s sudden hot streak and short trip up I-95, and you have the makings for a possible upset this week.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. Here’s one we finally differ on. I was actually more impressed by the Ravens in their lost last week than I was by any of their 3 wins this season. Washington’s defense has all the makings of a bottom five unit and I expect Baltimore to be able to move the ball with ease in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Detroit Lions
NB: Detroit Lions. Everyone and their mother is going to be on the Wentz Wagon after the Eagles’ hot start. Not so fast. For one, the spread indicates that Eagles are 6 points better than the Lions on a neutral field, which seems off. Second, the Lions now have three weeks of film on Wentz and may find some weaknesses in his game to exploit (although they struggled with Brian Hoyer last week, but I digress). Third, the Lions need this game more, especially at home. Give me Detroit for my sake and the sake of anyone coming into contact with Mr. Haines this football season.
RH: Philadelphia Eagles. The Lions are just 1-3 ATS as a home dog and 10-14 ATS coming off a loss in the Jim Caldwell era. The Eagles are 100% healthy coming off their bye week with the expected returns of tight end Zach Ertz and corner Leodis McKelvin. All aboard the Wentz Wagon.
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)
NB: Chicago Bears. Whether it is loyalty or stupidity, I will keep backing the Bears this year in my picks. They finally rewarded me last week with a win and I will stand by them. The Colts showed that they are not a good team and have no real assets outside of Andrew Luck. Add in the jet lag coming back from London, and you have a recipe for a Bears upset.
RH: Indianapolis Colts. This is probably more of a stay away than anything as neither of these teams have given gamblers much to be confident in so far this season. For me it comes down to Andrew Luck or Brian Hoyer. I’ll take Luck 10 times out of 10 in that matchup.
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos (-5.5)
NB: Denver Broncos. Like the Vikings, everyone needs to just keep riding the Broncos until they slow down. An undefeated start continues after a win with a combination of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch calling the shots last week. I see no reason that wouldn’t continue at home against a Falcons team that is just begging you to jump on their bandwagon just in time to get burned.
RH: Denver Broncos. I haven’t been a believer in the Broncos all season so I’m sure they’ll probably lose this game straight up now. I just don’t see how the Falcons repeat the success they had a week ago on the road against the league’s best defense.
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
NB: Buffalo Bills. These teams are on a combined five game win streak somehow. It is fool’s gold or are these teams actually better than we expected? We won’t know for sure after this week, but give me the Bills and the points. This game should be low scoring, but I expect Tyrod to make enough plays to give Buffalo the edge in LA.
RH: Buffalo Bills. One thing I am sure of is this will be the least watched game on Sunday. I think the Bills are slightly better, but I’m really not sure. Case Keenum vs Tyrod Taylor? Yuck. Stay away from this one.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-3.5)
NB: San Diego Chargers. Big win for the Raiders last week against a tough opponent and big loss for the Chargers after choking away a 4th quarter lead. I think the public will be going all in on Oakland, so I’ll go against the grain with the better than their record says Chargers.
RH: Oakland Raiders. The Chargers could easily have 3 wins, but they’re the Chargers so they don’t. With the way they’ve been playing there is a solid chance they cover here, but now with top Jason Verrett now on the shelf with an injury I just cannot get behind them.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at Dallas Cowboys
NB: Dallas Cowboys. My head says that Dallas is overrated and take the steady Bengals to win this game. But you know what? It’s Dak Time and Zeke is coming into form behind that fantastic offensive line. I don’t think the Bengals are much better than the Cowboys right now, and I like getting points with the home team.
RH: Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are coming off extra rest and are 9-1 ATS on the road since the start of last year. They are the superior team in this matchup and by far the best defense Dak Prescott has faced so far.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
NB: New York Giants. I took the G Men last week in a primetime game and they really let me down. I really want to take the Packers coming off a bye week, but I just don’t have enough faith in this Packer team yet. Pair that with the fact that they need to win by more than a touchdown against a desperate team. I will begrudgingly take the Giants and will hate myself flipping between this game and the presidential debate.
RH: Green Bay Packers. The Pack are 7-3 ATS coming off a bye since Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback in 2008. Green Bay has also outscored their opponents 318 to 100 in the first half of their last 16 games at Lambeau. On the Giants side their expensive brand new defense has forced a grand total of zero turnovers through 4 games. Take the Pack in this one.
Monday, Oct. 10
Carolina Panthers (No line) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NB: Carolina Panthers. This game is currently off the books as we await the status of Cam Newton. I think Derek Anderson is a capable backup though and the Bucs are currently a mess. I will probably take Carolina unless the spread is outrageous. The Panthers are also 5-2 ATS vs NFC South opponents since last season.
RH: Carolina Panthers. I bought in on the Bucs preseason sleeper hype big time. Let’s just say I’ve made better purchases in my life. Tampa currently has the largest point differential in the league at -51. I’m taking Carolina regardless of the line and the quarterback.
NB: 29-34 (8-7 last week)
RH: 27-36 (7-8 last week)
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo Credit: chargers.com