Home teams in CAPS:
New York Jets (+2.5) over HOUSTON TEXANS
Zach Wilson starts and his knee is 100 percent.
Will he be able to use what he learned when he saw the Jets’ offensive spikes up for Mike White, Josh Johnson and Joe Flacco?
The Texans are 5-5 against the spread despite being 2-8 straight up, but I am allergic to giving points with a team that failed to cover at +19 and +20.5 this season.
Props to the Texans to ruin a bunch of surviving pools with their victory as 10.5 point underdogs in Tennessee, reminiscent of their 2003 week 1 victory over Miami at +14.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
While the Giants have won their last two home games against the Raiders and Panthers, the situation looks different now because cautious hopes have been replaced by serious doubts.
Daniel Jones went back Monday night in Tampa Bay. Saquon Barkley has no shortage. Jason Garrett was hit when he lost his offensive coordinator job on Tuesday and the play could see a bump in creativity. But the Giants have a short week to install a new philosophy and must fight a hot Eagles team that has 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four, where the loss comes with three points for the Chargers.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5) over CINCINNATI BENGALS
Hard back-to-back road spot for the Steelers after their narrow loss / cover on the Chargers Sunday night. My running back has Mike Tomlin at 42-20-2 ATS as an underdog including 4-1 ATS this season, and Ben Roethlisberger restored some faith in the offense with the 27-point fourth quarter in Los Angeles.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+3) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Colts have won five of their last six games, and the loss was pretty much a giveaway to the Titans on some colossal Carson Wentz turnovers. Jonathan Taylors and Nyheim Hines’ dominance in the running game has taken a lot of the pressure off Wentz’s shoulders. It can be hard for the Bucs to fight this meat grinder in a short week.
Carolina Panthers (-1.5) over MIAMI DOLPHINS
This little line turned favorites early in the week. To reckon there is only so much upside to the Miami offensive with Tua Tagovailoa. Cam Newton is about to pick up speed in the Joe Brady offense, and he has Christian McCaffrey healthy, a rare occurrence.
Tennessee Titans (+6.5) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Tennessee had failed to cover its last two games after a four-game series of straight wins as underdogs. Although the Titans are down several star players on the offensive, this is an excellent betting role for them. The Titans ended Tom Brady’s Patriots career with a playoff win over Foxborough, and Mike Vrabel will not kiss Bill Belichick’s rings, as many coaches do.
Atlanta Falcons (-1) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
The Falcons have a little extra rest after their Thursday night defeat of the Patriots last week. If Cordarrelle Patterson can return, it would give Matt Ryan his best dual-threat weapon back and help him unlock Kyle Pitts.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) over DENVER BRONCOS
Although the perception is that the Chargers almost never win by a comfortable margin, they are 5-1 ATS in the six games they have won directly. I’m still waiting for that one 60-minute dominant performance, and that could be it against a mid-sized Denver team.
Los Angeles Rams (+1) over GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Rams were 7-1 before a two-game dive against the Titans and 49ers heading into their farewell. Despite public support for the Packers at home as small favorites after a loss, the line has moved in the Rams’ direction, an indication of sharp money on LA
Minnesota Vikings (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Although the 49ers have driven the spectrum from fantastic to terrible this season, the Vikings always seem to be right there within a field goal in the final minutes of games. It makes even a small spread valuable, especially when the Vikings capture the points.
Cleveland Browns (+4) over BALTIMORE RAVENS
Lamar Jackson will likely be back for the Ravens, but the thought here is that the Dolphins provided some new insights into how to shut him down a few Thursdays ago. The Browns rank No. 4 in allowed yards and could follow suit.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL HOLD (-1) over Seattle Seahawks
Another line that turned favorites early in the week. Taylor Heinicke had moved the ball up the field all season, but encountered a recurring horror show inside the 20s. These drives end up in the end zone with more frequency lately.
Best offer: Falke, Panther, Brown.
Lock of the week: Falcons (Locks 6-4 in 2021).
Last week: 9-6 overall, 2-1 best bet.