We have a full slate of games this week. Though, I’d like to ask the NFL to have the Texans-Bengals game from Thursday night stricken from the record. We’re actually worse off having seen that.
Sunday’s games at least look a little better. I have two big underdog picks this week, which I’m sure I won’t regret at all. The Browns are 8-point underdogs against the Ravens, and I’m just not buying that. I actually feel pretty good about that one.
I also picked the Bills to cover a 7-point spread on the road against Carolina. Logic says, there’s no way the Bills won’t get kneecapped in this one, but the Panthers just don’t look to me like they have things figured out yet. Plus, I’m no doctor, but it doesn’t look like Cam Newton’s shoulder is back to 100 percent yet.
All odds here come via OddsShark. The home teams are in caps.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
BUCCANEERS (-7) over Bears
Mike Glennon homecoming! Okay, that’s maybe the fifth most interesting thing about this game. This is the first game of the season for the Bucs. I’m anxious to see how the offense looks after the addition of DeSean Jackson. Throw into the mix with Mike Evans, it should be a potent unit, and you see that reflected in the spread. But it’s only their first game. Will they have had a chance to gel as a group? Probably not as fully as they will, but they don’t exactly need to be a well-oiled machine to beat a 7-point spread against the Bears and Mike Glennon.
Eagles (+6) over CHIEFS
Straight up, I’ll take the Chiefs to win this one. That was a really impressive performance in last week’s win over the Patriots. And I love watching this bastardized high school offense.
However, the Chiefs lost Eric Berry last week. They already had a weak spot in the secondary on Terrance Mitchell’s side of the field. Take Berry out of the secondary, and it’s a real vulnerability.
Browns (+8) over RAVENS
The Browns are 1-10-1 against the spread when they play their AFC North peers. But now the Browns are approaching true peer status with the rest of the division. Hell, they’re better than the Bengals. The Ravens are not an impressive team. Covering an 8-point spread against an improving Browns team is too much of a lift.
JAGUARS (even) over Titans
Hmmm. I was pretty hyped about the Titans this year. I was pretty hyped about the Jaguars last year, and look how that turned out. You can find spreads as high as three points, but in a straight pick ‘em, I’ll take the Jags’ defense.
STEELERS (-5.5) over Vikings
A little closer spread and I’d probably take the Vikings. I don’t expect Le’Veon Bell to be as much of a non-factor this week as he was last week, and the Steelers are just a safer bet at home than they are on the road. Plus, Sam Bradford’s now dealing with a knee injury.
Cardinals (-7) over COLTS
There is no home-field advantage for the Colts. There’s no advantage period.
Patriots (-6) over SAINTS
The Patriots are 17-3 straight up after a loss. They were 8-0 on the road last year and covered the spread in seven of those games. Tom Brady and the offense are going to take some time to get sync’d up without Julian Edelman — a glorified practice against the Saints defense should help with that.
Bills (+7) over PANTHERS
That’s a big spread for a Panthers team that just didn’t look all that with last week against the 49ers.
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
CHARGERS (-3.5) over Dolphins
RAIDERS (-13.5) over Jets
The Raiders at home … Marshawn Lynch making his hometown debut for the hometown team … against the Jets. I’m not sure two touchdowns is a big enough spread.
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
49ers (+14) over SEAHAWKS
Is this still a rivalry? It’s hard to think that it is given the state of the Niners. However, the Seahawks have a huge problem in the form of their offensive line, or lack thereof. Because of that, I think the 49ers can cover a 14-point spread … somehow.
BRONCOS (+2) over Cowboys
This is really a tossup for me, so the home team is probably the best bet for such a close spread.
RAMS (-3) over Washington
I don’t think what we saw from either of these teams last week was indicative of what we’ll see from them for the rest of the season.
Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET
FALCONS (-3) over Packers
This one’s a tossup. In situations like that, I’ll defer to the home team.
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
GIANTS (-3) over Lions
It looks like the Giants will have Odell Beckham back this week. Even if he’s limited, that’s enough for me.