ATL -3 (-110)
These two teams are trending in opposite directions, as CAR started the year with very positive offensive and defensive performances, but after losing star RB Christian McCaffrey and rookie CB Jaycee Horn, they have lost four straight games and have not covered the spread in any of them. ATL has covered three of their last four games and it’s much easier to bet on their offense right now than the dysfunctional CAR offense. CAR falls again, 26-21.
Reflection: I did not keep this bet when it was announced that Calvin Ridley was an unplanned inactive in this game and I do think that was enough for CAR to key in on who to double team and shift coverage towards. They held ATL in check but their offense did about exactly what I thought and won’t be good enough to hold up over the year.
PHI vs. DET u47.5 (-105)
I am using the same stat I did last week: DET has not scored 20+ points in six straight games. On top of that, PHI has not had many high scoring performances apart from facing KC’s problematic defense. PHI still has an inconsistent offense that scores at a bottom-10 33.2% of the time. Not sure who will win this game, but I expect the final score to be around 26-20 at the most.
Reflection: Well, DET still has not scored 20 points since their week one comeback attempt, but their defense and overall team structure is terrible, allowing PHI to have a field day scoring on both sides of the ball. A very ugly loss for DET that would have hit had they not scored garbage time points but that’s how it goes sometimes.
IND ML (+100)
Both winners of three of their last four, these two divisional rivals should be in for a tough battle. The reason I side with the technical underdog here is because they are at home and the line is suspicious, as a case could be made that TEN should be favored by much more than just one point after finishing off the two members of last years AFC Championship game in BUF and KC. Down to the wire but IND comes away 31-30.
Reflection: I wasn’t far off with my final score prediction, or the fact that it was a down to the wire game that ended in overtime. The only thing that I wasn’t right about was the winning team, as Carson Wentz through a crucial interception in overtime to give TEN the ball in scoring position.
SF -3.5 (-110)
Simply put, when CHI loses, they lose big. All four losses this year have been by two scores or more, and when they give up 100+ yards on the ground they have lost every time, and I fully expect SF to build off of five 100+ yard games already this year to control the game. Justin Fields is just not able to make plays at an NFL level right now, and SF has the defensive pieces to exploit that. SF wins 24-20.
Reflection: SF ran for over 100+ yards and that correlates to a big loss for CHI as the first half of the season has indicated. Justin Fields did look electric at times however, and if he is able to settle into a solid offensive scheme I could see him being used similar to Lamar Jackson and BAL run offense.
CIN -9.5 (-110)
CIN delivered a signature win over their toughest divisional opponent last week, and NYJ have shown no signs off life this year despite a one game wonder win against TEN. They will be without Zach Wilson and the CIN defense is among the leagues best (4th) with 5.1 yards per play allowed and have allowed just 17 points per game in their last six games. 28-16 final score.
Reflection: This was one of the bigger upsets of the year, as NYJ are a completely different team with Mike White in at QB and he earned himself a well-deserved win, scoring more than double what I thought that offense was capable of. CIN has struggled with lesser teams like CHI and NYJ this year but has shown glimpses of greatness after destroying two good division rivals in BAL/PIT.
TB vs. NO u51.5 (-110)
I don’t exactly know what to think of the NO offense after they scored just 13 points against a shaky SEA defense. Additionally, their offense is more reliant on the run game which doesn’t matchup well against TB run defense that is second in rushing yards allowed per game and third in yards per rush attempt allowed. NO is first in both categories which makes me think a slow paced game will be the likely outcome, and NO doesn’t rank high in offensive yards per play or scoring percentage. 26-20.
Reflection: The first half played right into the Under’s hands, but defensive scores and Tom Brady needing points are never what you’re rooting for in an Under game. Brady still continues against NO during his time for TB, and somehow NO offense was more effective after their starting QB got hurt which is not what anyone predicts.
Parlay: CIN, JAX, IND, NE (+1475)
6-point teaser: MIA +19.5, ARI even (-130)
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