Last week – 11-4 against the spread
Packers (Packers -7.5)
The Packers offense has the 4th highest total yardage in the NFL this year, and their defense has given up the 2nd most points this year. Sounds normal. Wait, it’s the opposite of that?!?! The Packers?!?! Yes, the 2019 Packers offense ranks 29th in total offense, and their defense ranks 2nd in points allowed. One of the more drastic turnarounds in recent memory. The Broncos offense has struggled as somewhat expected with new QB Joe Flacco, but their defense has been a lot closer to average than expected. I look for the Packers offense to start clicking, and their defense to shut down the Broncos. I’ll take the Packers to win and cover the 7.5 points.
Bills (Bills -6)
The Bills are one of the more surprising teams in the NFL this season, starting 2-0 for the first time since 2014 (and the first time since starting 2-0 on the road in team history). Those wins were again against the Jets & Giants (both winless), so take that for what it’s worth. But, they have yet another winless team coming to town, the 0-2 Bengals. Andy Dalton has had a nice start to the season, but Joe Mixon has been a non-factor. The Bengals have given up the 3rd most rushing yards this season, so I look for rookie Devin Singletary to have a big game. Could be close, I will take the Bills to win, but the Bengals to cover the 6 points.
Eagles (Eagles -6)
The Lions are 1-0-1, but not have looked outstanding doing it. They blew a big lead against the Cardinals, and their offense scored 13 points in a win against the Chargers. The Eagles come in at 1-1, but their offense has been hit with injuries early. If DeSean Jackson and/or Alshon Jeffery aren’t able to play (effectively), I see the Eagles offense struggling against the 6th ranked (yardage) Lions defense. I will take the Lions to win outright.
Jets @ Patriots (Patriots -22.5)
Last week I didn’t hesitate taking the Patriots and the 18.5 points. Felt weird. And this week I feel the exact same way, with an even higher spread. Can you remember a team ever being favored by this much, 2 weeks in a row? (Look that up. My sister is getting married this weekend. Don’t have time today!) 3rd string QB Luke Falk did look good last week, but this is the Patriots. At home. I will take the Patriots to cover the 22.5.
Vikings (Vikings -9)
The Vikings, despite Kirk Cousins looking like a bust, have looked good overall. Their defense has given up 33 total points, and Dalvin Cook has had an excellent start. The Raiders did get beat up last week, but it was against the Chiefs, and it was coming off a short week. If rookie Josh Jacobs can run on the Vikings defense like Aaron Jones did last week, they could make this a game. Speaking of, this spread seems high, doesn’t it? I think the Vikings will win, but the Raiders will cover the 9 points.
Chiefs (Chiefs -6.5)
This game shapes up to be one of the more exciting of the weekend. The Ravens have the most rushing yards in the NFL, a 2-0 record, and are outscoring their opponents by 75. The Chiefs have the most passing yards in the NFL, also come in at 2-0, and have an average margin of victory of more than 2 touchdowns. The Ravens do have a defensive advantage as well, giving up the 2nd least yards per game in the league. That said, the Ravens have not faced a team like the Chiefs yet. I will take the Chiefs to win and cover the 6.5 points.
Colts (Colts -1.5)
When Andrew Luck announced his retirement, it looked like the Colts season was over before it even started. But to their credit, they have responded with some pretty inspired play, in large part due to Jacoby Brissett. Stats haven’t been all that gaudy, but he has a 5-1 TD to INT ratio, and has not made mistakes. Matt Ryan on the other hand, already has 5 INTs this season. But with an uber talented offense around him though, I see him turning it around soon. Like, this week. I pick the Falcons to win outright.
@ Cowboys (Cowboys -21.5)
Another assignment for you. Has there ever been two 20+ point spreads in the same week? One thing I do find odd with this spread though, is that the number is higher for the Cowboys than it was for the Patriots last week. Gut feeling is that it’s even more known now, exactly how awful these Dolphins are. WOW. I will take the Cowboys to win and cover the 21.5 points. Why not?
Buccaneers (Buccaneers -6.5)
This game could be ugly. Although Daniel Jones looked very good in the pre-season…this is not the pre-season. Oh, and the other QB is Jameis Winston. I don’t expect either team to generate much passing attack, so the matchup I will look for will be Saquon Barkley against one of the better run defenses in Tampa. If Barkley can get about 125 yards, and the post-Eli Giants can win the turnover battle, I see the Giants winning outright.
@ Cardinals (Cardinals -2)
Although these 2 teams are a combined 0-3-1, their total point differential is just -15. The Panthers have been in both games, but their defense is giving up 25 points per game, and Cam Newton clearly is not fully healthy. Just a single TD pass this season, and -2 rushing yards. Cam Newton, -2 rushing yards. Kyler Murray on the other hand has been spectacular. 657 passing yards over his first 2 games, becoming only the 2nd QB in NFL history to throw over 300 yards in both of his first 2 games (joining Cam Newton ironically). With Kyler going up, and Newton appearing to go down, I see the Cardinals winning and covering the 2 points.
@ 49ers (49ers -6.5)
This one is tough to pick, due to us knowing nothing about Mason Rudolph. He did look good last week coming in relief of Big Ben, but he has never had a game plan built around him…for him, or against him. I expect him to struggle. The 49ers have looked outstanding, outscoring their opponents 72-34 this year (highest differential in the NFC). Hard to see them not winning big. I pick the 49ers to win and cover the 6.5 points.
Seahawks (Seahawks -4)
The Saints are in a similar situation as the Steelers, with a backup being thrust into the starting role. But unlike Rudolph, who we know nothing about, we do know enough about Teddy Bridgewater. Although a solid backup, he’s a big, big dropoff from Drew Brees. With that offense directly built around Brees and his accuracy, tough to think Bridgewater will keep that team afloat. I see the home Seahawks winning and covering the 4 points. Actually think they’ll win by 2+ TDs.
Chargers (Chargers -3)
On paper, this looks like the closest matchup of the weekend (as evidenced by the home team being favored by 3). Both teams are 1-1, all games within 6 points, multiple games ending on last play, and both defenses AND offenses are ranked in the middle of the pack. So what will the difference maker be? I don’t have a good answer. Probably not a wise idea, but I am actually going to predict the Chargers to win by 3. Push.
Browns (Rams -3)
Which Browns team will show up this week? The one who got embarrassed by the Titans in Week 1, or the one who beat the Jets by 20 in Week 2? The Rams offense has not been quite as prolific as last season (yet), but their defense ranks in the top 10 in both yardage and points. Look for that Rams defense to stop Baker & Co. I see the Rams winning and covering the 3 points.
Redskins (Bears -4)
I am genuinely confused why the Bears are favored by 4 points on the road here. The Redskins have averaged 24 points per game, and the Bears…less than 10. The Redskins defense has been porous (63 points in first 2 games), but it’s not exactly like Mitchell Trubisky and that offense are known for picking defenses apart. The Redskins will be going up against one of the best defenses in the NFL, with the Bears ranking in the top 5 of almost every defensive category. This could be a defensive struggle, like a 12-10 type game. I see the Bears winning, but the Redskins will cover the 4 points.