MATCHUP; SPREAD; MONEYLINE; OVER/UNDER
Houston at Jacksonville JAX -1.5 HOU +110, JAX -130 +/- 42.5
Kansas City at Carolina CAR -3 KC +145, CAR -165 +/- 44.5
Denver at New Orleans NO -3 DEN +130, NO -150 +/- 49
Los Angeles at NYJ NYJ -1.5 LA +105, NYJ -125 +/- 39.5
Atlanta at Philadelphia ATL -1.5 ATL -125, PHI +105 +/- 50.5
Minnesota at Washington WAS -2.5 MIN +120, WAS -140 +/- 42
Green Bay at Tennessee GB -3 GB -150, TEN +130 +/- 49.5
Chicago at Tampa Bay CHI -2.5 CHI -140, TB +120 +/- 46
Miami at San Diego SD -4 MIA +165, SD -185 +/- 49
San Francisco at Arizona ARI -13.5 SF +625, ARI -950 +/- 48.5
Dallas at Pittsburgh PIT -2 DAL +110, PIT -130 +/- 50
Seattle at New England NE -7.5 SEA +300, NE -360 +/- 49
Cincinnati at NYG NYG -1 CIN -115, NYG -105 +/- 47
Lines courtesy William Hill, updated Friday, Nov. 11
The line on this game was disproportionately impacted by the teams’ respective matchups against Bay Area teams last weekend. The Broncos offense struggled last week in primetime against the Raiders, leading to an underdog status. On the other hand, the Saints bullied the 49ers by pounding the ground game to great success. New Orleans plays well at home, but Denver is still the better team and the way to beat Drew Brees is to stay in his face all game. No team is better situated to achieve that aim than the Broncos with Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Shaq Barrett and Shane Ray pressuring the quarterback. If you want to play it safe, take the points. I’ll gun for glory and a bigger pay out by picking the defending champs to win the game.
Atlanta/Philadelphia — over
The Falcons are scoring a league-best 33.9 points per game and allowing a bottom-five 28.8. Meanwhile, the Eagles are scoring in the mid-20s week after week with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz at the helm. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant has been ruled out for the weekend and that should open up some passing lanes for Wentz, who started throwing the ball downfield again last week against the New York Giants. It’d be tougher to pick a winner in this one because it should be a close game. But with two capable offenses and one bad defense in play, that fact should bode well for the over.
Minnesota/Washington — under
The Vikings offense has scored 36 combined points over their last three games against the Eagles, Bears and Lions. Scoring 16 points against the Detroit defense at home should be an indictable offense for Sam Bradford and Minnesota, which fired its offensive coordinator during that stretch. Washington’s offense is better and is capable of scoring points, but maybe not against the Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed more than 22 points this season. Washington’s starting tackle Trent Williams — one of the best at his position in the NFL — is suspended, which will make Kirk Coursins life a little tougher against a solid front seven.
There are a lot of interesting underdogs this week — Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Denver (of course) come to mind — but this is my favorite if you want to protect yourself with the point spread. It should be a battle of running backs who are performing above their expectations entering the season. Melvin Gordon has been fantastic with a league-best nine rushing touchdowns and Jay Ajayi has been the most productive RB in the league over the last four weeks. The Chargers have won only one game by more than a touchdown, and that was against the Jaguars in Week 2. I probably bet against San Diego too frequently, but you have to do what comes comfortably when gambling. (Disclaimer: That last bit was bad advice in general.)
New England -7.5
I don’t feel great about this one, but I said when Tom Brady returned that I would be betting on the Patriots until they proved I shouldn’t. So here we are. The Seahawks played their best offensive game of the season last week against the Bills. But the defense surrendered 25 points to Buffalo. Also, Bill Belichick coming off a bye is something to fear.
Week 9: 3-2