Last week was a dud for my picks – my first losing week of the season in my Best Bets – but just like any team, it’s time to rebound and get back on the winning track.
I should have known better than to trust Jacoby Brissett keeping up with the likes of Tom Brady and that the Patriots would fall flat against the Texans after their emotional game against the Buccaneers, but no matter, let’s get straight to this week’s picks:
Packers -4.5 over Bears
I nailed the Bengals covering against the Packers last week – they had multiple chances to pull off the outright upset as well. In my pick ‘em league (not in my blog), I also had the Bears covering against the Raiders – which they did end up securing the upset.
This week, however, I’m siding with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers against the division-rival Bears. Since taking over QB, Justin Fields has struggled in his rookie campaign for Chicago. Additionally, if the Raiders had not been distracted by the Jon Gruden controversy, the spread may be even higher since, going into the game, the Bears were the inferior squad.
Rodgers tends to lose focus on specific games at this stage in his career, and it appeared last weekend against Cincinnati. He should be locked in this week as he is against games with high stakes and division foes. Don’t forget, the Bears trail the Packers by only one game in the standings, so Rodgers will make sure the offense pulls ahead early and makes a statement about who truly is the No. 1 team in the division. Lay the points.
Ravens -3 over Chargers
If you read all of my previous posts, you know I love fading a publicly backed team. This week, the Chargers are that team. Don’t get me wrong, Justin Herbert and the Chargers have been every bit impressive to start the season and should be in the Wild Card games at the minimum come playoff time. Still, one of my betting strategies is to always side with the east coast team when a west coast squad has to travel cross-country for an early start.
The Ravens may be playing on a short week, but after coming from behind to defeat the Colts in OT, they may be riding high off momentum. At 4-1, the Ravens remain overlooked and underrated. This team, like the Chargers, defeated the Chiefs back in Week 2 and handed the Broncos their first loss of the season in Week 4. Lamar Jackson should be able to use both his arm and leg talent and put up big points against the Chargers defense, who just struggled against a mediocre Browns offense.
The Chargers may be the most talked-about team in football right now, but if there was ever a trap game for them, this is it. In what should be an offensive shootout, take the home team and lay the points.
Patriots +4.5 over Cowboys
This is perhaps the most inflated line I’ve seen for this weekend, given both teams’ respective final scores from Sunday. Trailing early to the Texans, who may not win another game this season, the Patriots were able to put together an impressive comeback behind rookie QB Mac Jones and edge out a victory on the road. Don’t forget; the Patriots were coming off an emotional Sunday night game in the pouring rain against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers that ended when Nick Folk missed a potential game-winning field goal. The Patriots may have scored the ultimate upset victory against their former QB if not for the weather.
On the other hand, the Cowboys blew out the Giants in their home stadium, albeit New York lost QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, and WR Kenny Golladay before halftime due to injury. To add to the growing injury list, the Giants were already playing without WRs, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, and OT Andrew Thomas. I’d be more concerned about the Cowboys if it weren’t a one-sided affair.
After both games, the spread shot up to 4.5, but that was more of a knee-jerk reaction based on the final scores. Mike McCarthy won’t be able to match the brilliant football mind of Bill Belichick, who will have his New England squad ready for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. This should be a low-scoring affair that could easily come down to the last possession of the game. Take the points with the home underdogs.
Raiders +3.5 over Broncos
After their hot 3-0 start, the Broncos have returned to Earth with back-to-back losses against the Ravens and Steelers. Given that their first 3 victories came courtesy of the underperforming Giants, Jets, and Jaguars, it should come as no surprise that Denver can capitalize on inferior teams but struggles against more vigorous opponents. This weekend should be no different.
Although the Raiders looked flat in their loss to the Bears this past Sunday, one can argue the team was distracted due to the controversy surrounding their now former head coach Jon Gruden. With that behind them, Las Vegas should be more focused this weekend in a match-up against division foe Denver and avoid a dreaded 3 game losing streak. I’m picking an outright upset here, but take the points in case it comes down to a last-minute field goal to decide the victor.
Titans +6 over Bills
On Sunday night, the Bills made quite a statement in their 38-20 drubbing of the Chiefs in Kansas City. It was payback in the best kind of way for their defeat in last year’s AFC Championship game. However, another betting tidbit I love is betting against teams coming off their “Super Bowl” win. In this case, the Bills exploded onto Arrowhead Field last weekend with a purpose and most likely had the game circled in their calendars since the day schedules were announced.
After an emotional and tolling victory like that, it will be challenging to bring the same ferocity against an inconsistent Titans squad who has underperformed at times this season. Still, this match-up bodes well for Tennessee to catch Buffalo flat, especially having to play back-to-back primetime road games.
This is another match-up I can see as an outright upset for the home underdogs. Nevertheless, it’s hard to pass up 6 points given how the Titans have struggled this season. Take the points.