Pick of the Week
High Confidence Picks
Medium Confidence Picks
Low Confidence Picks
No Confidence Picks
BAL +110 @ PIT
MIN +110 @ DET
Pick of the Week
High Confidence Picks
Medium Confidence Picks
Low Confidence Picks
No Confidence Picks
BAL +110 @ PIT
MIN +110 @ DET
New York Jets (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (9-3)
The Bills are favored by 10 points in this game against the Jets, who are at least a middling team, ranking 13th in schedule adjusted efficiency. That might seem high at first glance, but the Bills have had a tendency to blow teams out over the past two seasons, with 17 of their last 21 victories coming by 10 points or more, relevant considering where this line is. Only 2 of their last 5 wins have surpassed this margin of victory, but the Bills are healthier this week than they have been recently, which should make a big difference in the Bills’ margins of victory, as it did last week in their 14-point victory in New England.
A lot of attention has been paid to the Bills losing Von Miller for the season and that is a huge loss, but, aside from that, the Bills are in pretty good injury shape compared to most of the season, with talented safety Jordan Poyer (four games missed), starting offensive linemen Mitch Morse (two games) and Dion Dawkins one game), stud linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (three games) and Matt Milano (one game), and talented edge defender Greg Rousseau (three games), top cornerback Tre’Davious White (ten games) all set to play this week, after missing significant time with injury early in the season. My calculated line actually has the Bills as 11.5-point favorites here, so we’re getting a little bit of line value with them, despite the line being so high. This game isn’t bettable, but I like the Bills for pick ‘em purposes, as they should get another multi-score win this week, like they did last week and in most of their wins over the past two seasons.
Buffalo Bills 30 New York Jets 19
Pick against the spread: Buffalo -10
Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at Denver Broncos (3-9)
The Broncos have been the most disappointing team in the league this season, going just 3-9 and ranking 31st in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 6.5 points below average, meaning they’ve legitimately been as bad as their record suggests, despite entering the year considered to be Super Bowl contenders by some and to at playoff contenders by most. This week, they host the Chiefs in a game that was flexed from primetime because of how disappointing the Broncos have been.
The Chiefs are 9.5-point favorites, but this line could arguably be a little higher, against a Chiefs team that is still one of the best teams in the league, tied for the best record in the AFC, ranking 2nd in schedule adjusted efficiency, 7.5 points above average and 14 points above the Broncos. My calculated line has the Chiefs favored by 11.5 and, while there’s not enough here for the Chiefs to be worth betting, they seem like the better side for pick ‘em purposes.
Kansas City Chiefs 28 Denver Broncos 16
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -9.5
Cleveland Browns (5-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
This game is a tough call, with both teams being better than their records. The Bengals have four losses, but you can still argue they are one of the best teams in the league, with two of those losses coming in the first two weeks of the season and three of their losses coming by three points or fewer, as opposed to four wins by 12 points or more, giving them a point differential of +57 which ranks 6th in the NFL. They also rank 7th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 4.5 points above average, and they are getting healthy, with key players in running back Joe Mixon, defensive tackle DJ Reader, and wide receiver JaMarr Chase all expected to play this week after time earlier this season, leading to them being 6.5 points above average in my roster rankings.
The Browns, meanwhile, are the only team to beat the Bengals by more than three points this season, doing so by 19 points in Cleveland back in week 8, and, like the Bengals, most of their losses have been very close, with four of seven coming by three points or fewer. In terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, the Browns rank 10th, about 1.5 points above average, and they got franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson back from suspension last week, which should prove to be a significant upgrade in the long-term.
I am going with the Bengals in this game for pick ‘em purposes, as 5.5-point home favorites, but only because Watson might still not be at his best in just his second game out, while the Browns defense continues to lose key players due to injury, with Sione Takitaki now out, meaning they’re without their top-3 linebackers from what was once a very talented group. Even with that taken into account though, this is one of the toughest games of the week from an against the spread perspective and is one of my lowest confidence picks. In fact, while I would take the Bengals at 5.5, I might switch to the Browns if the line moved to 6, that’s how close this decision is for me.
Cincinnati Bengals 33 Cleveland Browns 27
Pick against the spread: Cincinnati -5.5
Houston Texans (1-10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-3)
This line is high, favoring the Cowboys over the Texans by 17 points. The Texans have been the worst team in the league this season, ranking dead last in schedule adjusted efficiency (6.5 points below average) and dead last in point differential (-99), but, as bad as they have been, they have only lost one game by more than 17 points and that was an 18-point loss, so the Texans certainly have a chance to cover this huge spread, even against a Cowboys team that is one of the best in the NFL.
The Texans will also benefit from going back to their original starting quarterback Davis Mills, after starting terrible backup quarterback Kyle Allen for their past two games, an attempt to spark this team that backfired in a big way, leading to losses of 15 points and 13 points in the past two weeks. There’s not nearly enough here for the Texans to be worth betting and my calculated line barely gives us any line value with them, with the Cowboys favored by 16.5 points, but if I had to pick a side for pick ‘em purposes, it would be Houston.
Dallas Cowboys 30 Houston Texans 14
Pick against the spread: Houston +17
New England Patriots (6-6) at Arizona Cardinals (4-8)
The Cardinals were at the top of my overrated teams list coming into the season. They went 11-6 last season, but needed a +12 turnover margin to get to that record, which is not predictive, and they ranked just 14th in overall efficiency, barely above average. They also got a lot worse this off-season, losing starting wide receiver Christian Kirk, top edge defender Chandler Jones, top off ball linebacker Jordan Hicks, top cornerback Robert Alford, and their most efficient running back Chase Edmonds, with their only major addition being former Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, who cost the Cardinals their first round pick in a trade and who isn’t a significant upgrade on Christian Kirk.
The Cardinals are 4-8 this season, which is definitely a significant decline from last year’s record, but they’ve arguably been even worse than that suggests, still having a +1 turnover margin, despite a -57 turnover margin (27th in the NFL), leading to them ranking just 28th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about six points below average. The Patriots are a middling team, ranking 14th in schedule adjusted efficiency, barely above average, but they should still be favored by more than 1.5 points on the road in Arizona, with my calculated line favoring them by four. This isn’t a big play, in part because the Patriots are expected to be without top receiver Jakobi Meyers, but the Patriots are still worth a bet this week.
New England Patriots 20 Arizona Cardinals 16
Pick against the spread: New England -1.5
Minnesota Vikings (10-2) at Detroit Lions (5-7)
The Vikings have not played nearly as good as their 10-2 record, going an unsustainable 9-0 in one score games, managing just a +10 point differential, and ranking just 18th in schedule adjusted efficiency. However, the public seems to understand that their record is not indicative of how good of a team they are, so we haven’t gotten great line value betting against them recently, leading to the Vikings covering the spread in three of their past four games.
If anything, we’re getting line value in this game with the Vikings, who have shifted from being 3-point favorites on the early line last week to now being 2-point underdogs against a 5-7 Lions team. The Lions won big against the Jaguars last week, while the Vikings barely put away with the Jets, but that line movement seems like an overreaction to a single week of play and I like to go against significant week-to-week line movements that are overreactions.
Even not being as good as their record, the Vikings should still be favored by at least a couple points here in Detroit, especially with stud left tackle Christian Darrisaw set to return, a big re-addition. I would need this line to be a full field goal for the Vikings to be worth betting against the spread, but the money line is a good value at +110, as the Vikings should still be at least slight favorites, and the Vikings are also a good pick for pick ‘em purposes.
Minnesota Vikings 34 Detroit Lions 31 Upset Pick +110
Pick against the spread: Minnesota +2
Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)
A week ago on the early line, the Ravens were favored by four points, but this line has since shifted all the way to Pittsburgh -2. The reason for that line movement is understandable, as the Ravens will be without franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson due to injury and a 6-point line movement is about right for him being out, but I think the original line at -4 would have been too low if Jackson started, so we’re still getting line value with the Ravens, even without Jackson.
While the Ravens have four losses, they have blown two-score leads in all of them and they lead the NFL in time spent leading. In terms of point differential, the Ravens rank 7th at +49 and in schedule adjusted efficiency they rank 3rd, about 7 points above average. They’re obviously not as good without Jackson, but they are getting healthier in other parts of their roster and they are still a significantly better team than the Steelers, despite this line suggesting they’re about even, favoring the Steelers at home by just a couple points.
Top receiving threat Mark Andrews, top running back Gus Edwards, stud left tackle Ronnie Stanley, talented defensive lineman Calais Campbell, starting edge defenders Justin Houston and Tyus Bowser, talented safeties Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, and starting cornerback Marcus Peters have all missed time for the Ravens with injury thus far this season, but are expected to play this week and I think the Ravens’ improved health in other parts of their roster has gone overlooked with Jackson out. I would need this line to be a full field goal for the Ravens to be worth betting against the spread, but they’re a good value on the money line at +110, as they should be the ones slightly favored in this game, with backup Tyler Huntley being one of the better backups in the league and having a relatively healthy supporting cast around him.
Baltimore Ravens 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 17 Upset Pick +110
Pick against the spread: Baltimore +2
Carolina Panthers (4-8) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5)
A week ago on the early line, the Seahawks were 6.5-point favorites, but this line has since shrunk all the way down to 3.5. The Seahawks won last week, albeit in relatively uninspiring fashion against a bad Rams team, but it was still a win and the Panthers were on bye, so the line movement is almost definitely the result of the fact that the Seahawks are expected to be without feature back Kenneth Walker with injury. That seems like an overreaction though, as the running back position is one of the most replaceable. My calculated line actually still has the Seahawks favored by 7.5 points over the Panthers, with the Seahawks holding an 8-point edge in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency and a 6.5-point edge in my roster rankings, even without Walker.
That being said, I don’t think the Seahawks are worth betting this week. Even with the significant line movement, this line is still above 3, which is key because about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, including 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal, and the Seahawks are in a bad spot as well, playing the 49ers in a key divisional game on Thursday Night Football next week, with favorites covering at just a 43.3% rate all-time before a Thursday game. If they had a normal week next week, I would bet on the Seahawks, but I’m leaving this as a low confidence pick with the Seahawks in a terrible spot.
Seattle Seahawks 23 Carolina Panthers 17
Pick against the spread: Seattle -3.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
The 49ers lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season last week and are now starting 7th round rookie Brock Purdy, set to make the first start of his career this week, but, despite that, this line has only dropped from favoring the 49ers by 6.5 last week on the early line to favoring them by 3.5 points this week, which is a relatively insignificant line movement, especially when you consider that the 49ers could be without stud edge defender Nick Bosa, who seems likely to be limited even if he can play, after not practicing all week. This line is also still bigger than you might realize, when you consider that 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, including 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal.
On top of that, the 49ers are in a tough spot, having to turn around and play a key divisional game against the Seahawks next Thursday on a short week, with favorites covering at just a 43.3% rate all-time before Thursday Night Football. The Buccaneers aren’t in good shape injury wise either, missing top edge defender Shaq Barrett, starting safeties Antoine Winfield and Mike Edwards, and stud right tackle Tristan Wirfs, but those players have all been out for multiple weeks now, so they wouldn’t affect the line movement in this game. My calculated line barely favors the 49ers, doing so by just 1.5 points, so we’re still getting enough line value with the Buccaneers for them to be worth a small bet this week.
San Francisco 49ers 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +3.5