By Brien O’Donal
Follow me on Twitter @ODonalsVanguard
A few weeks ago I mentioned to the HS&S weather man Stephen Uzick that his weekly NFL Misery Index story would be cool if he incorporated stuff that helped the local gamblers that read from this site. Sadly, I did not immediately heed my own advice. But oh what a changed man I am!
So, I will be giving my picks this week with odds from mybookie.lv These are the Wednesday night odds so I’m sure some of them will change before Sunday. I hope you can use my thoughts to your advantage. Let’s roll!
Bye week: Lions, Texans
Chiefs (5-1) at Raiders (2-4)-Thursday 7:25 p.m. CT; CBS, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Chiefs -3, O/U 46 1/2
I know the Chiefs had a let down last week but let’s not forget the Raiders have lost four in a row. I don’t really think Derek Carr is all the way back yet and Oakland is very vulnerable on defense. I’m going to assume Kansas City had an off day against a Steelers team that should be better and will get back on track this week. I would take the Chiefs at the -3 number but I would also take the over. I can see Alex Smith and his weapons putting up more than 30 and enough points from the Raiders getting it over the 46 1/2.
Buccaneers (2-3) at Bills (3-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
No odds available for this game.
Without any odds available for this game I am making this pick on my own. This is supposed to be a pretty evenly matched pair of teams but after the injury to Jameis Winston last week there’s a chance we see the Ryan Fitzpatrick show again. His knack for turning the ball over can ruin a game. If Winston is out I would take the Bills to win by 3 to 7 points. If Winston plays I think the Bills win a closer one. Either way I would take scoring under 43.
Ravens (3-3) at Vikings (4-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Vikings -5 1/2, O/U 39 1/2
The Ravens have been up and down all season and after losing to the lowly Bears last week, this should be one of their “up” weeks. The Vikings still have Case Keenum at Quarterback so anything can happen. One of their top weapons in Stefon Diggs is also banged up so they might not be able to beat up on the Ravens like they did a Rodgers-less Packers team. I’m taking the Vikings to win but the Ravens to cover the 5 1/2 and the under of 39 1/2.
Jets (3-3) at Dolphins (3-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Dolphins -3, O/U 38
Both of these teams continue to surprise. The Jets took the Patriots to the mat last week but came up short and the Dolphins came alive in the second half of their game to knock off the Falcons. This is one of those games that can shift on one turnover or missed field goal. I think the Jets will win but gun to my head I take the Dolphins at -3 and the under 38.
Cardinals (3-3) at Rams (4-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Rams -3 1/2, O/U 47
Well, what do you know; the Rams offense did a number on a pretty good defense. I wasn’t sure they would be able to keep it going all year but maybe they can, or at least they can for another week. The introduction of Adrian Peterson to the Cardinals offense was a huge boost in production against the Buccaneers last week but the Rams have done well with opposing running backs. I suspect LA will keep rolling and cover the 3 1/2 but I’d take the over 47 here.
Jaguars (3-3) at Colts (2-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Jaguars -3 1/2, O/U 43 1/2
Andrew Luck is out again and the Jags have managed some good games against weaker opponents. Jacoby Brissett has kept the Colts in their games but I think he’ll have a tough time in this one. I will never trust Blake Bortles; but I do trust Jacksonville’s run game against the Colts run defense. I’ll take the Jags to win and barely cover the 3 1/2 and the score to stay under the 43 1/2.
Saints (3-2) at Packers (4-2)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Saints -5 1/2, O/U 47 1/2
The Packers offense will be very different without A-A-Ron under center so I doubt they can keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints. In addition to Rodgers the Packers have injuries all over the offensive line and the defense. The betting line scares me a little though. McCarthy, Adams, Nelson, and Cobb can still be dangerous with a week to game plan and practice together. It will take more than a week to gel so I’m taking the Saints to win and with the circumstances lining up in their favor, I think they cover as well. And yeah, I’ll take the over too.
Panthers (4-2) at Bears (2-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Panthers -3, O/U 40 1/2
The Panthers just got beat by a young quarterback on the rise and the Bears just got another good win. I think both teams go back to who they should be this week and the Panthers will win and cover the 3 without too much trouble. I would take the under on this one though. I’m not sure how good either offense will be.
Titans (3-3) at Browns (0-6)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Titans -5 1/2, O/U 46 1/2
Eh, Titans should win this one pretty easily. It’s the Browns after all. But betting lines are set for a reason. Deshone Kizer is back under center for them and he is terrible. I think the Titans have a nice day on the ground and cover the 5 1/2 but I’ll count on the Browns to sneak in a garbage time touchdown to get it over the 46 1/2.
Cowboys (2-3) at 49ers (0-6)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; Fox
Cowboys -6, O/U 46 1/2
Coming off a bye week and finding you still have your best running back suiting up has to be a great feeling. Even still, the Cowboys aren’t the same juggernaut they were last year. On the other side, there’s a part of me that wants the 49ers to finally push through and get a win. I don’t think they’ll do it this week but 6 points is too many. I’ll take the Cowboys to win the game but the 49ers to cover and the total to be under 46 1/2.
Broncos (3-2) at Chargers (2-4)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; CBS
Chargers -1, O/U 41
Divisional games can bring out the best in some teams and over the past few years these two teams have been really competitive. The Chargers have won the last two weeks and the Broncos defense looked like a shell of itself against a struggling Giants team last week. All that screams close game and one too tough to call. Trevor Seimian got hurt last week and may need to knock the rust off so I’m going to pick the Chargers to win the game. With that in mind I will take them to cover and push the total over 41.
Bengals (2-3) at Steelers (4-2)- Sunday 4:25 p.m. CT; CBS
Steelers -5 1/2, O/U 41 1/2
It’s another divisional matchup for your viewing pleasure folks. We’ve also got two teams having their struggles. I have to think this will be a close game and maybe the offenses find a groove but I don’t know if it will be a good game to watch. The Steelers just won a tough game against the last undefeated team, so there might be some spark and the Bengals are coming off a bye week of rest. I don’t know about a 5 1/2 point spread though, so I’ll take the Steelers to win the game but the Bengals to cover. I’ll take the over as well.
Seahawks (3-2) at Giants (1-5)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; CBS
Seahawks -5 1/2, O/U 40
I don’t know where that fire from the Giants came from last week but good for them. They face another great defense this week so they should probably stick to the same game plan. The Seahawks are rested and ready to go on the road and maybe their offense improves with some rest too. I’m going to go against the grain here and take the Giants to win at home. But.. I think I’ll take the under in a close game.
Falcons (3-2) at Patriots (4-2)- Sunday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
Patriots -3 1/2, O/U 56
Time for another Super Bowl rematch made for prime time. The Falcons defense has struggled and they’ve lost two games they really shouldn’t have; especially last week. It’s hard to really know what Falcons team will show up Sunday night so I think the Patriots will win at home. But their shoddy defense will allow the Falcons to stay in it. I do think the Patriots cover the spread though and the total is over 56.
Redskins (3-2) at Eagles (5-1)- Monday 7:30 p.m. CT; ESPN
Eagles -4 1/2, O/U 49
Boy oh, boy the Eagles are on fire! At this point I don’t see any NFC East team that will be able to keep up. That includes the Redskins this week. I think Carson Wentz wins another game with his arm but I could see the score not being really high. I will take the Redskins to cover the 4 1/2 and the score to be under 49.