By Brien O’Donal
Another week another few disappointments. I pretty much broke even last week with a lot of over/unders not going my way. I did alright on the spread but it wasn’t enough. But enough about me, let’s talk about the fun games we saw. The Seahawks showed us why they can never be counted out because 8 of their games are played at home, the Falcons showed that they still haven’t figured out what’s wrong, and the Patriots know how to win when Tom Brady isn’t having a good day. The NFL is a lot of fun, right?
4 games remain in the 2017 regular season and there is a lot of playoff seeding that will be contingent on every game, every week. So let’s look at the schedule and I’ll tell you what I see as the result.
All odd are courtesy of www.mybookie.lv on Wednesday night.
Saints (9-3) at Falcons (7-5)- Thursday 7:25 p.m. CT; NBC, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
PK, O/U 51 1/2
Pick em’ is right for this one. No one knows if the Falcons are going to show up. They battled the Vikings to a low total last week but still came up short. The injuries they in the secondary will still exist when the week is short so I don’t know if they will be able to hold back the Saints. On the other side, the Saints have been rolling with one of the best backfields in the NFL. Even if the Falcons were healthy I would take the Saints to win. As for the total, I’m not sure. The Saints have a good defense but they are not a great defense, they can be had if the play is right. The Falcons can give up a lot if they’re not careful. I have a feeling that a short week is going to force some scoring so I will take the over.
Colts (3-9) at Bills (6-6)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Yeah, this is a tough one. I thought the Colts has some potential to beat teams that are middling but they haven’t been able to do that consistently. The Bills might be without Tyrod Taylor and rookie Nathan Peterman was a disaster when he started a few weeks ago. If Taylor doesn’t play then I have to believe that the Colts pull out another win. If he does then I think he will be able to do enough to get a close victory for the Bills. I know, the Bills have a good defense but the Colts have some talent too. Maybe the Bills do something good but they haven’t always so there is a chance they can be beaten in the right circumstances.
Cowboys (6-6) at Giants (2-10)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Cowboys -4, O/U 41 1/2
Yeah, the Giants are a mess. It shouldn’t be any surprise that I would pick the Cowboys to win this one and stay in the hunt for a wild card spot. They should cover too but I don’t think it will go over 41 1/2 points.
Lions (6-6) at Buccaneers (4-8)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
I don’t know why this is a game with no odds. The Lions have struggled every now and then but they aren’t that bad. The Buccaneers have won some games but they aren’t that good. I would take the Lions to win by at least a field goal and I would bet that this game goes over 40 points.
Raiders (6-6) at Chiefs (6-6)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Chiefs -4, O/U 47 1/2
I don’t think this is right. The Chiefs have gone into full on implosion. I don’t know how they can be favored by more than one or two points in any game they play right now. I’m not buying though. I am picking the Raiders to win and the under 47 1/2.
49ers (2-10) at Texans (4-8)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Texans -3, O/U 43 1/2
I can see this happening. The Texans have Hopkins and Miller on offense, they have Clowney and friends on defense. The 49ers have Garoppolo and Hyde. It’s a pretty evenly matched game but the Texans are at home and since the 49ers aren’t a defense that forces a ton of turnovers, Tom Savage may survive long enough to win the game. I don’t think they can do it by more than a field goal so I will pick the Texans to win, the 49ers to cover, and the Total to be over 43 1/2.
Packers (6-6) at Browns (0-12)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Packers -3, O/U 40 1/2
I really thought Brett Hundley would have earned a little more credibility by now. I guess he hasn’t because the offense hasn’t been up to Aaron Rodgers levels. It won’t ever be unless he is there but I think Hundley and their solid running game can control the clock against a winless team and win by more than a field goal. I do think the total will go over as well.
Bears (3-9) at Bengals (5-7)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; Fox
Bengals -6, O/U 38 1/2
This seems like a trap to me. The Bengals started their last game pretty hot but couldn’t finish against a tough Steelers team. The Bears offense has been awful despite the best efforts of their defense. But the Bears still have talent and every now and then they can surprise teams. I think the Bengals win this game but I am putting my bet on the Bears +3. I will take the under 38 1/2 too.
Vikings (10-2) at Panthers (8-4)- Sunday 12:00 p.m. CT; CBS
Vikings -3, O/U 41
The Vikings have definitely earned this kind of respect. The Panthers are a tough out though so I don’t know how I really want to play this one. All signs point to the Vikings continuing to roll but the Panthers can’t be counted out. Gun to my head, I pick the Vikings to win, but probably only by a field goal. So; I am taking the Vikings to win, I’m putting my bet on the Panthers at +3 but I will also take the over 41 total.
Redskins (5-7) at Chargers (6-6)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; CBS
Chargers -6, O/U 46
Lots of potential scoring here. Kirk Cousins can still sling it and Philip Rivers can too. I think the line here is more about the Chargers defense than anything else. They have been playing a lot better and it may be the difference but I don’t think it’s a 6 point difference. I would like this line a lot better at 3 or maybe even 4 but not 6. I will take the Chargers to win, the Redskins at +6 and the over 46.
Jets (5-7) at Broncos (3-9)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; CBS
Jets -1 1/2, O/U 41 1/2
I guess the Broncos can turn it around? Ok, I’m kidding. I don’t think the Broncos can win anything at this point. The Jets are finding ways to stay in every game and they just got done taking advantage of the Chiefs on their way down. The Broncos are already at the bottom so I will pick the Jets to win. I’ll bet they do it by more than the spread so my money will be on them. I will take the under because this game doesn’t look like a high-scoring affair.
Titans (8-4) at Cardinals (5-7)- Sunday 3:05 p.m. CT; O/U
Titans -3, O/U 44
It’s a road game for the Titans so maybe there’s a little drop off but I’m not counting on it. I like the scrap the Cardinals have at home but I don’t think it will be enough and the Titans will win by more than 3 points. I don’t think the total will be over 44 though.
Eagles (10-2) at Rams (9-3)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
Rams -2 1/2, O/U 48
I’m for sure going to hit the over on this one. These are some high scoring offenses in need of validity. The Rams have a tough schedule at the end of the season but at least they are facing the best team in the NFC at home. It will still be a fight to get their own fans into the seats though. The turnout there hasn’t been great despite their record. Les than a field goals feels right to me. I don’t know if either team could run away with this one and it may be right at 3 points. So really, you’re putting money on the team you think will win. For me my money is on the Eagles. I just feel like they are a better team offensively and it will be enough.
Seahawks (8-4) at Jaguars (8-4)- Sunday 3:25 p.m. CT; Fox
Jaguars -2 1/2, O/U 40
Did Blake Bortles performance against the Colts make them the favorites? I don’t know how that could be. I know they are playing well but that’s all about their defense an not really Bortles. The Jags can run the ball to help him but I will put my bet on Russell Wilson to keep his team at the top of the wild card race with a win on the road. But with everything that has happened with these two offenses lately I think 40 points for the total is too low. I will put money on a total score over 40.
Ravens (7-5) at Steelers (10-2)- Sunday 7:30 p.m. CT; NBC
Steelers -5, O/U 44
The Ravens have been winning games by playing really good defense, especially against the pass. The Steelers have an elite quarterback and the best receiver in football. This is expected to be a good divisional game. I tend to agree. I don’t really think the Ravens have much of a chance to win though, just like I didn’t think the Bengals could beat the Steelers either. Pittsburgh needs Le’veon Bell to have a good game in prime time but even if he doesn’t (he hasn’t been great this season) I still think the Steelers can get it done. After what happened against Cincinnati I don’t know if the Steelers will cover 5 points so I will pick them to win the game but my money will be on the Ravens at +5 and a total under 44.
Patriots (10-2) at Dolphins (5-7)- Monday 7:30 p.m. CT; ESPN
Patriots -11 1/2, O/U 47
I don’t like that this is a prime time game because I don’t really want to watch it. The Patriots should lead this game from start to finish and 11 1/2 doesn’t seem like too much for them. They have done well against the spread all season and the Dolphins are miserable. I’m still trying to figure out how they’ve won 5 games. I think it’s no surprise that I am picking the Patriots to win and cover the spread. I do think it will get over 47 too because the Patriots will probably put up more than 30 on their own.