Maybe I overreacted to Indy's injuries, but I thought Houston would take care of business at home. Nuk Hopkins continues to be a monster, but I was impressed by the Colts' ability to keep pressure away from Matt Hasselbeck.
Jaguars +3 at Buccaneers
I continue to be a believer in Jacksonville, especially against a defense that offers little resistance and can't seem to win at home. Coming off his first 100 yard game, this is a good spot for workhorse T.J. Yeldon to get his first score after having one called back in Week 2.
Bills -1 at Titans
I'm somewhat concerned about Buffalo's ability to consistently move the ball with their injuries, and Vegas agrees, with the line dropping from -3. However, I'm not sold on Ken Whisenhunt having his troops ready off the bye and feel better about Rex Ryan bouncing back from a disappointing loss.
|It's close, but I"m betting on Marcell Dareus and the strength of this defense.|
Ravens -6.5 versus Browns
This one staying at a touchdown or lower feels right, with the Ravens at home and always seeming to do well against their former city. They're without many passing game weapons and have lacked a consistent pass rush since the Terrell Suggs injury, but I'm counting on Josh McCown taking more hits on the road here.
Redskins +7.5 at Falcons
Atlanta's playing well, but I was surprised this line was so high against a decent Washington team coming off a win. Jordan Reed joining DeSean Jackson on the sideline will hurt their ability to generate much in the passing game, but I think you have to take the points here. Julio Jones torching this secondary is a scary enough proposition that it's pretty much a stay away for me, though.
Chiefs -9 versus Bears
Coming off a real tough stretch of games, this is a chance for Kansas City to let out its frustrations at home. Chicago showed signs of life in their nail-biting win at home, but they face a more complete team in a tough environment here. Alex Smith should have a bit more time in the pocket to actually get this offense in the end zone after a pretty amazing SEVEN field goal game last week.
|More of this playmaking from Nelson Agholor, please.|
Eagles -5 versus Saints
Sam Bradford got the deep ball going and was fired up last week before the defense let the lead trickle away at the end, and I think he keeps things going to finally get this offense in gear at home against this unimposing New Orleans defense. I mean, if Brandon Weeden can calmly lead a game-tying drive against them, this could be a long day for the Saints.
Packers -9.5 versus Rams
Jeff Fisher's club is coming off a big win against a divisional rival, so you know the hangover game is coming. Aaron Rodgers' track record at home and right tackle Bryan Bulaga's surprisingly speedy recovery makes laying this many points a bit easier to swallow.
Bengals -3 versus Seahawks
Cincinnati gets their biggest test as true contenders at home, and the public seems confident they'll pass it with the line moving up from -1. I'm inclined to agree since they should be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and Tyler Eifert is a great weapon to attack Seattle's defense with. A 10 AM start for a Pacific time zone team traveling East on a short week and being without Marshawn Lynch again doesn't hurt, either.
Lions +3 versus Cardinals
I'm going back to well after they covered but saw their first W slip out of Calvin Johnson's hands at the goal line on MNF. The matchup doesn't look good on paper, especially with Arizona looking to bounce back from a loss themselves, but the return of DeAndre Levy should be a boost for this defense at home.
Patriots -9.5 at Cowboys
This line can't get high enough for me to go against New England coming off a bye week to prep for Weeden. Dallas does get Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain on defense now that their suspensions have been served, but their offense is still without the weapons to consistently generate big plays against the Pats defense.
|The emergence of a healthy Dion Lewis and his subsequent contract has been pretty amazing.|
I'd be more willing to consider Oakland at home if they had a secondary that could take advantage of Peyton Manning's lack of zip on his throws. Instead, I think Denver continues to ride its defense to 5-0. If Derek Carr had a hard time continuing to feed Amari Cooper in the second half last week due to double teams, he's going struggle against a much better secondary in this one.
Giants -7 versus 49ers
It looks like you have to keep going against the Niners and their sputtering offense until further notice, especially with New York looking pretty strong last week. Eric Mangini's defense seems more than capable at home, but they've been shredded on the road, making this a likely chance for Odell Beckham, Jr. to have one of his monster games that's been lacking so far this season
|Eli Manning nearly overcame 5 INTs against a better 49ers team in this game last year.|
Pittsburgh having a surprisingly long Thursday-Monday break bodes well for them to have the offense ready under Michael Vick, and Le'Veon Bell should have another big day against a pretty porous San Diego defense. However, the defense formerly known as The Steel Curtain can be taken advantage of just as easily, so I'm counting on Keenan Allen and the home team coming through.
Last week: 6-8-1
2015 Season Total: 32-30-2