We don’t want to spoil the surprise. Let’s just say when you scroll down to the Jets-Chiefs game in Kansas City on Sunday, you will see something truly historic.
As we begin the week, the Chiefs are listed as a 21-point favorite, the eighth-largest line in NFL history. It’s also the most Kansas City has ever been favored and just the 14th time since 1970 that a team has been favored by at least 20.
Buyer beware: The dog is 10-3 against these type of spreads, even though none of first 13 has actually won the game.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-3), 51.5
This has been a sad season in Atlanta, categorized by blown opportunities and leads. But after what happened on Sunday against the Lions, who marched 75 yards in 64 seconds without a timeout to score the winning touchdown, you’d have to conclude it wasn’t entirely Dan Quinn’s fault. Maybe they just suck. We can’t see things getting any better on Thursday night, especially if Christian McCaffrey returns for the Panthers.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-4), 44.5
This is the game the Bills have waited a decade to play, their chance to hammer a large nail into what might be New England’s coffin in the AFC East. Buffalo scored only 18 points (six field goals) in Sunday’s win over the Jets, but the Patriots are coming off the worst home loss (33-6) in the Belichick era. A loss would drop the Patriots to 2-5. We like the Bills because Cam Newton is about finished.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5), 54.5
After Sunday’s loss to the Steelers dropped them from the ranks of the unbeaten, its possible to come to the conclusion the Titans might not get very far in the postseason unless they get themselves a more reliable kicker. Stephen Gostkowski missed a 45-yarder with 19 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime. Nice career, but we think he’s done. Good thing is they won’t need to rely on him against the Bungles. Titans huge.
Las Vegas Chargers at Cleveland Browns (-3), 55.5
This will be an exciting matchup between Justin Herbert and Baker Mayfield, two of the finest young QBs in the league. Herbert got his first win on Sunday against crappy Jacksonville, while Mayfield set a franchise record by completing 21 straight passes – and throwing for five TDs – in their win over Cincinnati. We’re betting the Browns will keep rolling.
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions (+2.5), 51
Thanks to the defense of the Falcons, the Lions were able to pull off perhaps the most improbable win of the season. We’re happy for them. They’ve never played in a Super Bowl, you know. We like it when Matthew Stafford shows the league how clutch a QB he can be. Will they beat the Colts coming off their bye? We’d like to think so. Take the Lions.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7), 55
Do you think Aaron Rodgers has missed Davante Adams? We do. In Sunday’s big win over Houston, the two combined for 13 receptions, 196 yards and two TDs. All in all, it was a nice way to bounce back after getting their ass kicked on Oct. 18 by the Buccaneers. As for the Vikings (1-5), it looks like they are already starting the rebuild for 2021. Too bad it couldn’t include the release of Kirk Cousins. We like The Pack.
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs, (-21), 48
This is what happens when the best team in football, the defending Super Bowl champion, matches up against the worst team. The Chiefs became the first team in the NFL this season to score on offense, defense and special teams in their rout over the Broncos. The Jets? They had four yards of offense (-13 yards passing) in the second half of their loss to Buffalo. What the hell, let’s roll with the Chiefs!
Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins (+3.5), 49
Tua Tagovailoa will make the first start of his professional career on Sunday for the Dolphins, who are without a doubt the surprise team in the league this season. If nothing else, that will make this game one of the most captivating of the week. You never know, the Fins could catch the Rams in a downer after their Monday Night game against the Bears. Wouldn’t it be great to see Miami stay ahead of the Patriots in the standings? But the reality is, the Rams are at least four points better at this point.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5), 49
The Steelers are 6-0 for the first time since 1978 and they are happy about it, especially after almost allowing the Titans to fight all the way back from a big deficit in the second half. But we think the Ravens defense, which is first in fewest points allowed (17.3) and second in sacks (22), will only be more dominating now that it has acquired Yannick Ngakoue from the Vikings. Still, we’ll take the Steelers to cover.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+1.5), 44.5
The Broncos have had a miserable time finding a QB since the retirement of Peyton Manning. They thought they might have found one in Drew Lock, their second-round pick in 2019. But since returning from an injury earlier this season, the kid has really struggled. And now Denver’s defense is beginning to get pissed off about it. Take the Chargers.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (+2.5), 47
Pundits have really become infatuated with the Bears defense and we all look forward to seeing what it might do tonight against the Rams. If it plays well, it might bode well for this meeting against the Saints, who seem to have come alive offensively in their win over the Panthers, even without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Hold off, right now. Let’s see where this line goes before Saturday.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3), 54
You figured the Seahawks wouldn’t go 16-0, so there’s no use getting all bent out of shape about Sunday’s overtime to the exciting Cardinals. We mean, the Seahawks did manage 572 yards of offense, although the highest scoring team in the league had only one TD in the second half. San Francisco’s win in New England was impressive, but we think Seattle will want to re-establish itself.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5), 43.5
The Cowboys reached a new level of mediocrity on Sunday during their 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team. How could that even be possible when you compare personnel? Making matters worse, Andy Dalton was concussed, leaving Dallas with the prospect of starting some guy named Ben DiNucci against the Eagles. Did you know that the NFC East is on pace to produce the worst division champion since the 2010 Seahawks, who were 7-9. We hesitate to even say this, but take Dallas and the points. And some point, it has to wake up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (+10), 48
While the Patriots seem to be imploding, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are enjoying life together as Buccaneers. In their win over the Raiders, they hooked up for their 92nd TD, second to only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, who had 114 together. There is a reason why the Buccaneers are considered a Super Bowl candidate, just as there is a reason the Giants are 1-6. Their QB, Daniel Jones, is also the team’s leading rusher, when he’s not tripping over his own feet on the way to the end zone. However, we like the Giants to cover.