EDIT NOTE: I updated the point spread since Covers.com was down late last night and early this morning. My Picks will stay the same.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Ravens -7. O/U: 49.5:
Hey Falcons, nice game last week. They rarely lose at home and I mentioned their record last week and they crumbled on me. Atlanta is just morbid on the road, last week shocked me and with a line this big, I can’t see them losing by 7, i can see them losing by 10 or more. They lost by 10 or more the last 3 outside away games, winless on the road and just can’t move the ball effectively. It was an embarrassing loss at home and I don’t see the team recovering. The run game is bad which forces Ryan to throw more which has made him less consistent, just over 50% completions last week. The defense isn’t stopping anyone either. Bail bail bail. The Ravens on the other hand have a half decent offense and can actually run without Ray Rice, which no one saw working this well. Last week they jumped out to a 38-0 lead at the half and lead 28-0 after the first quarter. Flacco was on point early with 4 of his 5 TD passes coming in the first quarter, going 21/29 72% 306 yards 10.6 yards per pass attempt 14.6 per completion and 5 TD’s and 0 picks. That is a heck of a day for any quarterback and most of the rest of the game, the Ravens ran the ball and still racked up 169 yards on 35 carries, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and a score. Ravens are hot, the spread is not, I hate the favorite giving 6.5 to 7 points. However, you can’t deny how bad the Falcons are on the road in an open stadium and the Ravens are hot. Take the Ravens to win with the points but in the Under. Ravens 31-17
Tennessee Titans vs. Washington Redskins,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Redskins -6. O/U: 46:
Jake Locker is still questionable to play, Whitehurst can do everything Locker does except he may not get hurt so easily. Both have roughly the same completion percentage and yardage. I don’t consider neither of them to be competent long term starters but can get the job done from time to time. The issue for the Titans is that their 2 quarterbacks are helping the team average 228 yards a game while the rushing game is a brighter spot but still only averaging 67 yards between the rookie Sankey and veteran Greene but averaging as a team about 116 per game. Don’t expect too much with either QB in, as the Redskins defense have been terrorizing opposing QB’s. The defense for the Skins has held up through the awful 1-5 start but have stayed in some games but it’s tough to do when the defense spends more time on the field than your offense just about every game because the offense turns the ball over a ton. The turnover differential is probably the root as to what has help this team spiral out of control. They have given the ball up 13 times and have only taken it away 4 times. The defense plays well early in games and can reach the QB early but when they are on the field more than the offense and are behind in games, the defense fails and gets tired. They still however are the 5th best offense in terms of yards but Cousins needs to not turn the ball over so much to take leads and keep them. It’s a battle of 2 bad teams and you can’t trust neither of them even with home field advantage. I will however go with the better defense and more explosive offense. Take the Redskins to win with the points, but it will score in the Under. Redskins 24-14.
Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, LINE: Seahawks -7 O/U: 43.5:
This game is a very interesting one. Austin Davis has looked really good filling in for the injured Sam Bradford and the Seahawks just got beat at their house by America’s Team. The Rams are winless at home but not for lack of effort or blowouts but stared some really good teams dead in the eyes and went toe to toe all four quarters with them. They went back to back weeks in the NFC East with the Cowboys and Eagles and lost by 3 after leading at the half to the ‘Boys and damn near came back on the Eagles posting 14 points in the 4th and holding the Eagles to 0 in the same quarter. Last week it was the 49ers in which they had a 14-10 lead at the half. Their issue is just maintaining consistency through all four quarters. Confidence has to be there. They have the 7th best passing game in the league and the defense being pieced together through injuries has stood up well enough to keep the team in it each game. The Seahawks were caught napping last week and don’t let that final 30-23 score fool you, it was a dominating game for the Cowboys. Without the blocked punt returned for a TD, you’re talking 30-16 with just one lonely offensive touchdown either way. The Hawks were severely beat in TOP by about 15 minutes and only converted 5/13 (39%) 3rd downs and could only turn out 9 first downs and only 209 total yards. This can’t continue and an embarrassment like that is what motivates a team, especially with a defense like the Hawks. The Seahawks have only one way to go, up and they will get a fight trying to get back on track. Again, I hate to give team a TD to start the game especially at home, so you have to think about how worthy your pick in this game would be and maybe look into the record of the Hawks the last couple of years giving up 6.5-7 points. I still think the Hawks will win but Seattle is a different team, mostly on offense, on the road so they win but the Rams cover the spread +7 and this game will score in the Over. Seahawks 24-21.
Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, . LINE: Browns -4 O/U: 44.5:
Blake Bortles showed some growth, control and consistency last week all while only throwing 1 pick compared to his 2 average per game. He almost pulled out their first win of the year, albeit a bad team, but looked much better. I’m still torn on wether or not he or Chad Henne gives the team a better chance to win each week given the lack of experience from Bortles and how similarly their stats look. Chad usually throws as many picks as TD’s but is 3-1 TD-INT’s this year and had a banged up receiving core this year. The browns are scrappy. Hoyer’s won’t pop out at you as amazing but he gets the job done. Last week he completed about half of his passes but had 200+ yards on 8 completions for over 25+ yards per completion! which is awesome. The Browns keep games close on limiting mistakes. They’ve turned the ball over 5 times but have only caused 2 on their defense. They complete less than 40% of their 3rd downs but do remember that they played some good defenses, The Steelers twice, the Ravens and Titans before their free fall. The Jags are no pushovers themselves and will put up a fight. Cleveland isn’t a team I ever imagined getting a line like this and it’s tough to take them. Take the Browns to win but the Jags on the points and this game will score in the Under. Browns 17-14.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts –3 O/U: 50.5:
Last week I made the mistake with sticking with my guns on the Bengals covering almost a TD against Cam’s Panthers even though AJ Green was kept out of the game. I will not make that same mistake this week. When you think of Marvin Lewis, you think a great defensive team. The past 2 weeks they’ve allowed 80 points and 936 yards! The team committed 13 penalties for 113 yards, Daulton threw 2 picks. They did stay in the game without their star WR, Daulton still played a good game (33/43 77% 323 yards and 2 TD’s) utilizing Sanu on the outside for 10 grabs, 120 yards and a TD, and had some help on the ground with Bernard carrying the rock 18 times for 137 yards (7.6 avg) and a score. Their offense needs to stay rocking and moving the ball (10/16 63% on 3rd down) because Andrew Luck and the leagues best offense is up next. Luck has played some tough defenses this year, and the Bengals can be one more. Luck has been one of the best passers in the league and proved it last week going 25/44 (57%) for 370 yards 3 TD’s and 1 pick. They kept drives alive being 8/16 on 3rd down and getting 27 first downs (which is huge) while sucking up 14 more possession minutes than the Texans. 456 total yards is nothing to laugh at either as the Bengals have given up more yards on defense than their offense have been able to produce. Indy being a 3 point favorite is Vegas’s way of saying they feel that the two teams are evenly matched and Vegas usually gives any home team that -3. So basically they’re saying on a neutral field, it’s a pick’em game. I don’t think so and am surprised the line went down to -3 Colts. Take the Colts and that high powered offense to win with the points -3 and have the game score in the Over. Food for thought, AJ Green will more than likely miss his 2nd straight week. Colts 31-24. Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Pick: Colts (-3)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bills -7. O/U: 43.5:
Teddy Bridgewater showed his rookie colors last week and it was rare to see a team like the Lions who generally don’t win road games outside of a dome. The Lions sacked him 8 times in his second start which helped them to just only 3/14 converted 3rd downs and all the while causing him to throw 3 picks! The line will have a similar game against the Bills defensive front but not like they did last week, Teddy will be scrambling a bit and his game will struggle. The Bills have found consistent QB play in Orton who was 24/38 (63%) for 299 yards, 2 TD’s and a pick. The score was what it was but if they have this offense week to week, they will win some games and against some decent teams. Take the Bills to win with the points and to score in the Under. Bills 24-17
Miami Dolphins vs. Chicago Bears,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bears -3 O/U: 47.5:
This is an interesting lime for this game. Especially since the Bears went to Atlanta which has an awesome home record with Ryan at the helm and whipped them up 27-13. Yes the defense came out a little banged up but Cutler looked good, may have gained some confidence back in his ability to win big matchup games and will utilize his weapons more since he now has a strong and very healthy receiving corps. The Dolphins are back without Moreno for the rest of the year. Miller is a viable option for the running game, he has been for a few years but the NFL now-a-days, makes you use more backs in different situations. Tannehill wasn’t bad but wasn’t great. Yeah he dueled with Rodgers but in the end, he threw 2 picks and Rodgera didn’t. Turnovers win and lose you games, make them and you are staring down the barrel at a loss, cause them and you could be dominating someone all game for it. The Dolphins aren’t ready to play multiple decent games in a row plus it will be cold and windy. Tannehill isn’t the franchise guy the Dolphins hoped he would be. Take the Bears to win with the points in the Under, because both QBs will make mistakes and flip flop field advantages. Bears 27-17
Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Pick: Dolphins (+3)
New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Lions –1.5. O/U: 45.5
The Lions may be without Megatron for a bit but the defensive pressure is unreal, leading the league in sacks with 20. Brees and the Saints are a different team on the road and even in road domes. Don’t expect too much out of this offense with the Lions D in their faces. Take the Lions to win at home with the points and to score in the Under. Lions 24-20
Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -6.5 O/U: 48.5
The Panthers are coming off a pretty good morale victory, going to Cincinnati and coming out with a 37-37 tie. The Panthers mustered 29 first downs, 2/2 on 4th down, 431 total yards and ran the ball for 147 yards on 34 carries averaging 4.3 yards per carry (mostly Cam running the ball). The defense caused Andy Daulton to throw 2 picks as well. The reason that the Panthers needed to go for it and make it on 2 4th downs was because they only converted on 8/17 3rd downs and had 8 penalties for 6o yards. They will need to go to Green Bay and will have to convert more 3rd downs and get 431 yards in regulation without the help of overtime. The issue is having Cam taking more carries, how will he hold up and be a consistent passer if he has to carry the ball 17 times? The Packers on the other hand, escaped the grip of the Miami heat and Dolphins defense. They barely won even after causing 3 turnovers. They say that heat in Miami changes good teams that aren’t used to playing in it, I thought it was a joke, it’s the real deal. The Packers showed up, kept the ball moving with 27 first downs, and still managed to be down until the very end of the game. The rushing game which blew up the stat sheet last week was pedestrian at best and Rodgers completion percentage was low but still managed 3 TD’s. The key question for Green Bay is how will their defense do against Cam? They faced 2 two-way quarterbacks the first 2 weeks and lost against one with weapons and won against one without. Bettors are very afraid of favorites giving 6.5 or more and rightfully so. 11-11 are favored teams giving 6.5 or more. In this one, take the Packers to win with the points and expect the score to go in the Over. Packers 34-24.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers,
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -3. O/U: 46
They say this is a trap bet due to Andy Reid and his record against the spread after a bye week. But the Chargers are a different team this year and are still undervalued. Take the Chargers to win with the points and to score in the Over, it may be a dog fight in Sam Diego today. Chargers 28-21. Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Pick: Chiefs (+4)
Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders,
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Raiders +3.5. O/U: 46.
Take the Cards in this one to win with the points and to score in the Over since Derrick Carr found his groove last week. Cardinals 28-24
New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys,
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cowboys -5. O/U: 47
The Cowboys defense is better, causing turnovers, putting pressure on the QB. Romo found his groove and is healthy and is throwing darts. Giants lost Cruz and won’t be able to keep up as it was shown last week, getting shut out by the Eagles who don’t have a great D. Take the Cowboys to win with the points and in the Over. Cowboys 31-24
Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Pick: Giants (+6.5)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos,
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Broncos -6.5. O/U: 47.5
The Broncos usually have a line like this attached to their games but it shocks me that the road warriors like the 49ers drew this lime as well. Peyton might have a good game but he may throw it over 40 times to carry the team since San Fran will be stopping the run game. I say take the Broncos to win but the 49ers to cover in the Over. Broncos 31-28
Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Pick: 49ers (+6.5)