Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – London, 9:30 AM (Buccs +1, O/U: 47.5)
Kyle Allen has been keeping the Panthers season alive in the absence of Cam. He’s completed 67% of his passes and has been very careful with the ball, throwing 5 TD’s and 0 picks. The team has put a lot of work on Christian McCaffrey as well as he leads the league in yards from scrimmage (866) while leading the league in rushing yards (587) and tied for second in rushing TD’s (6). The defense is the 4th best against the pass, allowing just 985 yards. The Buccs have been keeping things interesting in the NFC South with wins against the Panthers and Rams. Jameis has been up and down but has looked better than seasons past under Arians (61.4 % completions, 1,371 yards and 11 TD’s with 5 picks). The big difference in this offense is that their efficient in passing downfield, averaging 13.4 yards per completion. The line needs more work as they’ve allowed 18 sacks (tied for 4th in the league). The emergence of Ronald Jones has been much needed for the run game. The team is middle of the league in rushing but Ronnie has shown flashes of what he can do when the line blocks well as he’s averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Their defense has been suspect however as they’ve allowed the 5th most points and yards in the league (148 and 1,967 yards) but caused 10 turnovers which ironically is also the 5th best in the league.
Take the Panthers to cover in the over, Panthers 27-24.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM (Ravens -10.5, O/U: 46.5)
The Bengals have been hovering around the bottom 4 in most team stats. Massive offensive line issues have them sitting 3rd worst in the league in rushing which forces Dalton to throw more which has the team 9th in the league in passing yards. Dalton at least has kept the turnovers to a minimum (7TD’s to 4 picks). They have the 2nd worst redzone conversion, only converting 4 TD’s on 14 trips (28.6%). They’ve also allowed the 7th most points and don’t get to the QB much at all with only 6 sacks (tied for 2nd worst in the league). The Ravens have seemed to cool off a bit as he’s thrown for less than 250 yards in each game and has 4 TD’s and 5 picks in those games and luckily walk away 1-1 from those games. Ingram is top 10 in yards with 6 TD’s (tied for 2nd in the league). The defense isn’t the Ravens defense of old however. They’re bottom half of the league in points allowed, 3rd worst in passing yards allowed, bottom 3rd in the league with just 9 sacks, but have been solid against the run (top 3rd in the league). The one for sure thing is that they are good in the redzone, converting the 8th best percentage (63.6%) with 14 redzone TD’s on 22 trips. Take the Ravens to cover in the over, Ravens 31-17.
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1:00 PM (Chiefs -3.5, O/U: 54.5)
The Texans take their 8th best offense up against the Chiefs 3rd best. Showdown of the young guns has Watson (69.2% completions, ,1364 yards, 11 TD’s and 1 INT) versus Mahomes (65.6% completions, 1,831 yards, 11 TD’s and zero picks). The Texans have converted a leagues 2nd best in the redzone, 73.3% (11TD’s for 15 trips) while the Chiefs are only 22nd (10 TD’s for 20 trips, 50%), however the Chiefs are more of a big play type of offense. Speaking of their big play abilities, Tyreek Hill will be back in the lineup, how effective, we will see but a deep threat that Mahomes has been missing, is back. Take the Chiefs to cover in the over, Chiefs 34-28.
New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank Field, 1:00 PM (Jags -2.5, O/U: 42.5)
Something has to give with the Saints as they go into their 4th game under Bridgewater’s leadership. They lead the NFC South while also having a -1 on scoring differential, that’s right, they’ve allowed more points than scored and are 4-1. The Saints have stayed middle of the league in passing as Bridgewater has only averaged just over 200 yards per game. Kamara hasn’t really broken out yet either, ranking 12 in rushing yards with only 1 TD. Important to note that the Saints have one of the worst redzone defenses (5th worst) allowing 11 TD’s in 16 trips (68.8%). The Jaguars are 10th in passing but Fournette has woken up and is now 3rd in the league in rushing with 512 TD’s while scoring his first and only TD of the year last week. To be fair, he’s had 333 of his 512 yards in the last 2 weeks but that just means that the offense is starting to find a grove under Minshew who also had a big week last week (374 yards, 2TD’s and 0 picks). Believe it or not but Minshew is right behind Aaron Rodgers in yardage (1,279) and has an astounding 9 TD’s and only 1 pick. Both defenses are 11th (Saints) and 12th (Jags) in passing yards allowed. Take the Jaguars to cover in the under, Jaguars 20-17.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM (Vikings -3.5, O/U: 45.5)
The Eagles come into this matchup with the NFC East lead while having scored the 6th most points but being 20th in pass yards and 18th in rush yards means they don’t spend much time on the field and are efficient in the redzone 68.4% of their trips (13 TD’s in 19 trips). The defense has allowed the 4th most yards (1,356) as a result but only allowed 111 points which keeps them middle of the league. Cousins had a big bounce back game last week (306 yards and 2 TD’s) as he improved on the leagues 28th best passing offense. Given Cousins struggles all season so far, The Vikings have been great on the ground as the leagues 2nd best run game as Cook has 542 yards (45 yards behind McCaffrey) and 5 TD’s. He’s been phenomenal since coming back from his injury in his rookie season. The Vikings are also efficient in the redzone, scoring 9 td’s on 15 trips (60%). Take the Eagles to cover in the win, in the over, Eagles 27-24.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 1:00 PM (Pick’em, O/U: 46.5)
Russell Wilson has been very efficient to start the season and apparently it’s a trend to throw a bunch of TD’s with zero picks as Wilson has 12 TD”s and zero picks. Wilson usually is careful with the ball while ranking second by .2% in completions (73.1%) behind Derek Carr. Seattle ranks up in the top half in rushing as Carson holds the 9th spot with 380 yards and 1 score while averaging 4 yards per carry. The Browns are a roller coaster team which is actually a compliment compared to recent years. Baker ranks middle of the pack in yardage but his overall decision making has hurt the team tremendously (4td’s to 8 picks) while also being sacked 16 times which is tied for 5th most times sacked. Nick Chubb has kept the balance on the offense to try and take the pressure off of Mayfield. Chubb is 4th in the league in rushing yards (485) with 4 TD’s also adding 111 receiving yards for 596 scrimmage yards (4th most). The pride of the Browns is their defense which only ranks 5th in most points allowed. Even though they have been missing some key star players in their secondary, they rank 7th best in passing yards allowed but the rush defense ranks 4th with most yards allowed (754). Take the Seahawks to win in the pick’em, in the over, Seahawks 27-20.
Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, 1:00 PM (Dolphins +5, O/U: 42.5)
It’s been dubbed the tank bowl and both teams are ranked at or near the bottom in basically every statistical category. There’s not much to say with the Redskins firing Jay Gruden, going with Colt McCoy to start and the Dolphins having struggled to score all year (just 26 points in 5 games). It’s a coin flip. Take the Dolphins to cover in the win (you heard it hear first), in the under, Dolphins 20-17.
Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:05 PM (Cardinals +3, O/U: 51.5)
The Falcons have had a rough start and their coaches job is on the line because of it, being 20th in the league in passing and 28th in rushing, which shouldn’t happen with that talent. It isn’t just the offense that has stunk it up, the defense is ranked 3rd in points allowed, 10th most pass yards allowed and 13th in rush yards allowed. Matt Ryan has had to pass a ton given the lack of the rushing game and minus his picks, he’s been efficient (70% completions, 1,655 yards, 11 TD’s and 7 picks). Devonta Freeman has been the surprise of the season, surprise as he’s been missing on this offense. He’s ranking 38th in rushing (58 carries, 187 yards, zero TD’s). Kyler Murray has been fairly effective given the porous offensive line (62.7% completions, 1,324 yards, 4TD’s and 4 picks). I mentioned the bad offensive line, they’ve allowed the leagues second most sacks with 21. David Johnson had a couple good games to make everyone think he was back but he’s still only 21st in rushing (264 yards and 1 TD). The Cardinals are known to start games slow and turn it on after the half but that kind of inconsistency hurts especially since they’re 3rd worst in the league in the redzone with 20 trips but only 6 TD’s for 30%. Take the Falcons to cover in the over, Falcons 31-24.
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 4:05 PM (Rams -3, O/U: 49.5)
The 49ers have been on a nice ride as they are the only undefeated team left in the NFC at 4-0. The 49ers were sure to ease Jimmy G back as they have the 3 worst passing yardage as Jimmy G has 69% completions, 920 yards, 7TD’s and 4 picks. The team is ranked 3rd in rushing as they were easing Jimmy G back with Matt Breida ranking 13th in rushing yards (340) and a TD but also teaming with Rasheem Mostert (236) and Tevin Coleman (120). The concerning stat, redzone conversions are bottom 3rd of the league with 17 trips but only 8 TD’s (47.1%). The Rams have fallen off a bit but are still scoring the leagues 5th most points (146). Goff leads the leagues 3rd best passing team with 63.1% completions, 1,649 yards, 7TD’s but also 7 picks as he’s throwing more due to hit and miss run support. They rank 22nd in team rushing with 481 yards and 8 TD’s with Gurley only ranking 19th in the league with 270 yards but 5 TD’s. They are good in the redzone, converting 14 TD’s in 22 trips (63.6%) good for tied for 8th. Defensively the Rams rank in the bottom 3rd and the 49ers rank 2nd in points allowed. 49ers also have the 3rd most turnovers caused in the league with 11, 7 by way of the interception (only had 2 all last season). Take the 49ers to cover and win in the under, 49ers 24-20.
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets, MetLife Stadium, 4:25 PM (Jets +7, O/U: 43.5)
The Cowboys have cooled off tremendously after their hot start. They had to witness another Green Bay win in their own house (again). The Cowboys are still a top 10 offense and rank 4th in redzone conversions with 16 trips and 11 TD’s (68.8%). Their defense is also stout, only allowing the 7th least amount of points (90). Dak Prescott is 5th in passing yardage (1,606), 11 TD’s but 6 picks even with 69.6% completions. Zeke has been in the top 10 in yards all year but being down in the last 2 games, the offense looks to pass more and his numbers took a hit from it. For the Jets, Sam Darnold is back from having mono. The Jets rank last or near last in every statistical category on offense and with Darnold being out for about a month, he will be rusty. Although the Jets are bad, defensively they rank 8th in least amount of pass yards allowed and 4th least amount of yards allowed rushing. The redzone defense isn’t great however, allowing 7TD’s in 10 trips (70%) and are the 2nd wrost there. Take the Cowboys to cover in the under, Cowboys 27-10.
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 4:25 PM (Broncos -1.5, O/U: 41.5)
The Titans and Broncos are virtually right next to each other in all offensive categories other than redzone conversions. The Broncos are 27th with 7 TD’s on 15 trips (46.7%) while the Titans are 10th 8TD’s in 13 trips (61.5%). Defensively they’re pretty close as well but the Titans pull away in picks (7 Titans, 4 Broncos) and sacks (17 Titans, 5 Broncos). The Titans are worse however (30th), in the redzone as they allowed 9 TD’s on 13 trips (69.2%) while the Broncos are 6th, allowing just 8 TD’s on 17 trips (47.1%). Mariota and Falcco aren’t far off in stats but Mariota still has yet to throw a pick and has 7TD’s, while Flacco has 4 picks and 6 TD’s. This game will be close given how similar the 2 are. Take the Broncos to cover in the under, Broncos 20-17.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 8:20 PM, NBC (Chargers -6, O/U: 42.5)
The Steelers will be sending undrafted rookie, Devin Hodges, out for his first career start as Mason Rudolph hasn’t been cleared from his vicious concussion last week. Hodges will be the teams 3rd quarterback in 6 games but he did look good in his relief work last week, going 7/9 for 68 yards. Conner hasn’t been up to par or what was expected from what he brought last year with only 194 yards on 58 carries and 2 TD’s. Even with all of the injuries at quarterback, the Steelers still have managed to rank 22nd in points scored (99), but are bottom 3rd in passing and rushing yards. The defense has suffered because of it but still rank middle of the pack. The Chargers are trying to hang in there as they are 3rd in the AFC West as the Chiefs obviously lead but the shocking 3-2 Raiders are sitting in 2nd! The Chargers rushing game has hurt the offense early but they now do have Melvin Gordon back as of last week and should see more action in this game. Rivers is 6th in passing yards but only has 7TD’s and 4 picks as he lost Gates and Williams for this season. Ekeler has been a decent fill in but more effective through the air as he ranks in the top 10 in scrimmage yards. Take the Chargers to cover in the under, Chargers 24-13.
Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5:
- Seattle at Cleveland – Cleveland (+2)
- New Orleans at Jacksonville – Jacksonville (-2)
- Atlanta at Arizona – Atlanta (-2.5)
- Tennessee at Denver – Tennessee (+2)
- Dallas at NY Jets – NY Jets (+7)