There are some potential blowouts on the schedule this week. I wish that wasn’t the case. I get no fun out of betting double-digit points spreads. I’d rather not root for a boring game.
I had a decent year betting against the spread in the NFL last season (133-95-10). Any year you hit nearly 60% of the NFL games against the spread is a damn good year. Let’s hope my win percentage is near that this season.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 12 of the 2014 NFL season.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+7.5) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
Before you laugh at me for picking the Raiders, hear me out. Kansas City is getting a lot of public money after their win against Seattle (who are overrated). Kansas City hosts Denver next week, so this feels like a trap game. I know Oakland gets NOTHING from Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, but they gave Latavius Murray a few carries last week. I hope they continue to do that. Oakland may not win the game, but they should be able to keep it close.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-1.5) – My pick is Houston Texans
When the Bengals give up more rushing yards than their offense gains, they have trouble. The last three times in which they’ve done so, they were outscored 94-20 combined. Arian Foster may not play, but I really like what I saw from Alfred Blue last week. Jeremy Hill also had a nice game last week, but I like Houston’s run game better. I’m picking Ryan Mallett to lead the Texans to back-to-back covers.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-4.5) – My pick is Buffalo Bills
Not even a month ago, Buffalo spanked the Jets 43-23 at the Metlife Stadium. The Bills were missing the same players in that game and Kyle Orton started in place of EJ Manuel. Geno Smith threw three interceptions at the beginning of that game and Michael Vick relieved him. Vick has played better since, but I don’t see how the outcome could differ much. I’m picking the Bills to cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-14) – My pick is Indianapolis Colts
After I missed on two double-digit point spreads last week, I’m a bit gun shy this week. The Colts beat Jacksonville 44-17 in Week 3. The Jags played Bortles for most of the game and threw two touchdowns and two picks. The Colts won’t have Ahmad Bradshaw for the rest of the season, since he broke his fibula against New England. They will need to rely on Trent Richardson, who had 14 carries for 57 yards in their last contest. Andrew Luck will need to throw for 350+ yards for the Colts to cover the spread. I think he’ll do that and more.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (-6) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lovie Smith and Josh McCown are back in town! The Bucs looked pretty darn good against Washington last week. McCown is beginning to have chemistry with Mike Evans. He had over 200 receiving yards last week. With the way Chicago’s secondary has played, he’s liable to do it again. Chicago might end up squeaking this one out, but Tampa is coming to play. I’m taking the points.
Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
We will finally see the Cleveland Browns with their biggest weapon. Josh Gordon is eligible to play against Atlanta. I’m curious to see how much he will impact the team, since they could be without their second-best weapon again. Jordan Cameron was listed as questionable with concussion symptoms. Cleveland’s secondary will be tested by Julio Jones and Roddy White, but they can hang. I don’t think Atlanta’s ground game will do any damage. I’m taking the points and Cleveland could be a nice moneyline play.
Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles (-11) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
Mark Sanchez had a few ‘Sanchez Moments’ against Green Bay, but the Titans aren’t at the same level. Chip Kelly loves to push the offense and Tennessee won’t be able to handle the tempo. I could see a 38-12 final score.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+10) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
Yes, I JUST complained about being gun shy about picking double-digit spreads and I’ve already picked a couple. The Packers are on a tear and I don’t see the party stopping in Minnesota.
Detroit Lions at New England Patriots (-7) – My pick is New England Patriots
Just look at the Packers summary above and insert Patriots in for Packers. New England is arguably the best team in the AFC right now. I don’t see anyone on Detroit stopping Gronk, even though their defense goes against Calvin Johnson all the time in practice.
St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers (-4.5) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
Welp, I got both the Rams/Broncos and Chargers/Raiders games wrong last week. San Diego is 0-5 ATS in their last five games. They actually opened the season with five straight wins against the spread. The Rams defensive front-seven will pressure Philip Rivers all day. Ryan Mathews is back from injury and played pretty good last week. San Diego is a really good home team. They will squeak out a cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Seattle hasn’t looked right. Yes, they spanked Eli Manning two weeks ago, but they failed to cover in the previous four games before that. Drew Stanton does bring a possible shot of an Arizona collapse, but he’s played really well in relief. Seattle misses Golden Tate’s play-making ability. Arizona is a well-coached team and they will hang with Seattle. I’m taking the points.
Washington Redskins at San Francisco 49ers (-9) – My pick is San Francisco 49ers
The Niners haven’t beaten a team by nine points since St. Louis in Week 6. They’ve actually only scored more than 17 points once since then. I watched most of Washington’s piss-poor performance against Tampa Bay last week. RGIII isn’t ‘right’ and holds the ball way too long. He’s been taking bad sacks and will continue to do so. I’m picking San Fran to cover.
Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos (-7.5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Miami has looked pretty darn good recently. They beat up on Buffalo last week, but in the process, Mario Williams beat up on Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins miss Branden Albert. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller will keep Tannehill on his back for most the game. Denver will probably be without Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but they have other options. I’m picking Denver to cover at home.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (+3.5) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
I usually love picking against Tony Romo on NBC Sunday Night Football, but that means I would have to pick Eli Manning. I expect a lot of ‘Manning Face’ close-ups. Odell Beckham is nice to have, but he will miss Victor Cruz. The bye week was exactly what Tony Romo’s back needed. I expect a Dallas cover on Sunday night.
Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints (-3) – My pick is Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore and New Orleans are prone to have ‘off’ games. Baltimore is coming off a stretch in which they lost back-to-back road games, but then held their own at home against Tennessee. New Orleans lost their last two games (at home!) and lost Brandin Cooks for the season. Things aren’t lining up for the Saints to cover. I like Baltimore to keep this one close. I’m taking the points.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob was 133-95-10 against the spread in NFL games last season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob