This is a good spot for a home team on a Thursday night, especially considering the coaching mismatch and the ability of Kyle Shanahan to scheme up things and hang some points on the Oakland defense. The only concern would be if C.J. Beathard, who is playing pretty well lately, can't go against Oakland.
Vikings (-4) vs. Lions
This is a pretty good price relative to the look-ahead line and early odds, which would have had the Vikings favored by seven points. They're still a good team -- two bad mistakes doomed them against the Saints and things got out of hand. No one's slowing down Adam Thielen and this passing attack, and if the Vikings can get a lead Latavius Murray can salt things away.
Browns (+8) vs. Chiefs
Hate, hate, hate, hate, haaaaaaaate this line. The Chiefs are smashing everyone in sight and the Browns just fired everyone in sight. At least give us 10 points here, guys. I'm still going to take the home dog getting more than a touchdown, especially when the Browns should be extremely motivated to prove that firing Hue Jackson was a smart thing. We could see Baker Mayfield have a great game.
Steelers (+3) at Ravens
Like I always say, my general rule of thumb is to take the points in this matchup. And the Steelers are just playing better right now, with Ben Roethlisberger and Co. fully understanding that a win against the Ravens on Sunday sets them up in VERY good shape when it comes to winning the AFC North and making a playoff run. One last shot to show Le'Veon Bell he doesn't need to come back.
Buccaneers (+7) at Panthers
Carolina's the better team and will probably win this game, but it's also the kind of game the Panthers could manage to lose coming off a huge win against the Ravens at home last Sunday. I also think it ends up being a shootout and Ryan Fitzpatrick manages to keep it close enough for a Buccaneers cover.
Jets (+3) at Dolphins
Not sure the right team is favored here: the Jets have lost two in a row but they played two really good defenses in the Vikings and Bears. The Dolphins defense is falling apart, now down to 23rd in DVOA, and Sam Darnold should be much more comfortable in the Miami weather than he was in freezing cold Chicago. I know the Dolphins already beat the Jets once, but Miami's riding the struggle bus right now.
Redskins (-1.5) vs. Falcons
This line stinks. People are backing the Falcons coming off two wins and a bye (63 percent of the bets are on Atlanta per the Action Network) but the Redskins have been really good at home and Atlanta has not been great on the road. I'm worried the Redskins won't be able to keep up with a high-powered offense but I think they can drag this thing into their sloppy kind of battle they want.
Bears (-7) at Bills
How can you take the Bills here? They just played their Super Bowl against the Patriots and lost by more than two touchdowns and saw Derek Anderson suffer a concussion, which means it's Nate Peterman time. I'm surprised the line hasn't gone above 10 points for the Bears yet. I will say that the Bills defense might be able to limit Mitchell Trubisky in this spot more than people would imagine.
Broncos (+3) vs. Texans
Welcome to the Demaryius Thomas Bowl! I'm sure people will be backing the Texans here after their explosive performance on Thursday night against the Dolphins. That's fine, but I think Denver is good value as a home dog in this spot. They might have upgraded at wide receiver and Thomas won't be fully incorporated. I like the home team to win this one.
Seahawks (-2) vs. Chargers
Fun game here that could go either way, with two teams coming off their bye and both playing well but flying under the radar. Give me the Seahawks here, because this team is playing physical, smart football and is 4-3 despite only playing two (!) of their first seven games at home. This crowd should be frothing and Russell Wilson is playing at a really high level right now.
Saints (-1.5) vs. Rams
Have been sitting here for two weeks trying to figure out why I'm not hitting my SuperContest picks, well here's an idea: STOP FADING THE SAINTS. They could have lost the last two weeks ... but they didn't. And now they're on a roll, playing some great football on both sides of the ball, Drew Brees is locked in (even though they didn't need his volume last week) and the defense is starting to step up. They take this one at home against the Rams.
Patriots (-6.5) vs. Packers
Devastating loss by Green Bay to the Rams on the road and now they have to fly from Los Angeles to New England to get Tom Brady and the Patriots on prime time, not long after trading away one of their starting safeties in Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. The Patriots need Sony Michel healthy, but James White has been incredible so far this year, a really underrated storyline in terms of how he's complemented the running game in the short passing game. Green Bay can't keep up with him.
Titans (+6.5) at Cowboys
This line is way too big, right? It's a home game in prime time and there is serious pressure on Jason Garrett to win here, plus it'll be Amari Cooper's debut. But I think the Titans can get their ground game going a little bit here in the spotlight. Derrick Henry quietly had a very nice game against the Chargers overseas and could build on that a little bit in Jerry World.