This line opened at Pats -14 and shot up quickly. You can't possibly take the Giants here, not with New York potentially missing Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. Rookie QBs are 5-22 against Bill Belichick since 2001. Rookie QBs in New England? 0-14 since 2001 with an average margin of defeat of 17 points. This feels like a Sony Michel game. The Patriots can name their score against this Giants secondary.
Panthers (-2) vs. Buccaneers
London game! 9:30 a.m. ET! Set your lineups! These games are weird and I don't love the Panthers being favored in a game I thought they might be an underdog in. I reserve the right to change my pick depending on travel schedules (see: Bears vs. Raiders). But I'm firmly on board with fading Jameis Winston against good defenses and the Panthers have a very good defense. They've also got my current MVP in Christian McCaffrey. CMC is dinged up after a ton of work against the Jaguars but the Panthers will put this game on his shoulders with the bye looming.
Chiefs (-5) vs. Texans
Everyone is going to take the Texans here after seeing them drop a 50-burger on the Falcons and watching the Chiefs, in prime time, lose to Jacoby Brissett and the Colts. Patrick Mahomes vs. Deshaun Watson is must see television (on CBS!). And I'm a little nervous about fading Watson in this spot, but the line dropped too much. Since the start of 2017 the Chiefs are 8-3 against the spread when they're favored between three and seven points at home. There's just too much overreaction value not to take the Chiefs here.
Browns (+1) vs. Seahawks
Speaking of overreaction ... the Seahawks triumphed over the Rams on Thursday night in a wild game that everyone watched. Russell Wilson is getting major MVP buzz. The Browns stunk against the 49ers on Monday night in a boring game that everyone watched. Baker Mayfield is getting buried for handshakes ... or something. Give me Cleveland with everyone betting against them at home against a defense that isn't very good.
Bengals (+11.5) vs. Ravens
There shouldn't be a soul out there who wants to bet on the Bengals. I don't want to bet the Bengals. I won't be betting them, per se, but I have to pick every game, so here we are. Zac Taylor is a major concern as a coach so far. But Andy Dalton has a pretty nice track record on the road against the Ravens. In the last six years, he's got three outright wins and has never lost by more than double digits. I'm going to ride that trend plus an overreaction here. The Ravens aren't great on defense so Dalton should have some success.
Saints (+1) at Jaguars
Don't understand this line and I've got a Spidey Sense fear of taking the Saints here. But I can't go Jaguars, not with the various circumstances involved here. New Orleans has been a covering machine in October: the last time the Saints didn't cover in the month of October was in 2015. Teddy Bridgewater is starting to play well and should be offended the Jaguars refused to trade for him when they were stuck with Blake Bortles. The Saints defense is just better than the Jaguars defense at this point.
Vikings (-3) vs. Eagles
There's going to be a bunch of ripping on Kirk Cousins before this game because he can't beat winning teams, even though everyone is ignoring the fact that the Vikings only two losses are to the Bears and Packers (two divisional opponents, on the road, both with good defenses) and they've stomped everyone else. If they can nullify the Eagles pass rush at all, I think we see Stefon Diggs turn to have a squeaky wheel game here against a questionable secondary. Vikings roll at home.
Redskins (-3.5) vs. Dolphins
This is so, so stupid. The Redskins just fired their coach, have not won a football game this year and are going on the road as a FAVORITE. I really want to take the Dolphins to cover and win, but I can't get past the possible dead-cat bounce for the Redskins and, more importantly, Bill Callahan's comments about running the football. The interim coach wants to get the run game going, which means Adrian Peterson might see 30 carries on Sunday. He has just 40 this season -- I could see him having his annual throwback game against one of the worst run defenses in football.
Rams (-3) vs. 49ers
Weird line! The 49ers just destroyed the Browns on Monday night and the Rams just lost to the Seahawks on Thursday night. The 49ers are getting TONS of hype and they might deserve it given how they rate out in terms of DVOA (first above the Patriots). I will happily zig while everyone else is zagging towards San Francisco by taking the team with 10 days of rest, especially considering how TNF teams have fared this season.
Cardinals (+2.5) vs. Falcons
Atlanta is desperate and the Cardinals aren't an AFC team, so I can see the argument for fading Kliff Kingsbury in this spot. But the Falcons also can't stop anyone on defense. This game should be a shootout, provided that Kyler Murray and Co. can execute in the red zone. And I'll take the home team with the points in a battle of wounded birds.
Jets (+7.5) vs. Cowboys
The Jets are a bottom five team in football through the first quarter of the season. The Cowboys are not. But 7.5 points is just too many for a team getting its starting franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold back. If this was Luke Falk I'm not touching it, although the line might be closer to 14 if Falk was starting.
Broncos (-2.5) vs. Titans
It's frustrating that the Titans looked terrible in Week 5, because the Broncos aren't underdogs in this spot like they might have been with a loss and a Titans victory. The Broncos are going to win this game. Their defense is starting to play well and Joe Flacco has been way better than anyone is giving him credit for. This team should be 3-2 right now!!!
Steelers (+7) at Chargers
I'm not going to lie to you and say I know who *CHECKS NOTES* Devlin Hodges is. He went to Samford, not Stanford, and I think we all know that at this stage of the game. What interests me more is the Steelers defense, which has actually been outstanding this season. It's not helping them win games, but the Chargers are a sloppy team right now (as they have been for a while) and I wouldn't be surprised if the Bolts let the Steelers hang around and maybe even find a way to win the game (or the Chargers find a way to lose it, whichever you prefer).
Lions (+5) at Packers
Tough to fade the white hot Packers and Aaron Rodgers at home in a prime time game against a division opponent they've largely handled over the last few years. But this Lions team is good and they're going to be off everyone's radar with the Packers dominating the Cowboys in a two-game window on Sunday night in Week 5. I think Matthew Stafford and Co. can keep it close enough to stay in the number and could actually steal a win. They're better than people think.