Last week was our best week of the season! We went 18-10 on picks last week. It was a much-needed turnaround from the incredibly awful week prior. We won our first Thursday night game, as the Rams covered the spread by a half a point. In fact, there were a couple of games we cleared by a half-point and one we lost by a half-point.
Despite the razor-thin margins at this point, the streak of 10 for 10 on correctly picking both the Colts and the Chiefs remains intact as the prediction of the Colts to cover (if Hilton and Mack played) came true. The goal now is to get back over .500 on the season (for the season now, we are 66-70) and I like these matchups this week, so let’s keep the fire hot.
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So let’s get into this week’s picks with lines from the new BetRivers online sportsbook. If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s in-depth predictions and analysis. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Giants @ Patriots -16.5 O/U: 42||Patriots 42 Giants 7||Patriots||Over|
|Panthers -2 @ Bucs O/U: 47||Bucs 25 Panthers 24||Bucs||Over|
|Texans @ Chiefs -4.5 O/U: 55.5||Chiefs 34 Texans 31||Texans||Over|
|Bengals @ Ravens -11 O/U: 47.5||Ravens 27 Bengals 20||Bengals||Under|
|Saints @ Jags -1.5 O/U: 44.5||Jaguars 26 Saints 23||Jags||Over|
|Eagles @ Vikings -2.5 O/U: 44||Vikings 27 Eagles 20||Vikings||Over|
|Seahawks -1 @ Browns O/U: 47||Browns 27 Seahawks 24||Browns||Over|
|Redskins -3.5 @ Dolphins O/U: 41.5||Redskins 31 Dolphins 17||Dolphins||Over|
|Falcons -3 @ Cardinals O/U: 51||Cardinals 34 Falcons 30||Cardinals||Over|
|49ers @ Rams -3.5 O/U: 50.5||49ers 24 Rams 23||49ers||Under|
|Cowboys -6.5 @ Jets O/U: 43||Cowboys 24 Jets 17||Jets||Under|
|Titans @ Broncos -2 O/U: 39||Broncos 20 Titans 17||Broncos||Under|
|Steelers @ Chargers -6.5 O/U: 41||Chargers 20 Steelers 17||Steelers||Under|
|Lions @ Packers -4.5 O/U: 47||Packers 24 Lions 20||Lions||Under|
October 10th (Thursday night)
Giants @ Patriots -16.5 O/U: 42
Following two real solid Thursday night games, this one has all the makings of a blowout. It’s another week and yet another team who is either bad or riddled with injuries going up against the Patriots. It looks like it’s both, again. I’m not even going to spend a lot of time on this one. Sterling Shephard is out, Saquan Barkley is out, Evan Engram might also be out. This is just another routine game for the stacked Pats. Expect little drama and even less semblance of a competitive game. Patriots 42 Giants 7
October 13th (Sunday)
Panthers -2 @ Bucs O/U: 47
Panthers -2 @ Bucs O/U: 47
The first matchup between these two was highlighted by the controversy surrounding Cam Newton and his mystery ailment. In that game, Christian McCaffrey was shut down and shut out of the end zone on the last play of the game. This time around, the Panthers will have a more capable passer than an injured Cam, but the defensive front is still going to cause the Panthers issues. I’m on board with the Bucs at home this week. Bucs 25 Panthers 24
Texans @ Chiefs -4.5 O/U: 55.5
Hey everyone, make sure you find a way to watch this game on Sunday. This game is going to be absolutely nuts. It’s among the highest total points lines we’ve ever had. I look at last week’s dud against the Colts as more of a reflection of Mahomes’ ankle issue, combined with a few drops, and Frank Reich’s genius as a Coach.
I’m not sure the Texans will be able to stop Mahomes, given they had similar issues last week slowing down a one-dimensional offense in the Atlanta Falcons. Given the Chiefs’ struggles stopping dual-threat quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, I have confidence Deshaun Watson is going to be able to keep the pace in this game. Get ready for a shootout. Chiefs 34 Texans 31
Bengals @ Ravens -11 O/U: 47.5
The Bengals haven’t shown much life this season, but with the lack of a defensive presence, combined with a new coach and a bad offensive line, it’s been a disaster so far in 2019. As for the Ravens, they looked great the first two weeks, against bad opponents, but lately, they were trounced by the Browns and barely survived the Steelers last week. As overrated as I think they are, they still should be able to handle this weak Bengals defense. I’m just not convinced it’s going to be as bad as everyone thinks. Ravens 27 Bengals 20
Saints @ Jags -1.5 O/U: 44.5
The Saints look like a legit team, even without Drew Brees. Every win can either be attributed to a great week from Alvin Kamara or one from Michael Thomas. The Jags struggled mightily against Christian McCaffrey and Kyle Allen last week. This week, they’ll be dealing with a similar duo in Bridgewater and Kamara. The question here is, do you trust the Jaguars offense to keep up in this game? I do and think this game is going to come down to the wire. Jaguars 26 Saints 23
Eagles @ Vikings -2.5 O/U: 44
The Eagles have been about right where you’d expect a team with their strengths to be. Their offense is powerful in spurts but can lose its identity for stretches in games. The Vikings, on the other hand, are a team who is purple (balanced offense) but likes to think of themselves as red (rushing offense). They prioritize rushing. They’re committed to rushing the ball and have little interest passing, even though they have one of the best receiver duos in football.
This week, the Vikings staff might realize what they realized a week ago — that the other team has a horrible secondary. The Vikings defense has been pretty solid all season, so I think the key to winning for the Vikings will be less running against this stacked Philly rush defense and more passing against this weak Eagles secondary. This is my pick of the week Vikings 27 Eagles 20
Seahawks -1 @ Browns O/U: 47
The Seahawks are finally coming to terms with the fact their passing game is just a lot more effective than their rushing game. Sorry, Marty Schottenheimer’s son. I realize there’s a reason you run the ball with high frequency, early in games. It sets up play-action and commits defenders to the box. Yeah, we get it, but Russell Wilson has been an absolute wizard this season and it’s finally become clear to the Seahawks that success is going to be had when you put the ball in Russell’s hands and move away from trying to slam you running back up the gut, down 14 in the second half.
The Browns have been rather putrid lately, but they’re a very interesting team. When Baker has time to throw they are deadly on offense. Per Football Outsiders, the Seahawks have the 25th ranked adjusted sack rate (5.6%) so I think Baker should have plenty of time to throw this week. Last week should’ve been a wakeup call for that team as I fully anticipate the Browns and their personnel schemes to change this week to allow the Browns receivers to exploit a shaky Seahawks secondary. Browns 27 Seahawks 24
Redskins -3.5 @ Dolphins O/U: 41.5
There can’t be too many people interested in this game. Tua will undoubtedly be watching this game from his place in Alabama wearing the notorious Curb Your Enthusiasm GIF look on his face during the entire game. I keep looking at this matchup and thinking it’s going to turn out like that scene in Hot Shots: Part Deux, where both boxers land jabs and immediately fake being knocked out.
I’m leaning Redskins here because I believe the Tank is on for Miami and they’ve made their tanking aspirations clear on many occasions in 2019. The Redskins have an interim coach and are a franchise with proud roots and an even prouder owner, who might also be the worst owner in all of sports. I think the Redskins will get the win this week and put to rest any doubts about there being another team working as hard as Miami for the top pick. Redskins 31 Dolphins 17
Falcons -3 @ Cardinals O/U: 51
Both these teams have been awful on defense this season. There’s one terrifying stat that might tip the scales for the Cardinals in this one. Just as I mentioned in the Browns game, that stat, Adjusted Sack Rate, shows the Falcons aren’t just dead last, they’re last by nearly half a percentage point (3.8% ASR). That means Kyler Murray should have plenty of time to just sit back in the pocket, like he did at Oklahoma and let his receivers eat up the Falcons’ poor secondary.
While I think the Falcons should also have an easy time attacking the Cardinals through the air, I think Matt Ryan has been a lot more mistake-prone this season than years past, so I trust the Cardinals a little more to control this game. I also like their prospect of building off the momentum from last week’s win. Cardinals 34 Falcons 30
49ers @ Rams -3.5 O/U: 50.5
Tampa Bay is coming off their biggest road win in possibly a decade, maybe longer. The Saints now have two impressive back-to-back victories against quality opponents. Something has to give in this one. As much as I want to go with the Saints here, because of their rushing defense and solid overall defense over the past couple games, I think the issue for the Saints has been stopping offenses in 11 personnel formations.
In obvious passing down situations, the Texans and Seahawks were able to mount significant drives and score again and again. Last week, the Cowboys tried to run a balanced attack. Meanwhile, the Bucs defensive front has been a problem for opposing teams, their defense seems susceptible to dynamic passing offenses, which the Saints aren’t right now and their offense is pass-heavy. I like the Bucs on the road to steal another. 49ers 24 Rams 23
Cowboys -6.5 @ Jets O/U: 43
I’m going back and forth on this one. A part of me saw the Cowboys struggle last week and it leads me to believe there’s still issues with the Cowboys offensive line, but there’s a bigger part of me who thinks the Jets will be re-acclimating to Sam Darnold. Perhaps the biggest factor in this decision is the Jets weak pass rush.
Their ASR is just 5%, which puts them in the bottom five of the league, so I have my doubts as to how they’re going to be able to consistently disrupt Dak in the pocket. Even though the Jets have one of the best rush defenses in the NFL, the issue will be slowing this air attack and I’m not confident they can. Cowboys 24 Jets 17
Titans @ Broncos -2 O/U: 39
Last week, we didn’t pick the Titans/Bills game because there was no line with questions about Josh Allen’s availability looming. This week, the Titans will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos, who are a better team than their record indicates. I’ve not trusted the Titans all year and for good reason. They’re solid one week and awful the next. I don’t know what I’m ever getting from them.
The Broncos, on the other hand, have been playing good defense of late and have the kind of secondary to force Tennessee into being one dimensional all game. I have the Broncos in a close, low-scoring game. Broncos 20 Titans 17
Steelers @ Chargers -6.5 O/U: 41
This one is trickier than you may think. For one, the Chargers struggled last week against the Broncos at home, while the Steelers lost another heartbreaker and have looked relatively solid since Week 1. The Steelers defense is swarming and forcing turnovers as well. Their pass rush has been formidable lately and Devlin Hodges may actually be better than Mason Rudolph for this offense.
As I stated in my Week 6 analysis of the Steelers, Hodges has a better pocket presence, footwork, mobility, and a quicker release than Rudolph. In the past few days, I’ve changed my pick for this game because of one minor injury report no one is taking into consideration. Mike Pouncey, the Chargers Pro-Bowl center, was placed on Injured Reserve this week, following a neck injury in the Broncos game. Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler combined for just 38 yards rushing in the loss. Without Pouncey, the Chargers will be in all kinds of trouble protecting Rivers and opening holes for the run game. I have the Steelers covering. Chargers 20 Steelers 17
October 14th (Monday night)
Lions @ Packers -4.5 O/U: 47
The Lions are coming off their bye, which might factor in the initial game script. If you like to bet first halves of games, this would be one worthy of looking into. Personally, I wouldn’t bet anything on this game because there are just too many factors going on both sides. For one, the Packers rush defense hasn’t been good. The Lions rush defense has also not been very good either, and with a game involving two run-happy coaches, I think this one will be much lower scoring than anticipated. Packers 24 Lions 20