Our run of three weeks and a 56-26 record has come to an end. Last week we ended up going 12-16 on some extremely close games. We nailed the Texans-Raiders game exactly (27-24) and were a point off in the Titans-Bucs (27-23 instead of 26-23). We were 12-2 in picking the winners but just 7-7 against the spread.
It was the total points lines (5-9) that really killed us this week. Overall, it was a sub-par week for us, but close on so many games.
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This week we hope to recover from a fair performance in Week 8 as we look at the betting lines from 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|
|49ers -10 @ Cardinals O/U: 43||49ers 31 Cardinals 14||49ers||Over|
|Texans -1.5 @ Jaguars O/U: 46||Jaguars 24 Texans 20||Jaguards||Under|
|Bears @ Eagles -5 O/U: 42||Eagles 23 Bears 17||Eagles||Under|
|Colts -1 @ Steelers O/U: 42.5||Colts 23 Steelers 20||Colts||Over|
|Jets -3 @ Dolphins O/U: 41.5||Jets 27 Dolphins 17||Jets||Over|
|Chiefs @ Vikings N/A O/U: N/A||If Mahomes plays, Vikings win 30-27. If Mahomes sits, Vikings win 31-16.||N/A||N/A|
|Titans @ Panthers -3.5 O/U: 41.5||Panthers 23 Titans 17||Panthers||Under|
|Redskins @ Bills -9.5 O/U: 36.5||Bills 24 Redskins 16||Redskins||Over|
|Lions @ Raiders -2 O/U: 49.5||Raiders 27 Lions 24||Raiders||Over|
|Buccaneers @ Seahawks -5.5 O/U: 52||Seahawks 34 Bucs 23||Seahawks||Over|
|Browns -3.5 @ Broncos O/U: 39||Browns 24 Broncos 16||Browns||Over|
|Packers -3.5 @ Chargers O/U: 47.5||Packers 29 Chargers 24||Packers||Over|
|Patriots -3 @ Ravens O/U: 45||Patriots 31 Ravens 13||Patriots||Under|
|Cowboys -7.5 @ Giants O/U: 47.5||Cowboys 31 Giants 20||Cowboys||Over|
October 31st (Thursday night)
49ers -10 @ Cardinals O/U: 43
It’s time to get another bad Thursday night game out of the way. I will say, this should be a nice game for the analytics and modern offense crowds. On the one side, we have the Cardinals, who some casual fantasy people think are the new wave of NFL offense and are paving the way we think about how teams score. The other side is the analytics people, myself included, who value great O-lines and D-lines and creative, dynamic run games (49ers).
It’s a matchup of two contrasting styles and I’m pretty sure it will turn out in favor of the 49ers here, because, every major advantage in this game favors the 49ers. It’s not just the little advantages we’re talking about. Arizona’s offense is now without their top two backs. This one just has blowout written all over it. 49ers 31 Cardinals 14
November 3rd (Sunday)
Texans -1.5 @ Jaguars O/U: 46
The Texans defense just got a little worse. The annual season-ending injury for JJ Watt happened a bit too early this year, so now the Texans’ struggles at finding a suitable pass rush have taken yet another hit. The worst part about losing another piece of your pass rush is the trickle down for the secondary. The Texans are already averaging the most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (43 PPG).
It’s likely to get a lot worse now because opposing QBs will have a lot more time to pick apart this terrible secondary. The first game was a close, defensive battle but both offenses have gotten more in sync since then. I expect this to be a very close game. Jaguars 24 Texans 20
Bears @ Eagles -5 O/U: 42
The Bears looked good on the ground once again last week. Their pass attack, however, was again terrible. Despite doing just enough to set themselves up for the win, the Bears screwed it up and gave away a win at home. This week, they’ll face the Eagles, whose secondary was completely bailed out by bad weather last week in Buffalo. The game flipped in the third quarter and the Eagles ran away with it.
I like their matchups in this game, as an inconsistent Bears rushing attack is in for a tall order against the Eagles’ rush defense. I also like the Eagles offense against the Bears this week. I think Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard will both have a solid game. I like the balance of the Eagles offense in this matchup and firmly believe scoring should just come easier for them in this game. It’s a similar matchup as the Bills a week ago and I like the Eagles to take this one at home. Eagles 23 Bears 17
Colts -1 @ Steelers O/U: 42.5
I finally got a Colts game wrong last week. It was long overdue, but I like their odds this week against the Steelers, mainly because I wasn’t very encouraged from what I saw from Mason Rudolph. The Colts’ defense is pretty good and I like Frank Reich’s game-planning a lot more than Mike Tomlin’s. I think this Steelers offense is still a little wet behind the ears but I’d be hopeful if I were a Steelers fan going forward. This game should also be close but I think the Colts will get out to a lead early and cling to a victory after a late Steelers rally. Colts 23 Steelers 20
Jets -3 @ Dolphins O/U: 41.5
Watch some NFL shows this week and it’s nothing but hate for the Jets right now. People are forgetting just how good Sam Darnold can be in great matchups. The Jets have more talent on the field and are due for one of those games where everything clicks and the team looks incredible. Given the right matchups, we saw this Jets team look great at points in 2018, but against team with plus units (D-Lines, O-Lines, etc) the Jets just get outclassed. Perhaps the most telling indicator about this game is the decision the Dolphins made on 3rd and 20 last week.
The Dolphins all-out blitzed, leaving back three or four in the secondary and the Steelers connected on a long touchdown on a slant, combined with decent blocking. It was a play you rarely see in the NFL because a breakdown of that magnitude seemed oddly intentional, to me. What better way to secure the top pick than by lessening the lead just before half? I am a firm believer in the Dolphins’ full-on tanking attempt and thing this Jets spread is perfect. This is probably my easiest choice of the week. Jets 27 Dolphins 17
Chiefs @ Vikings N/A O/U: N/A
There’s no current line on this game because of the uncertainty of Pat Mahomes for the contest, but I’ll give my picks, regardless. If Mahomes plays, I think the Vikings win 30-27. If Mahomes sits, I think the Vikings win 31-16. The Vikings are a complete team, who can run it against anyone. I like their defense to cause havoc against a rudderless Chiefs offense if Mahomes is out, but if Mahomes plays, I still like the complete team better here.
Titans @ Panthers -3.5 O/U: 41.5
The Titans have gotten a little better on both the offensive line and defensive line. Taylor Lewan has helped out the pass protection since the Week 5 return, and Jeffrey Simmons has been great on the D-Line since returning from suspension. The Panthers will be home, licking their wounds from the reality check they got a week ago. I think we’ll see Christian McCaffrey getting about 25 touches in this game. The Panthers pass rush should be the difference in this game but I think this will be more of a defensive struggle than people think. The game will take place on the ground but the Panthers pass rush will secure it for the Panthers. Panthers 23 Titans 17
Redskins @ Bills -9.5 O/U: 36.5
The Bills have another cakewalk game ahead of them, following the first real test in weeks last Sunday. This line is much higher than the Bills are equipped to cover. I mentioned this in their last heavy line game against the Dolphins and it came to fruition. This time around, they’re playing a team better at rushing the ball and less volatile passing the ball. I just see this one playing out a lot like the Vikings and Redskins game from last Thursday where the Redskins run the ball effectively and just hang around the entire game. I think the Bills will seal it late, but this line is just way too high for my liking. I think the Redskins cover, barely. Bills 24 Redskins 16
Lions @ Raiders -2 O/U: 49.5
The Lions are winning, despite the loss of Kerryon Johnson and the swirling rumors about the Lions possibly trading Darrius Slay before the trade deadline. The time has come and gone, Slay remains, and the Lions are sitting in this odd position where they can edge the Bears, Panthers and Eagles for that second Wildcard spot. This week, they’ll be going on the road to face the Raiders, who haven’t played a home game since the Raiders were still considered a joke.
This week’s matchup is going to be a big challenge. The Lions, I’d go so far as to say, are very much in the same class as the Texans, Raiders, Chargers, and about four other teams who can show a lot on offense, depending on the matchup. This game has all the indications of being a shootout, with both teams passing the ball especially well as of late. I like the Raiders’ offensive balance in this game and think Carr will have plenty of time to throw. Though I think the same will be true for the Lions, I prefer versatile offenses over one-sided ones in games like this. Raiders 27 Lions 24
Buccaneers @ Seahawks -5.5 O/U: 52
There’s a really surprising fact that is very telling in this game and that is the Bucs rush defense is elite. It’s going to be one of those big Russell Wilson games as Chris Carson simply won’t have the holes he’s going to need to make an impact on the ground. The Seahawks have become much less stubborn about running the ball ad nauseum and should pivot early to the pass in this one. I expect Jameis Winston will put up some big yardage in this game, but I expect Wilson to get the job done and the Seahawks to cruise to a nice victory here. Seahawks 34 Bucs 23
Browns -3.5 @ Broncos O/U: 39
Both these teams have solid pass rushes, but both can struggle to stop the run. The Browns played better than many expected a week ago versus the Patriots, but they’re a frustrated unit, going on the road to play a team starting a new quarterback in his first NFL start. I like the Browns more here because I think the Browns can afford to load the box and let Allen try to beat their corners by himself. I think Nick Chubb will have a solid game, as will Jarvis Landry.
Even though the Broncos have a much better defensive DVOA than the Browns, I haven’t seen enough of this new quarterback and the uncertainty of Phillip Lindsay (wrist injury) in this game makes me feel safe about the Browns this week (said no one ever). Browns 24 Broncos 16
Packers -3.5 @ Chargers O/U: 47.5
Is this a trap game for the Packers? It sure looks that way, according to the lines sportsbooks have. To me, it doesn’t make much sense and here’s why. The Chargers line has been terrible. Even if the Packers don’t have a strong blitz rate, the Chargers just fired their offensive coordinator following weeks of ineptitude on offense.
The Chargers rush defense is pretty deplorable. The only thing I like here is the prospect of Philip Rivers making all the throws necessary in clutch moments. I think the Packers will be able to run all over the Chargers in this one, but I think the Chargers will keep it close. Packers 29 Chargers 24
Patriots -3 @ Ravens O/U: 45
The Patriots are the defensive power we feared they might be. They also have a head coach who is the greatest ever and one who shut down the Rams’ high-powered offense in last season’s Super Bowl. Stopping Lamar Jackson won’t be very difficult to me. As for the Baltimore defense, it’s horrendous. I think Belichek will force Jackson to throw the ball downfield and it’s not going to go especially well. That’s actually a massive understatement. Jackson should have his moments on the ground. I actually think Jackson will be able to break off a couple decent runs here, but this is a game I really feel could get away from the Ravens. I like the Patriots to win big. Patriots 31 Ravens 13
November 4th (Monday night)
Cowboys -7.5 @ Giants O/U: 47.5
I think this game is pretty straightforward. The Giants have been much more mistake prone lately in games. The Cowboys have opened up the run game recently and are coming off a bye. This one, to me, comes down to the Giants’ inability to stop the pass and for that, I just see another game that could snowball in the second or third quarter. I think the Cowboys win and cover easily. Cowboys 31 Giants 20