It was nice to get back into the win column last week by gaining two units with a 2-2 record. The Seahawks were an easy winner for our top play of the week followed by the New York Giants as an outright winner in upsetting the Saints as 7.5-point underdogs. The Vikings were a dud followed by the Carolina Panthers playing an awful second half in a loss to the Cowboys.
There are a lot of plays I like this week, so let’s get back at it. The season total stands at 13-17-2 and a loss of four units.
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Even if the Green Bay Packers were a healthy football squad, this is a spot I would hate for them. They’re coming off playing two marquee brand teams in the San Fransisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers and have the Chicago Bears on tap.
This is a sandwich spot as you will ever see — coming off high profile games with another one to look ahead to. An away game at Cincy in the early afternoon window screams as one of those low energy games.The Bengals also have extra time to prepare coming off a Thursday evening home game.
Throw in the fact that the Packers are without Jaire Alexander and this game becomes very scary. Even with Alexander, covering Ja’Mar Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd would be a tall task him. Without him, it’s downright terrifying.
With Joe Burrow averaging an outstanding 9.2 yards per attempt this season, you can expect a lot of soft coverage trying to force him to be patient in hopes of making Cincy drive long fields. Defensively, the Bengals have been better than expected with Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard providing a great pass rush. They also get Jessie Bates back at safety for this game, who is one of the top safeties in the league and Chibode Awuzie back at corner.
To win this game, the Packers will likely have to do it in a shootout, which is certainly possible. Despite the Packers getting 76 percent of the bets, this spread has not moved off -3 all week and in fact the juice has it closer to moving to -2.5. This says the sharps are on the home underdog. I expect a lot of points in this game and I do think the Bengals provide value.
Picks: Bengals + 3 2 units, Over 50.5 2 units, Joe Burrow over 264.5 passing yards 1 unit
San Francisco 49ers (+5.5) over Arizona Cardinals 4 units
This is exactly the same spot the Cardinals were in last week against the Rams. The Rams were coming off a ginormous win over Tampa and were flat the following week. I expect the same here. The 49ers will be desperate to not drop three in a row.
The matchup is good as Arizona is 31st in the NFL giving up a first down on nearly 40 percent of rushes called against them. A game plan for Trey Lance should be able to take advantage. Sprinkle on the money line at +205. Arizona is just 1-8 ATS as a home favorite over the last three years.
Buffalo Bills (+3) over Kansas City Chiefs 3 units
The Bills are the better and more complete team right now, which gives us great line value at +3. The spot is also good with the Bills looking for playoff revenge. With the way the defense has been playing, Kansas City is overvalued. Even the Eagles managed to gain 461 yards on that defense last week.
Miami Dolphins (+10) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 units
Coming off the most hyped NFL game in a long time, there is reason to expect Tampa Bay to be flat here. With a secondary that is this depleted by injuries, I don’t think Tampa should be laying double digits.
Carolina Panthers (-3) over Philadelphia Eagles 2 units
I expect Carolina to have a jolt of energy following the Stephon Gilmore. Knowing your front office believes in your team is a big thing. They also have a huge advantage in the trenches and should be able to harass Jalen Hurts against a depleted Philly offensive line.
Matt Ryan under 268.5 passing yards 1 unit
No Calvin Ridley and the Jets have played better than expected defense this season. Ryan also has looked to like a quarterback in decline.
Jalen Hurts over 43.5 rushing yards 1 unit
Hurts has hit this in number in six of his eight career starts. A good Carolina pass rush should have him leaving the pocket a ton.
A.J. Brown over 63.5 receiving yards 1 unit
No Julio Jones has Brown as the undisputed No. 1 WR again against a brutal Jacksonville defense. Great buy low opportunity.
Damien Harris over 14.5 rushing attempts 1 unit
Expect the Pats to get back to a run-heavy game plan after having to abandon it against Tampa. Game script will be in their favor.
Emmanuel Sanders over 50.5 receiving yards 2 units
This is way too low a number for a No. 2 target on the Bills against what the Chiefs have displayed on defense this year. Sanders has gotten at least six targets every game and has hit this total in three of his four games.