Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
So right away I’m looking at this line questionably. Their game last week [Denver] was weird all around. They were missing Courtland Sutton last week who is questionable this week but likely to play according to reports. We saw how much trouble the Steelers had last week handling Darius Slayton, I see them having a similar problem with a team that has multiple deep threats including Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. I think Jeudy is going to get better every game. An underrated factor to this game though is the fact that the Broncos lose by a lot more on Monday Night if Gostowski hits even half of his field goals, and they are on a shortened week. The only player who is out for the Steelers is David DeCastro, which will do a lot for the Broncos front 7 and their push, which is stronger than the Giants 7.
I also see some matchup issues for the Steelers on defense. I think Noah Fant will have a field day against terrell Edmunds in coverage. I think Jerry Jeudy will burn Joe Haden on stop and go routes a few times, and I think Steven Nelson will get torched by Sutton. The Steelers will be facing a much more stout and fundamental defense that makes fewer mistakes and gets to the passer faster. While the second level of Denver’s defense does worry me, I know that Vic Fangio can handle adjustments on the fly defensively, although time management is a different angle.
PICK: DENVER +6.5, DENVER +240
I like Denver here, I think they’re undervalued and I think Pittsburgh is overvalued. I definitely see a tough game and because of that and Vic Fangio’s time management issues I would be cautious with where I put this, but I still think the roster and coordinator battles can go to Denver here and I see big Ben being baited by Simmons and Jackson in the secondary a few times.
Bills (-5.5) @ Dolphins O/U: 42
So I see why the Dolphins picked up a little bit of the steam, there is a narrative there with Fitzpatrick and Gailey, but frankly I’m kind of over it for this week because last week showed me that capable coaching staffs still know how to handle them. Buffalo has won the last three meetings and clearly have the more talented roster. HERE is my issue with this game and the only thing holding me from laying the 5.5 on Buffalo. It ALLLLL depends on their running game. The Dolphins were shown last week to be extremely vulnerable to the run but pretty capable against the pass (until the Pats figured them out in the second half) and that means that Devin Singletary and Zach Moss will need to do some WORK today. Can they? I think Singletary can put some yards in, but I believe he will need another back like Moss to step up. Ultimately I think this is a lower scoring game [although I won't take unders in games with Fitzpatrick] and I will be laying points on Buffalo but I will be buying it down to -4 at (-140) as I think this game is going to be closer than most think and I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to a possible backdoor cover.
PICKS: BILLS -240, BILLS -4 (B+1.5 -140)
I think the Bills will win this game one way or another. I just don’t see a clear path for them to do it as a lot of others do. They HAVE to establish the run early to open up the rest of the field and get Fitzpatrick uncomfortable early on, which I think they can do and their coordinators are capable of, but the players have to execute and they seemed a little lazy against the Jets last week.
Jaguars @ Titans (-7.5) O/U: 44.5
...yea call me a sinner for not believing in Jacksonville’s offense after one week against the Colts, I still think they are one of the worst teams in the league, although I do like some of the weapons they possess. Their defense gave up over 30 points last week and this offense cannot be expected to put up the same numbers on a weekly basis. Besides Joe Schobert and Josh Allen, there are not many playmakers on this defense, and do we remember what Derrick Henry has done to these poor souls? I like the Titans here, but I don’t know if I will be taking a 7.5, I’d sooner take the ML in a parlay and suffer the value loss. Here is why. The Titans play a lot of close games, usually I don’t let those matchups affect the next because it is a completely different game, Gostowski does not inspire confidence in me that he will be able to take the easy points and the “bend dont break’ mantra of this defense may allow the game to be within a TD at the end. There are a lot of playmakers on the Tennessee side of the ball that I expect to step up (Kevin Byard), and I like Derrick Henry props, but the spread I would stay away from except for maybe 1 unit bought down to 6.5
PICKS: TITANS -355 (PARLAYS ONLY), TITANS -6.5 (B+1 -120), DERRICK HENRY FIRST TD +300.
I see the Titans pulling this game out, and I think they have the possibility to get outside of a TD delta in the score, my path to victory is obviously powering the run here, but the spread concerns me because of Gostowski and the surprise factor Jacksonville’s offense brought last week, so I bought it down to under a TD. I see Derrick Henry doing what he always does to Jacksonville and getting tons of carries from his HC who loves to give him the ball.
Lions @ Packers (-6) O/U: 50.5
Only -6? I mean this is the same Lions team that just allowed Mitch Trubisky to score 20 unanswered points on them. I don’t care that Swift should have caught the ball, being in that situation in the first place is ridiculous. And now they’re expected to keep it within a TD against Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones? How? I don’t expect much of getting to the Passer, so Rodgers should have all the time in the world. In addition, the O-line for the Lions is bad, their coaching staff is bad (their defensive coordinator has never been a DC before, have fun with Rodgers) and their D line is sub-par. I see multiple paths to victory for the Packers here, and the Lions really only have 1, Matt Stafford plays at all-pro status and Aaron Rodgers has an off-game. Amos, Savage, King and Alexander are the keys to the Packers win here, as the only thing GB has to do to win this game is slow down Matt Stafford until Adrian Peterson proves he can be a game changer and establish the run for a team that has no running identity right now.
PICKS: PACKERS -6.5, OVER 50.5
The Packers have proven their abilities to score the football and while their defense was shaky against the Vikings, the Lions are far more dysfunctional and defensively, have no clue what they are doing. I think the Packers can put up 30+ here, and I think the Lions can score some garbage time points as well as the occasional Stafford bomb to hit the over. Final Score prediction: 34-20
Let's have a good day everyone, happy football Sunday!