Detroit at Dallas | Winner: Dallas -3
The Cowboys are 19-5 when Ezekiel Elliot rushes for at least 80 yards. The Lions are currently giving up 5.4 yards per carry, which is worst in the league. Zeke will likely have a great game, getting the Cowboys the win. Also, in our roster rankings, The Cowboys are the 13th best roster in the league while the Lions are 6th worst.
Buffalo at Green Bay | Buffalo +9.5
McDermott has faced Green Bay six times over his coaching career, whether he be a DC or HC, and he is 1-5. This may be misleading, because he has never lost to Green Bay by more than 9. Also, his stat of 24 points per game given up against Green Bay may seem significant, but Buffalo has only failed to reach 20 points in 1 game so far this season, against the 5th ranked defense in Baltimore. A better bet than strictly the game could be the over.
Houston at Indianapolis | Winner: Indianapolis -1
This is a game between two teams that aren’t necessarily within the upper echelon of the league; they are very similar teams. In games like this where both teams are similarly constructed, it often comes down to offensive and defensive line play. Houston has not been great at protecting Watson, and the Colts D-line has surprisingly been top-5 so far this season at sacking the QB. I don’t often predict scores, but 23-20 Colts.
Tampa Bay at Chicago | Winner: Tampa Bay +3
I know I have drowned my frequent viewers in my admiration for the Bears roster, but that is on the basis that they can get stops. In the first couple weeks, the Bears have been amazing in their scripted plays, but all of the Bucs games have been shootouts; what will happen when the Bears run out of scripted plays? The Bucs are scoring 34 points per game this season and the Bears are allowing TDs on 75% of redzone opportunities.
Cincinatti at Atlanta | Winner: Atlanta -4
Is this a trap? A spread like this suggests that Vegas knows something I don’t, and just like last week with the Packers, I’ll fall into the trap again. Our roster rankings have Atlanta 18 spots ahead of Cincinatti; yes, the Bengals have had a high-powered offense these first few weeks, but the Panthers defeated them by 10 at home. We feel Atlanta is a better overall team than the Panthers, and should be able to win this game handedly.
NY Jets at Jacksonville | Winner: Jacksonville -7.5
Jacksonville has been dominating with their line play. Both offensively and defensively. Our roster rankings have the Jaguars with the fourth best roster in football, and the Jaguars with the worst roster in football. Over the last two years, the Jags are 7-3 at home, winning 5 of those 7 games by more than 7 points. I like the odds of a Jags win with their defensive roster, and the odds suggest a good chance of a win by more than 7.
Philadelphia at Tennessee | Winner: Philadelphia -3.5
This may be another trap from Vegas that I’m falling right into; however, the stats suggest an Eagles win. The Eagles are 2nd in the league in opponent 3rd down conversion %, 3rd in opponent redzone scoring percentage, and 1st in rushing defense so far. The Titans’ whole offense relies on the run, as they have the greatest run % in the league at around 53% of their plays. The Titans also average only 3.7 yards per carry. There is a matchup that leans in the favor of Tennessee: they are adept at rushing the passer and Philadelphia has been in the bottom-10 at protecting their QB.
Miami at New England | Winner: New England -6.5
In the last 10 years, the Dolphins are 0-9 in New England and lose each game by an average of 18 points per game. Also, the Patriots have resembled a far superior team when playing in New England, putting up a decent performance against the Texans. Our roster rankings here at GamedayCollective have the Dolphins with the 2nd worst roster in the league. Based on history, the Patriots should win this game by more than 6.
Seattle at Arizona | Winner: Seattle -3
I know I have been fervently negative about this Seattle team, but my negativity for Seattle isn’t even close to my feelings for Arizona. Almost every major statistical category is in favor of Seattle. Maybe Rosen can turn this bird (I don’t think it’s clever either) around, but he hasn’t shown anything thus far that would suggest he can outgun Russell Wilson, and the rest of the team hasn’t shown they can outplay the Seahawks.
Cleveland at Oakland | Winner: Cleveland +2.5
The meeting of caricatured coaches. A game like this between offensive head coaches will likely simmer down to the offensive and defensive line play. Currently, the Raiders are the worst in the league at rushing the passer (if only they could find a pass rusher), and the Browns are 8th best in the league at rushing the passer.
New Orleans at NY Giants | Winner: New Orleans -3.5
This is one of the games where I question the spread. The Saints are 3rd in points scored, 4th in yards, 5th in yards per play, and 8th in yards per pass. They also are the 5th best team at protecting their QB in sack %, and the Giants are 3rd worst in sacking the quarterback. Our roster rankings put the Saints as the 3rd best roster, and put the Giants as the 3rd worst roster in the league. The Giants O-line is giving up a sack on nearly 10% of their plays.
San Francisco at LA Chargers | Winner: LA Chargers -10.5
Even using Garappolo’s 49ers stats, the Chargers still are better in almost every major statistical category. The 49ers are scoring TDs on only 40% of their redzone opportunities, and that’s with Garappolo. Also, the 49ers are giving up a sack on nearly 13% of their plays. This game is really dependent on the development of Beathard; if he is able to play well, the 49ers could certainly win or lose by less than 10, I just feel it’s more likely for the Chargers to cover.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh | Winner: Pittsburgh -3
I’m going to use similar rationale that I used for last week’s game against the Buccaneers. The Steelers are known for their ability to step up and put maximum effort in the big moments. This is demonstrated by a 13-2 record in primetime games since 2015, and an undefeated record in primetime games since 2016 (excluding playoffs). The Steelers defense is an underrated unit. The Steelers are top-10 in the following categories: opponent 3rd down conversion %, opponent completion %, opponent interception thrown %, sack %, and takeaways per game. Our roster rankings have the Steelers as the 11th best roster in football, compared to the Ravens with the 20th best. I’m not trying to understate the prowess of the Ravens. They have an incredibly stout defense, which ranks top-10 in almost every major statistical category; however, I’ll take Big Ben and those weapons any day in a defensive struggle. Interesting stat: The Steelers and the Ravens have played twice on Sunday Night Football in the past five years. One game was a Pittsburgh win by 20, and one time was a Pittsburgh win by 1.
Kansas City at Denver | Winner: Kansas City -3.5
The Chiefs are top-5 in the following statistical categories: points per game (1st in the league), points per play (1st), yards per play, 3rd down conversion % (1st), 4th down conversion % (1st), red zone scoring %, TDs per game (1st), yards per pass, and giveaways per game (1st). The Broncos have really only found success in their rushing attack, as they are top-10 in most rushing categories, but that really won’t help in a shootout (it’s most likely going to be a shootout based on the Chiefs previous games). They aren’t top-10 in any major offensive statistical categories besides ones relating to rushing. Note: The Chiefs are 5-0 in their last 5 meeting with the Broncos, and one of those games was a Monday Night Football game last year in which they won by 10.