I’m happy to put November behind me after a 3-9 ATS end to the month in Week 12, which came after a 17-7 run through Weeks 10 and 11. I’m still recovering from that epic collapse in San Diego last week and I’ll undoubtedly never think of 4th and 29 the same way again. It was tough to watch those games last week, but I like this week’s card a lot better and I think there are some winners to be had.
Seahawks @ Bears: It’s always a good idea to factor in home-road splits when picking games, but for this matchup those numbers can go right out the window. If Atlanta is the most unimpressive 11-1 team ever, then Chicago deserves some consideration as one of the worst 8-3 teams ever. The only teams they’ve beaten that currently have winning records are an unimpressive Vikings team, and the late-blooming Colts who they were lucky enough to face in Week 1 when Andrew Luck made his first career start. The Seahawks have quietly built up their record to 6-5, and I would love to back them against this overrated Chicago team at CenturyLink Field where they’re 5-0, but I’ll settle for getting them on the road with a few points in my back pocket. Seattle is just 1-5 on the road, but their five losses have been by a total of 24 points. They’re getting Chicago at a great time with injuries and weaknesses popping up all over the field. Matt Forte is expected to play but he’ll be limited by an ankle injury. Backup Michael Bush brings name value to the field, but he’s averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in his career and 3.5 as a Bear. Injuries to guards Chris Spencer and Lance Louis make a notoriously leaky Bears offensive line even more porous. That will hurt the running game, and the passing game as well as Seattle ranks fifth in the NFL in sacks. Jay Cutler will undoubtedly force some balls into a tough Seattle secondary. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will likely have to sit out at some point this season, but it won’t be this week. They’ll be around to give Brandon Marshall a tough time, and they’re among just a handful of corners that can compete with him physically. Defensively, the Bears have thrived on forcing turnovers, but rookie Russell Wilson is maturing before our eyes, committing only three turnovers since Week 6. The Bears have allowed more than 100 yards rushing in five consecutive games. Last week Adrian Peterson needed only 18 carries to rack up 108 rushing yards, so look for Seattle to replicate that type of performance with Marshawn Lynch. I think Seattle keeps this game close and ekes out a win in the 4th quarter. Seahawks 20, Bears 17
[UPDATE: I'm still riding the Seahawks to pull off the upset. Matt Forte looks like he'll play for the Bears but they still have a ton of injuries on their offensive line. Seattle has won in Chicago in each of the last two years and they've battled on the road all season.]
Vikings @ Packers: I was weary about the Packers last weekend when they took on the Giants and they did nothing to make me more confident in their abilities. Green Bay lives and dies by what Aaron Rodgers can do with his arm and it became clear on Sunday night that the injuries the team has suffered along its offensive line have finally caught up with them. James Starks and Alex Green haven’t been able to do anything on the ground, so Minnesota will be able to focus solely on the pass. The Vikings don’t have the caliber of pass-rush that the Giants do, but who does? Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen certainly aren’t Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora, but they should mess up Aaron Rodgers’ day. New York was able to generate five sacks of Rodgers, who is the most sacked quarterback in the league. Minnesota should be able to get to him a few times. Defensively, Green Bay is banged up and will have to face one of the most physical backs in the league in Adrian Peterson. Don’t expect offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to try anything cute here. The Packers are going to see a lot of number 28, especially with Percy Harvin likely to miss the game. New York was able to generate 147 rushing yards last week and I see no reason why Minnesota can’t at least replicate that. The Lambeau Field factor isn’t a concern here either as the Vikings have lost by double digits in Green Bay just twice since 2002. Green Bay should come away with a win, but Minnesota will make them earn it. Packers 26, Vikings 23
[UPDATE: The Packers are down to -7 in most spots right now which means there's a lot of sharp money on Minnesota right now. I'm glad I locked my Vikings play in yesterday.]
49ers @ Rams: The last thing the 49ers needed was a quarterback controversy, but they’re right in the thick of one and Jim Harbaugh is not handling it well. I think I’ve heard Alex Smith’s name mentioned more in the past two weeks than I did all of last season when the team went 13-3. The 49ers will take more chances on offense with Kaepernick at quarterback, and that could lead to some mistakes as he learns the position. The Rams are able to generate pressure with their front four, and that could lead to some turnovers. It will be a quick turnaround for the Rams defense, as they got a look at Kaepernick when he relieved a concussed Alex Smith in Week 10. The Rams have quietly been very good at defending the pass this year, largely because Jeff Fisher lured Cortland Finnegan to St. Louis, but also because of rookie Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins had two pick-sixes last week against the Cardinals, and a big turnover like that could be the difference in a game like this. St. Louis should have some success running the ball. Daryl Richardson hasn’t been a big part of the equation since the bye week, but he’s good for a big-gainer or two every week. The workhorse will be Steven Jackson. He cranked out 101 yards in the marathon tie with San Francisco a couple weeks ago. The Rams will try to wear the 49ers down with Jackson again in this one. Danny Amendola’s status is up in the air for this game. His absence would certainly hurt, as he caught 11 balls the last time these teams met. Jeff Fisher has really turned this Rams team around in a hurry though. They’ve been very competitive all year, losing just three of their games by double-digits, something they haven’t been able to say this late into a season in years. The Rams hung with the 49ers in San Francisco. Expect them to at least do the same on their home turf. 49ers 24, Rams 20
[UPDATE: I strongly considered betting the Rams at one point this week, but I can easily see them getting blown out here. I still think St. Louis is the right side but I could also make a compelling case for the 49ers.]
Cardinals @ Jets: This game looks a lot better on paper than it probably will on the field. Both teams have been coming apart at the seams. With all the uncertainty for both teams, the one thing that we can all be certain of is that Ryan Lindley stinks. Lindley threw four interceptions in his first start and you know that has Rex Ryan licking his chops. Lindley has shown that he isn’t able to generate any offense when he gets outside the tackle box and with this offensive line he’ll be a sitting duck if he sits in the pocket. New York has been able to generate only 17 sacks this year, but Arizona’s offensive line has more holes than Swiss cheese. They’ve given up 40 sacks in the last eight weeks (more than any other team has allowed all season!), so Lindley’s woes should continue. The other quarterback in this game didn’t do a lot to gain back the public’s favor on Thanksgiving Day, but Mark Sanchez actually had a pretty decent day statistically completing 72 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. However, when he made mistakes they were absolutely terrible, including a run that looked more like it was out of professional wrestling than the NFL. I don’t think Sanchez will be called upon to do much here. Having seen the Cardinals allow the Rams to run for 172 yards last week, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano should lean heavily on the run game with Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. The Cardinals will also be traveling to the East Coast for a 1:00 PM ET start time and that’s always difficult for a team that plays predominantly out west. This feels like a game where New York will have some strange bounces go there way, generate a turnover in Arizona territory, maybe even get a good kick return or two. Jets 24, Cardinals 10
[UPDATE: Despite only 63% of the action coming in on the Jets, they've moved up to 6-point favorites here. It looks like the sharps are pounding them right now. I think this is more of a play against the Cardinals than it is on the Jets. It's tough to trust New York to win by a touchdown.]
Panthers @ Chiefs: Yuck. Before the season, this game looked like it could have been between two teams fighting for the top spot in their respective divisions. Now, it features two teams looking to play out the season. Carolina looked good against Philadelphia on Monday, but the 1976 Buccaneers would look good against this year’s Eagles team. Carolina didn’t impress me in that game. They dropped numerous interceptions, and struggled to move the ball when receivers weren’t left wide open down the field. Cam Newton’s option plays are getting a little old and I think Kansas City assigns someone to spy Newton throughout the game to limit what he can do with his feet. When he doesn’t run effectively, this offense just doesn’t work. Kansas City’s run defense has been poor, but I don’t see why Carolina will have any more success against them than they did against Philadelphia. DeAngelo Williams will likely see more carries with Jonathan Stewart hurt and he doesn’t look like the DeAngelo Williams that Carolina thought they were getting when they re-signed him before the start of last season. Carolina’s defense hasn’t had a lot of success making plays in the backfield, recording only three sacks in their last three games. With the down and distance under control, I think Kansas City will deploy Jamal Charles in heavy doses. Bryce Brown just blew up this Panthers run defense, and Kansas City had success against a far superior Denver defense last week, so Charles should run wild. I’ll give the edge to Kansas City in this one, mostly because they’re at home, but this is more of a pick against Carolina. Chiefs 23, Panthers 21
[UPDATE: In light of the tragic news surrounding the Chiefs, this write-up goes right out the window. I doubt Kansas City will even play on Sunday, but if they do, there's no way they'll put up a fight after what went down on Saturday morning. I'll be back on Sunday morning with my final analysis for this game (if there is one).]
[UPDATE #2: The Chiefs have gone from an enticing home dog to completely unbettable, even at +6. We've seen a similar type of situation before when the Redskins lost Sean Taylor in 2007 and then proceeded to lose as 6-point favorites. If you got in on Carolina -3, you're laughing right now. I'd rather side with the public here and lay 6 than take Kansas City in this situation.]
Colts @ Lions: We should see some points in this game. Matthew Stafford appears to have things back on track with that troublemaker Titus Young out of the way. After reading about some of the things Young’s done over the past couple of weeks, I think Jim Schwartz should send the kid home for good. They would still have plenty of solid targets without him, namely Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, and Ryan Broyles. Indianapolis has struggled defending the pass this year, so I think we’ll be hearing those names a lot. Broyles in particular has really established himself as a solid number two receiver, playing predominately out of the slot. With Matthew Stafford heating up, it’s no surprise to see Calvin Johnson putting up big numbers as well. Megatron has scored in three straight games, racking up 32 catches for 619 yards over the last four weeks. The Colts’ struggles against the run over the last several years have been well documented. Mikel Leshoure should have success on the ground against an Indianapolis defense that ranks 28th against the run and is allowing 4.77 yards per carry. Standout safety Louis Delmas returned for the Lions on Thanksgiving, but he was limited, playing only about half the snaps in that contest. With more than a week off since then he should be ready to see more time on the field. His presence in the defensive secondary has been sorely missed. In that Thanksgiving game, the Lions gave up 205 rushing yards to the Texans, but unlike their AFC South counterparts the Colts don’t have the type of run game that can exploit this Detroit defense. The Lions won’t need to do much to slow the Colts’ ground game, allowing them to key in on Andrew Luck, who has thrown for 10 interceptions, compared with just four touchdowns on the road this year. I don’t dislike the Colts. I see myself backing them quite often in the near future, but they are running into a Lions team that is very hot right now. Lions 35, Colts 21
[UPDATE: The Lions are up to -7 at some books right now. In all honesty, that's where I thought this line should have been when I saw it at 4.5 earlier this week. Throw their records out the window because they're meaningless based on the schedules that they've played this season. The Colts are a publicly backed underdog here so the sharps are betting the Lions heavily this morning.]
Jaguars @ Bills: This game sees the Bills installed as the biggest favorites they’ve been since 2009. I don’t see why that is. Ryan Fitzpatrick is incredibly inconsistent. One minute he’ll look like he’s figured things out, and then next he’ll make one of the worst decisions you’ll ever see a quarterback make. His counterpart in this game, Chad Henne, is no stranger to the AFC East. Henne spent some of the worst years of his life in Miami, making many of us wonder why any NFL team would want the former Michigan product. Well, it turns out Henne just needed to get together with Mike Mularkey to get his career back on track. Henne’s quarterback rating of 99.6 would rank 7th in the league if he qualified. The Jaguars have put up 61 points in their last two games after putting up 65 in their previous five games. It wasn’t long ago that we were ready to throw the Jacksonville receivers onto the scrap heap, but this offense is looking rejuvenated, with names like Blackmon and Shorts gaining relevance. Shorts has three 100-yard games in his last five games and four scores in his last six games. Another injury at running back means Rashad Jennings gets another crack at the starting gig. Jennings has been unimpressive, but if there’s a team that can help him turn things around, it’s Buffalo. Defensively for the Jaguars, the return of Dwight Lowery and Rashean Mathis last week gave their defense a much needed boost. The team will get another boost from Jason Babin as he is slated to make his Jacksonville debut in this game after being waived by the Eagles. Jacksonville has actually been better on the road this season, and I think they pull this one out. Jaguars 24, Bills 19
[UPDATE: There's a 40% chance of showers in Buffalo today but that doesn't really affect my opinion on the game. It's hard to bet on favorites that are poorly coached, and the Bills definitely fall into that category. I'll be sprinkling some coin on Jags money line here.]
Patriots @ Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill should be thanking his lucky stars for two reasons right now: First, he gets to face New England’s lousy pass defense this week, and secondly, he got out of Texas A&M just in the nick of time. Forcing Tannehill to make some bad decisions will be key for New England in this one. The rookie quarterback has thrown six interceptions in his last three starts. The Patriots rank tops in the league with a plus-24 turnover differential, a category in which the Dolphins rank 27th at minus-10. Bill Belichick will no doubt have a scheme in place to frustrate Tannehill. Belichick is 11-4 against the spread when facing rookie quarterbacks. Without Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady hasn’t missed a step. During training camp, New England really emphasized their desire to establish a running game this year and they have done just that. Miami’s defense has been solid against the run, but has struggled against the pass this year. Expect to see lots of Tom Brady in this game, but offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will still look to mix in a fair number of runs on early downs to keep the Dolphins on their toes. Miami has struggled to get to the quarterback, recording just four sacks in their last six games. Sebastian Volmer will likely spend most of his time blocking Cameron Wake and I expect him to do a fine job. The guy belongs in the Pro Bowl. New England’s seven wins this season have come by a combined 167 points. This one has the makings of another double-digit Patriots victory. Patriots 31, Dolphins 20
[UPDATE: This could end up being the trap of the week. New England is one of the most heavily bet teams this week but the line hasn't come off 7. I can't dream about betting against the Patriots right now, even without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup.]
Texans @ Titans: The Texans enter this game off extra rest after playing on Thanksgiving. These teams met in Week 4, with the Texans coming away with a 38-14 win. Andre Johnson caught only three balls in that contest, but he’s finally fully healthy and his numbers are showing it as he has 23 catches for 461 yards and a score in his last two games. The Texans should find success through the air in this one, as well as on the ground. The Titans have been poor at stopping the run this season, and now they’ll have to go up against one of the best offensive lines in football, as well as one of the league’s best backs in Arian Foster. The Titans would like to get their run game involved in this one, but deploying Chris Johnson against a defensive front that allows less than four yards per carry might not be the best idea. Tennessee will need to lean on Jake Locker and hope that he can have some success against a Houston secondary that will again be without Johnathan Joseph. After watching the Texans play the last two weeks it is increasingly obvious that Joseph is an integral part of that secondary as the unit has reverted back to the level that forced the team to bring in Joseph in the first place. There won’t be any surprises from Joseph this week as he’s already been ruled out, meaning Wade Phillips has extra time to prepare for life without him. Phillips loves to put heat on quarterbacks and force them to unload the ball early, and we can certainly expect him to throw some exotic blitzes at the young Locker, likely forcing him into some mistakes. On the other sideline, Mike Munchak is just 2-7 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record. Matt Schaub doesn’t do any one thing that impresses you, but he does just about everything well enough to keep this offense rolling. The team is 17-4 against the spread in the last 21 games he’s started. Texans 34, Titans 18
[UPDATE: The injury to Texans CB Johnathan Joseph kept me from betting the Texans, but I'm still convinced they're the right side. They're now up to 7-point favorites in some spot, and I just can't advocate betting them at that line, but this could easily end up in a blowout. I really wish I got in at 4.5 early this week.]
Buccaneers @ Broncos: When talking about this game, the first man I have to talk about is certainly Peyton Manning. Manning has the second highest quarterback rating of his career! Many had him written off before this season started after multiple neck surgeries, and I was among them. Manning has clearly proven all of his detractors wrong and has this Broncos offense running on all cylinders. Defensively, Denver has quietly become one of the best units in the league. They entered last week as the league’s number one ranked rush defense, but that distinction was taken away after the team allowed 149 yards to the Chiefs. I’m chalking that up as more of a deviation than a trend. The team’s pass rush ranks up among the best in the league, racking up 37 sacks. I expect them to force Josh Freeman to make some bad throws, potentially leading to some turnovers. Doug Martin was limited to 50 yards on 21 carries by Atlanta last week so I don’t expect him to a lot of success against a much better Denver rush defense. I’m not completely writing off Tampa Bay’s ability to score this week, but Denver should get stops when they need them. Statistically, Tampa has actually been better than Denver on a yards per play basis, but Denver’s defense ranks third in the league, while Tampa Bay’s ranks 31st. Eric Wright will miss this game due to a suspension, and he’s not someone the Bucs want to be without when they travel to Denver to face Peyton Manning. Tampa has allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 8.53 yards per attempt in their last four games. Manning should have a field day in this game, while the Denver defense will make some key stops to keep their MVP quarterback on the field. Broncos 34, Buccaneers 20
[UPDATE: The public is really split on this game as it's generating close to 50/50 action. Tampa Bay has been a covering machine this season, but their secondary is in shambles so I really don't see how they slow down Manning here. The only reason I laid off of Denver is because Tampa Bay has strong back door cover potential.]
Steelers @ Ravens: No Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers once again, and that makes this game a lot less interesting. The Ravens needed a punt return for a touchdown from Jacoby Jones to get past the Steelers and an injured Byron Leftwich in the last meeting just two weeks ago, but this Baltimore team is a much different group at home. Ray Rice picked up just 40 yards on the ground against the Steelers two weeks ago. I expect him to struggle once again, but Joe Flacco should play much better. He’s not going to light up the Pittsburgh secondary, a unit that ranks tops in the league against the pass, but he should do just enough to ensure the win. Jonathan Dwyer has officially been named the starting running back for the Steelers, and with Big Ben out, I suspect they’ll lean heavily on Dwyer against an average Baltimore run defense. Dwyer is a physical back with excellent vision between the tackles, making him perfectly suited for a game like this one. I went up to a 6* rating backing the Steelers two weeks ago and I think they’ll again keep this game competitive as well. The spread in this game is eight, and the total is 34. You won’t often see a spread that big in a game oddsmakers have pegged as a low-scoring affair. Mike Tomlin is 17-11 against the spread after a loss, and I think his team keeps this game within one score. Ravens 17, Steelers 13
[UPDATE: Charlie Batch stinks but I was really tempted to take the Steelers here. The Ravens and Steelers always play close games and I don't trust Baltimore's offense enough to cover a touchdown. Still, the Steelers left a bad taste in my mouth with their eight turnovers last week, so I'll lay off (and probably regret it).]
Browns @ Raiders: Oakland has looked like the worst team in football over the last month. In their last four games the team as allowed an astounding 169 points. They can’t stop the run or the pass, and that’s going to be trouble against an improved Cleveland offense. Greg Little and Josh Gordon have the Cleveland pass offense rolling, while Trent Richardson is a true workhorse, averaging almost 31 touches per game over his last four contests, establishing himself as a threat both in the run game, and as a receiver out of the backfield. As much trouble as they’ve had on defense, the Raiders have been able to move the ball through the air in recent weeks. Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey have been a great 1-2 punch for the Raiders, but one of those men will draw Joe Haden in coverage and that all but ensures a miserable day for that receiver. The Browns held Pittsburgh to just 49 rushing yards last week, so the Raiders will inevitably have to lean on Carson Palmer. Cleveland will likely bring extra pass rushers with regularity to disrupt Palmer who will be a sitting duck in the pocket. Palmer has thrown an interception in seven straight games, and when Palmer does throw interceptions, it’s been common to see them go the other way for six points. The Raiders sent home Rolando McClain this week and they really are in no position to be sending away talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Running backs have been running all over this defense. I don’t see Cleveland having much trouble in this one. Browns 27, Raiders 10
[UPDATE: I'm adding a play on the Browns today. There's an 80% chance of heavy rain in Oakland today and that really plays into the hands of the Browns, who are accustomed to running the ball effectively. The Raiders have completely given up on Dennis Allen and are worse at almost every position.]
Bengals @ Chargers: What the hell happened to the San Diego Chargers? Norv Turner survived another week so he’ll be around to coach the team. There’s no question he calls a great offensive game, but that’s about all he does well. Philip Rivers has 45 touchdowns over the last two seasons, which is an impressive number, but the 34 interceptions he’s thrown in that time is not. The pass protection in San Diego deserves a lot of the blame, as Rivers has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the league not named Aaron Rodgers. The Bengals have racked up 35 sacks on the season, second most in the league, so Rivers could be in for a long day. His counterpart at quarterback this week is the red hot Andy Dalton. Dalton has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. The Cincinnati running game has been firing on all cylinders and should have little trouble with a San Diego defense that will be without two of its top run-stoppers in Donald Butler and Atari Bigby. Wide receiver A.J. Green has made his case for being tagged as the league’s best receiver. He ranks fourth in the league in receiving yards and eighth in receptions. His touchdown streak came to an end last week, but he still ranks tops in the league in touchdowns, and would certainly like to start a new streak this week. San Diego’s loss last week ended any playoff hopes they might have had, so it will be tough for them to reach the emotional level they will need to for this contest. As I’ve said all season, the Bengals beat bad teams, and this looks like another easy win for them. Bengals 28, Chargers 17
[UPDATE: Normally, I would have taken San Diego in this spot because there's really good line value with them, but after their emotional loss last week, I don't know how they get up for this game. Even though the public is heavily backing Cincinnati, I'm not wavering on this one. I like the Bengals to win big.]
Eagles @ Cowboys: This Philadelphia team is a mess. Much of the blame has been placed on Andy Reid and even though he’s still the same guy that led this team to four consecutive NFC Championship Games, there’s just something not right about this team. The Eagles were able to run the ball well on Monday, even without LeSean McCoy, as the team generated 204 yards on the ground against the Panthers. Luckily for Reid, Dallas will be without Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, so Philadelphia may be able to find some success on the ground once again. Dallas’ offense relies heavily on the passing game and their biggest issue this season has been the lack of a big-play threat. Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Kevin Ogletree have been good in the intermediate game, while Jason Witten handles all the underneath passes, but this offense has stalled too many times to be relied on to cover a spread like this. Austin and Ogletree are also banged up, while it looks like DeMarco Murray is still another week away. Both of these teams have struggled when it comes to taking care of the football. Dallas has a minus-11 turnover ratio, while Philadelphia is minus-17, so this game could get a little sloppy. I expect Dallas to win the turnover battle, but I’ve seen one too many Tony Romo meltdowns to be certain of that. Philadelphia is installed as a double-digit underdog for the first time since 2007. Over the last three seasons, the underdog in Cowboy games is 31-12 against the spread. Dallas has covered in only two of their last 14 home games, and are 0-5 against the spread at home this season. I don’t trust the Cowboys as double-digit favorites, and while I’ll secretly hope for a Cowboys blowout, this selection is an easy one for me. Cowboys 24, Eagles 16
[UPDATE: I'm a diehard Cowboys fan and as much as I'd like to think this should be an easy win, I can't trust my team laying this many points. Dallas should steamroll Philadelphia, but then again, Dallas should have steamrolled many teams this year and they just always find a way to play close games.]
I lost my survivor pick when New England blew it at home to Arizona in Week 2, but I’ll continue providing my insight on a week-to-week basis. Last week I lost another when Tennessee shit the bed against Jacksonville. I don’t like selecting road teams and that is why. I was close to selecting Indianapolis, but went with Tennessee at the last moment. Live and learn.
Here are your best options for this week, in order:
1. Dallas vs. Philadelphia
2. Denver vs. Tampa Bay
3. New England at Miami
4. Green Bay vs. Minnesota
5. Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
Others in order: Lions, 49ers, Texans, Jets, Bills, no one!
AGAINST THE SPREADSHEET
Week in and week out, you will get a look at my spreadsheet which shows my confidence in each selection.
The ‘Strength of Pick’ column indicates how confident I am in my selection with 1 being the most confident and 16 being the least confident.
The ‘Initial Reaction’ column indicates my confidence when the game lines were first released.
The ‘Mid Week’ column indicates my confidence on Wednesday.
The ‘Final Selection’ column indicates my final picks against the spread.
It’s one thing to show you a table indicating who I like in each game, but it’s another thing to actually show you where I’m throwing my money down.
I rate my plays on a scale of 3* to 6* with a 6* play qualifying as my top play. I would estimate that 1 out of every 25 plays earns a 6* distinction, with approximately 50% of my plays earning a 3* distinction.
4* Cincinnati Bengals -1 (-114) – 5Dimes
5Dimes is offering the only 1-point spread that I can find right now. Every other site has this at 1.5 or 2, with SIA even listed the Bengals as high as -2.5. I can’t imagine that there’s going to be any buyback on the Chargers, so bet the game as soon as you can.
4* Minnesota Vikings +9 (-110) – SIA
There’s actually a 9.5 on the board right now at 5Dimes, but I’m not interested in pay 15 cents of extra juice for a half point that really shouldn’t matter. This line will almost certainly not reach 10, so bet the game as soon as you can.
3* Seattle Seahawks +4 (-115) – SIA
SIA has the only 4 on the board right now. Every other sportsbook has the line at 3.5, so I’ll gladly pay 5-cents more for what could be a crucial half point. If you don’t have an SIA account, I’d wait until game time to place your wager.
3* Detroit Lions -5 (-110) - Pinnacle
Unfortunately I’ve lost a little bit of line value here as the week has went on. It looks like the sharps are all over the Lions this week so it would be best to place this wager ASAP. I’ve already seen a number of 5.5s on the board at multiple books.
3* Jacksonville Jaguars +6 (-104) – 5Dimes
This line is at 6 at every major sportsbook right now, but 5Dimes has the lowest juice on the game so I’ll place my wager there. I can’t imagine there will be many people looking to bet Buffalo here, so 6 will likely be the best line you can find on Sunday.
3* Cleveland Browns -1 (-119) – 5Dimes (added Sunday AM)
I had strongly considered Cleveland yesterday, but decided I didn’t want to lay points with a bad team on the road. 5Dimes has Cleveland listed at -1 which is a steal considering every other book as Cleveland -2.5 or 3 with at least 10-cents juice. That’s good enough for me.
Good luck this week! Let me know what you like in the comments below.