Welcome back to another edition of Beating the Spread! I’m Jake Roy, and I’m leading the BTS team again this season. I’m joined by two-time Beating the Spread participant and Brennan Rampe, and newcomer Jason Wolf. We’ll be here every weekend throughout the season and crown our champion at the end.
It’s truly incredible just how fast this season has gone. Week 10 is just a few weeks away, even though it feels like we just started the season. We’re dropping down to just three picks per week, but hopefully, that extra time to research should increase the quality of the picks. The under dominated last week, going 12-2-1, and we see a lot of low totals on the board as a result. It’s been a low-scoring season overall, but Vegas always adjusts. Until we see more scoring, we’ll continue to see low totals. Let’s see if the panel can adjust quick than Vegas this week with smaller cards.
|Jake Roy (@Jake3Roy)||Brennan Rampe (@Phdinnfl)||Jason Wolf (@J_Wolf_picks)|
|Pick #1||Browns/Colts under 39.0||Commanders -2.0||Ravens -3.0|
|Pick #2||Cardinals +7.5||Chiefs -5.5||Chargers +5.5|
|Pick #3||Commanders -2.0||Seahawks +7.5||Eagles -2.0|
I’m tempted to take the Cleveland Browns here, but after knocking off the 49ers, this is a perfect letdown spot. Instead of betting on the Indianapolis Colts, I’ll take the Browns’ defense to continue their dominant season. Gardner Minshew will get the start for Indianapolis; when a team that relies on the run comes up against a stout run defense, I love to take the under. Regardless of who the quarterback is, it’s hard to score when in obvious passing situations. If the Browns can keep Minshew behind the sticks, they’ll have a hard time getting into the end zone. Conversely, even if Deshaun Watson plays, the Colts should be able to contain the run and put the pressure on an injured Watson. If he’s not fully healthy, he won’t be able to will the Browns to a big number. I like this game to be a classic Cleveland Browns rock fight. CLE/IND U39.0
Even though the Arizona Cardinals have just one win, I believe in them. Joshua Dobbs isn’t a great quarterback, nobody is arguing that. At the same time, he isn’t terrible. He can manage a game, take care of the ball, and pick up a first down here or there. With Arizona opening up the practice window for Kyler Murray, this week is one of Dobbs’ final auditions for a starting job in the future. I don’t know that the Cardinals can go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks outright, but I do believe they can keep things close. ARI +7.5
Not long ago, I dissed the Washington Commanders defensive line, citing how the names they had pumped up the public perception of the unit. I still believe that to be true, but they’re coming up against the New York Giants’ offensive line. That unit was already decimated, bringing in Justin Pugh “off the couch.” Now, Shane Lemieux has a torn bicep and will miss the rest of the season. The Giants simply don’t have the bodies to block the Washington pass rush, and that should be enough to give the Commanders the victory. WAS -2.0
The Commanders improved to 3-3 last week, and their defense came up big with three interceptions. That unit has been a disappointment through six weeks, but they now have their easiest opponent so far. The Giants haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since Week 3! That’s insanity. They lost a close game to the Buffalo Bills and would have won if not for terrible decision-making at the one-yard line on two separate drives. Daniel Jones might not play again this week, and the offensive line will be a mess all year long. New York also has the fewest sacks of any team. I think Sam Howell will play well, and the defense should shut down this unwatchable offense. In a week full of toss-ups, the Commanders winning by a field goal over the Giants feels like a safe bet. WAS -2.0
Inside the Numbers: The Commanders are 4-2-0 as an away favorite against the spread under Ron Rivera.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos for the millionth time, while the Los Angeles Chargers lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Patrick Mahomes is 7-2 against the Chargers in his career. This team would be 6-0 if Kadarius Toney was any good. The team brought back Mecole Hardman via a trade and they’re expected to reunite with Frank Clark as well. Kansas City was my pick to win the Super Bowl before the season started. They will inevitably win the weak AFC West, and they’ll probably clinch home-field advantage and host the AFC Championship for the sixth consecutive year. They have a future Hall of Fame quarterback, a great offensive line, and the best defense in the Mahomes era. The pass-catchers outside of Travis Kelce may be average, but if Mahomes could carry last year’s group to a title, he can do it again. I like the Chiefs to win by a touchdown. I have a feeling that Brandon Staley might not be coaching the Chargers next year. KC -5.5
Geno Smith had way more passing yards than Joe Burrow did, but the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams. Joshua Dobbs started off the season well, but his play is declining. Kyler Murray has returned to practice, but it’ll likely be a couple of weeks before he returns. Seattle swept Arizona last year, and the Seahawks will be motivated to win at home in front of their fans after losing a winnable game. Look for Geno Smith to play well while Seattle covers the spread. SEA -7.5
Inside the Numbers: The Seahawks are 45-37-2 as a home favorite under Pete Carroll.
It’s a battle of great offense against great defense when the Detroit Lions have the ball, as they are PFF’s top-rated passing team, while the Ravens are the second-highest coverage team, right behind the 49ers. I will generally favor a top defense over a top offense and I see no reason to stray from that principle in this matchup. Also in the Ravens favor: home field advantage and the fact that the Lions are going to be without David Montgomery. While dynamic running back Jahmyr Gibbs is set to play, I don’t think he can be used effectively as a bell cow against this tough Baltimore defense. Lamar Jackson also happens to be having his best season throwing the ball and should find room to operate in this one as the Lions are a middling team in pass coverage. Much has been made of the Ravens’ receivers dropping passes but outside of that Week 5 anomaly in Pittsburgh, they have recorded exactly zero drops. Knowing the Ravens, it most likely won’t be comfortable, but I expect them to come out on top in the end as they look to keep their foot on the gas offensively, something they haven’t done well thus far. The Ravens should rectify that this week going up against by far the most dangerous offense they have faced yet. BAL -3.0
The Chiefs are one of the top teams in the NFL, standing at 5-1 on the season after stringing together five consecutive wins following their season-opening loss to the Lions. Even though their record is one of the best in the league, I have not been all that impressed by their play. They are letting inferior teams play them tight and the offense isn’t producing at the same levels we are used to seeing. In come the Chargers, who churn out one-score games like their lives depend on it. Justin Herbert is playing some of the best football of his young career despite injuries around him and he has Austin Ekeler back into the fold to help him out. Herbert historically plays very well against the Chiefs, posting a 15:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio while sporting a 107.3 QBR. The Chargers have also covered this spread against the Chiefs in five out of the last six matchups which include two Charger wins. Given Herbert’s penchant for going toe-to-toe with Mahomes as well as the Chiefs’ tendency to not cover medium-large spreads, give me the Chargers in what should be a tight game one way or another (the Charger way). LAC+3.0
This is my gut pick of the week and a classic buy-low/sell-high opportunity as the Miami Dolphins are coming off of another offensive explosion, scoring five unanswered touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. On the other side, the Philadelphia Eagles are coming back home after a tough loss to the New York Jets where they could have easily won the game had they not turned the ball over so many times. Philadelphia should find the sledding much easier against a Dolphins’ defense that has looked super vulnerable six weeks into the season. Everyone is (rightfully) talking about the Dolphins’ offense and how unfair it is, but the Eagles are arguably more of a complete team than Miami is and are coming back home after a tough loss. I’ll take the Eagles in this spot where I feel confident most will be backing Miami after the Eagles lost to the “lowly Jets” (who really are not that bad when Zach Wilson is taking care of the ball). PHI -2.0