Ten weeks into this wild season during this crazy year I think we can all admit that it’s harder than ever to figure this league out week to week. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that COVID-19 has impacted players and teams directly (missed games, schedule fluctuations), and indirectly (mental fatigue, crowds, etc.). The betting lines for us are a form of entertainment. Sure, we’d love to show huge profits and big winning percentages like we did in this column last year, but it’s getting more and more difficult each week to get a read on expected game flow. Weather has also played an interesting role with the wind games last week throwing a wrench into some of our plans.
Hopefully, you’ve had better luck than our pickers and if so, please share some of the trends you’ve been able to capitalize on during this tumultuous season.
The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Bryan Sweet|
|Pick #1||MIA -3.5||GB +2.5||KC -6.5|
|Pick #2||KC -6.5||TEN +6.5||ATL +4.5|
|Pick #3||NE -2||NE-HOU O48||MIA -3.5|
|Pick #4||NO-ATL O51||LAR +3.5||CAR -1.5|
|Pick #5||BAL -6.5||MIA -3.5||TEN-BAL U49|
I’ve been betting the Dolphins a lot this year and they seem to keep getting better. On the road this week against a struggling Broncos squad seems pretty tasty, particularly that Dolphins D grinding up Drew Lock. Maybe Lock recovers but so far in 2020, his struggles may push John Elway and the Broncos to take another QB in the draft next spring. It would be a minor miracle for him to put together a strong showing against a defense that made Justin Herbert look antsy all game last week. MIA -3.5
I’m not too worried about the Chiefs redeeming themselves in their lone defeat against the Raiders. While the Raiders played well in that game, it was one of those games where all the bounces went the way of Silver and Black. I can’t see the Chiefs getting swept by the Raiders and anything under a TD spread for the Chiefs gives me confidence. KC -6.5
Are we back on the Patriots after their win in the monsoon against the Ravens? I don’t know, but I do think they’re better than 2 points against the Texans. Cam Newton clearly had some COVID-related issues and it’s not unreasonable to think that he’ll steadily improve the rest of the year, setting himself up for a nice payday from the Patriots or another QB needy team in FA. NE -2
I know Taysom Hill is starting for the Saints, maybe we’ll see some Jameis Winston, but I still like to take the over in these classic NFC South games. The game just has to play in the mid-to-upper-20s to clear 51 and with Matt Ryan’s offense still semi-functional, I’ll take the points here. NO-ATL O51
I don’t have a ton of confidence in the Titans right now, a team I had some pre-season bets on, because they’ve clearly hit a bit of a swoon. The Ravens lost their last game in the monsoon against Bill Belichick and yea, I worry that they’re not the juggernaut that they were last year, but I think they’re the better team and can cover the near TD spread against a Titans defense that hasn’t really stopped anyone outside of my Bears in the last month. BAL -6.5
Neither the Packers nor the Colts have a very long list of impressive wins on their resume this year, making them hard to gauge even this late in the season. So I’m taking the better quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and hoping he can figure out this tough Colts defense. The Packers have the superior rushing attack and are beginning to figure out some options in the passing game beyond Davante Adams. A little pressure on Philip Rivers and I think the Packers could win this one outright, so the points are just a bonus. GB +2.5
I don’t love the way that the Titans are trending, but you could say the same thing about the Ravens. And this is still a Titans team that manhandled the Ravens in the playoffs last year, so maybe this is just a bad matchup for Baltimore. Regardless, six and a half points feels too high for the Ravens to be favored, and we know that if Derrick Henry gets rolling this Titans offense is dangerous. TEN +6.5
I have no respect for this Texans’ defense, and the Patriots’ defense looked to be fading a bit before they took advantage of a struggling Lamar Jackson playing in a monsoon. I expect Cam to have success on the ground and in the air, and Deshaun Watson is always a threat to catch fire and put up points. I could easily see one of these teams hit 30 points, and if that happens we should be in good shape on the over. NE-HOU O48
I don’t feel great about taking Jared Goff against Tom Brady on Monday Night Football, and just typing that out is giving me second thoughts. But I don’t think a Rams win would be that far-fetched, and the fact that this line is over three points pushes it over the top. The Rams scheme offensively has been solid as always, but their defensive scheme has been really impressive, and we have seen Brady struggle at times when pressured and knocked off of his game. With two teams that like to run the ball, a close game would be just fine with this spread. LAR +3.5
I hope I’m not jumping on the hot team too late here, but with some tough lines this week I ultimately couldn’t pass up on this Dolphins defense playing against a struggling Drew Lock. And we are also one hit away from Brett Rypien taking over as Lock nurses an injury, and we saw how that went earlier this year. Miami has a red hot defense, and a blowout wouldn’t surprise me here. MIA -3.5
The only loss the Chiefs have suffered this season came at the hands of their Week 11 opponent – the Las Vegas Raiders. I’m certain Andy Reid and his staff are more than aware of that and might look to exact a bit of revenge this week. I think this line is way too low and is a direct result of the previous meeting. KC -6.5
This isn’t fair because these are Tuesday’s lines, but there is no way the New Orleans Saints are more than 3 points better than Atlanta with Jameis Winston and have a real chance of losing the game outright. ATL +4.5
Miami is playing playoff-level football right now and the Broncos are not. Drew Lock is hurting and one hit might sideline him for the rest of the game. Miami probably won’t win the AFC East but a win here would get them a bit closer. MIA -3.5
The Lions were able to hang on to their 21-point lead last week but this week’s opponent is a bit more formidable. I think the Lions will hold a lead in this game but will let it slip away, probably by the same three-point margin they won by last week. Combine the season’s collapses with a throwing hand injury to Stafford and Carolina is the pick. CAR -1.5
The Titans have struggled in recent weeks scoring 24 points or fewer in four straight games. Baltimore has done the same in their last three. Combine a history of lower scores and two teams that focus primarily on the run, reducing offensive possessions for both teams, leads to a 24-21 type game. TEN-BAL U49.
What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)