TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
“Thursday Night Football” brings the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) visiting the Philadelphia Eagles (2-3 SU and ATS). Both teams are off victories, with the Bucs piling up 558 yards of offense, on 7.9 yards per play, and racking up 45 points against the Dolphins. The Eagles’ victory was quite different, defeating the Panthers as neither team reached 300 yards of total offense. The Eagles won despite averaging 4.5 yards per play, while they held the Panthers to 3.8 yards per play and intercepted Sam Darnold three times. This line opened with the Bucs favored by 6.5, and it will be important to monitor all week whether Tom Brady in prime time is enough to push this to the key number of 7. The total is 52.5.
MIAMI DOLPHINS vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
The Miami Dolphins (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) face the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) in London early Sunday morning in a matchup of desperate teams. The Dolphins won in New England on opening day and have not won since. The Jaguars won on opening day — of 2020! — and have lost 20 straight since. The Dolphins are still without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and backup Jacoby Brissett injured his ankle early in the loss to the Buccaneers but stayed in despite a noticeable limp. The Dolphins surrendered nearly 8 yards per play in the loss, allowing six touchdowns to the Bucs. The Jaguars were defeated soundly by the Titans 37-19, but the stats weren’t as damning. A defensive touchdown and a goal-line stand by the Titans made for a lopsided score despite the Jaguars outgaining the Titans. The Dolphins are favored by 3 with a total of 43.5.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at CHICAGO BEARS
The Green Bay Packers (4-1 SU and ATS) renew the league’s oldest rivalry as they visit the Chicago Bears (3-2 SU and ATS). Both teams lost in Week 1 but have gone a combined 7-1 since. The Packers played one of the season’s craziest games last week, as a barrage of missed field goals by both teams resulted in a 25-22 overtime victory over the Bengals. The Packers were efficient, averaging 7.4 yards per play, but were held down by four missed field goals by Mason Crosby. The Bears scored an impressive road upset as they had nearly identical stats to the Raiders in terms of yardage, plays and first downs, and both teams were held to well under 300 yards on exactly 60 plays. The Packers are 4.5-point favorites in Chicago, and the total is 46.5.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
The Kansas City Chiefs (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) were blown out Sunday night by the Bills and continue to burn bettors, having covered just twice in the last 17 games. The Chiefs are dead last in the league, allowing over 7 yards per play, and might be without running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who injured his knee Sunday. Washington (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) has also been one of the league’s more disappointing teams and is allowing over 400 yards per game, 27th in the NFL. Despite their knack not for covering, the Chiefs continue to be favored, laying 6 on the road. The total is 54.5.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Minnesota Vikings (2-3 SU and ATS) gave survivor players some anxious moments Sunday. They had the ball and a 10-point lead with three minutes to go deep in Lions territory, yet somehow needed a 54-yard field goal as time expired to avoid defeat. They visit the Carolina Panthers (3-2 SU and ATS), who also let a late lead get away in a loss to the Eagles. The status of two star running backs, the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook and the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey, will be crucial, and McCaffrey seems close to a return after practicing last week. The Panthers were 3-0 against a soft schedule in games McCaffrey started but have lost both games he missed, last week averaging just 3.8 yards per play. Cook was scratched late Sunday, and since the Vikings have a bye next week, they might let him rest and get fully healthy. The Panthers are favored by 1, with a total of 47.
CINCINNATI BENGALS at DETROIT LIONS
The Cincinnati Bengals (3-2 SU, 2-3 SU) were a trendy pick last week but missed several chances to win near the end of regulation and in overtime, falling to the Packers 25-22. The Bengals’ defense has been surprisingly solid, tied for eighth in the league in opponent yards per play at 5.3. The Detroit Lions (0-5 SU, 3-2 ATS) have played spirited ball under rookie coach Dan Campbell but do not have a win to show for it. The Lions’ effort and ability to fight back to cover numbers has rewarded bettors but has not translated to their defensive performance, as they rank 31st in the league by allowing 6.5 yards per play. The Bengals are favored by 3.5. Running back Joe Mixon missed last week but might return. Joe Burrow was taken to the hospital Sunday with a throat contusion but did finish the game. The total is 48.5.
LOS ANGELES RAMS at NEW YORK GIANTS
The Los Angeles Rams (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) were 7-point favorites on the lookahead line over the New York Giants (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS), but a long list of injuries to the Giants has moved this line all the way up to 10.5. Daniel Jones suffered a concussion and might not play, Saquon Barkley will likely sit with an ankle injury, and a couple of the Giants’ best wide receivers are injured. While the Giants are beaten up, the Rams will have extra rest after playing Thursday night, though it is worth noting that Matthew Stafford had a finger on his throwing hand wrapped in the game against the Seahawks. The total is 46.5. Mike Glennon will likely start for the Giants if Jones doesn’t play.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at BALTIMORE RAVENS
In perhaps the premier game of the week, the Los Angeles Chargers (4-1 SU and ATS) take on the Baltimore Ravens (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) with both teams coming off thrilling comeback victories. The Ravens trailed by 19 points late in the third quarter, storming back to beat the Colts in overtime. Lamar Jackson accounted for nearly 500 yards of total offense, including more than 400 passing yards for the first time in his career. The Ravens did allow 8 yards per play but still won. The Chargers defeated the Browns in a game that featured 41 fourth-quarter points. The Chargers continue to get gashed on the ground at a league-worst 157.6 yards per game. On a short week, the Ravens are 3.5-point favorites, with the total at 50.5.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at CLEVELAND BROWNS
Here’s another outstanding matchup as the undefeated Arizona Cardinals (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) visit the Cleveland Browns (3-2 SU and ATS) in a game matching teams trending toward the playoffs. The Browns are off a loss to the Chargers in which they gained over 500 yards and 7.2 yards per play. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers to maintain their status as the league’s lone unbeaten despite being outgained and losing the yards-per-play category. Kyler Murray is the current short shot to win MVP around + 350 at most books but was wincing and rubbing his shoulder on the sideline, something for bettors to monitor. The Browns are favored by 2.5, and the total is 50.5.
HOUSTON TEXANS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
A pair of teams looking to rebound from heartbreaking defeats meet in this AFC South battle. The Houston Texans (1-4 SU, 3-2 ATS) let a 13-point third-quarter lead get away in a loss to New England. But they did show signs of improvement from what had been an impotent offense under Davis Mills, as they averaged a respectable 6.2 yards per play. The Colts had realistic aspirations of making the playoffs coming into the year, but injuries to the offensive line have contributed to Indianapolis looking to avoid a 1-5 start. The Colts allowed a 19-point third-quarter lead to dissipate Monday night against the Ravens. Carson Wentz threw for over 400 yards for the first time in his career despite the loss. The Colts are the biggest favorite on the board this week despite their ugly record. They are 10.5-point favorites and will likely be popular picks in survivor pools.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at DENVER BRONCOS
The Las Vegas Raiders (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) will be coached by Rich Bisaccia after the resignation of Jon Gruden as they look to snap a two-game losing streak after starting 3-0. The Denver Broncos (3-2 SU and ATS) can relate: They too started 3-0 but have dropped two straight. The Broncos are 3.5-point favorites, up from 2.5 on the lookahead line likely due to the perceived distraction of the coaching change. Both teams are top 10 in the league defensively in yards allowed per game and top 3 defensively in yards allowed per play. It should be noted that the Broncos’ three wins were against the Giants, Jets and Jaguars. The total is 43.5.
DALLAS COWBOYS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Dallas Cowboys (4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS) continue to reward bettors as they have covered every game this season and look poised to run away with the NFC East. Dallas is averaging 34 points per game on 439 yards of offense per game, both second in the league. The New England Patriots (2-3 SU and ATS) squeaked out a win over the Texans in the final seconds Sunday. Some key injuries to monitor will be the four Patriots starters on the offensive line who missed last weekend’s game. The Cowboys were favored by a point on the lookahead line, but another impressive performance coupled with a mediocre showing by the Patriots have this line all the way up to 4. The total is 49.5.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS
This is likely not what network executives had in mind when they slated this for “Sunday Night Football.” Geno Smith will quarterback the Seattle Seahawks (2-3 SU and ATS) against a clearly diminished Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3 SU and ATS). The Steelers won last week for the first time since Week 1, holding off the Broncos’ late comeback. The Steelers are still just 27th in the league on offense, averaging 18 points per game. The Seahawks are 26th defensively, allowing over 6 yards per play. The Steelers are favored by 4.5, and though Smith was effective in limited relief duty last week, this will be his first start since 2017. The total is 42.5.
BUFFALO BILLS at TENNESSEE TITANS
This is a potential playoff preview as both teams are heavily favored to win their divisions. The Buffalo Bills (4-1 SU and ATS) stated their case to be the AFC favorites after dismantling the Chiefs on Sunday, averaging nearly 9 yards per play. The Bills have outstanding statistics, leading the league in points per game and opponent yards per play. The Tennessee Titans (3-2 SU and ATS) are 27th in the league defensively, allowing over 6 yards per play, as they look to contain the Bills’ explosive offense. These teams met in Week 5 last year, when the Titans won 42-16 on a Tuesday night. That game had been rescheduled due to COVID-19 cases, with neither team having a full week of prep and playing on short notice. The Bills are favored by 5.5, up from 3.5 on the lookahead line after their decisive victory over the Chiefs. The total is 54.5.