(Home team in CAPS)
Jets (+3.5) over DOLPHINS
Jay Ajayi looked terrific in two games prior to Miami’s bye, but it was just that: two games. The Dolphins were also setup for success perfectly, facing an ailing Steelers offense with hideous road splits and the Bills sans LeSean McCoy in back-to-back weeks. Now their fourth consecutive home game, Miami will be forced to stop Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall. Even if the Jets fall short, 3.5 points is 0.5 points too many.
BROWNS (+7) over Cowboys
If there were ever a trap game for Dallas, this is it. Sandwiched in between an emotional win over the Philadelphia Eagles and road trip to Heinz Field is this noon kick-off against the Browns, who are currently 0-8 on the year. If Josh McCown were starting, I would even go as far as to load up on the moneyline. Either way, without Morris Claiborne and Barry Church to help stop Terrelle Pryor and the returning Corey Coleman, I can’t imagine a scenario in which Cleveland doesn’t at least cover.
CHIEFS (-7) over Jaguars
GIANTS (-2.5) over Eagles
Saints (-4) over 49ERS
This game is primed for an upset, but I believe the Saints struck gold in their last road trip to Kansas City. They may not have won that game, but they discovered how to get the most out of their offense on the road: possession football. Now they’ve called run on 40.7 percent of their offensive plays in the last two games. They ran on only 33.3 percent of plays through the first six weeks of the season. Timark Ingramower will carry the Saints to victory.
RAMS (+3) over Panthers
PACKERS (-7.5) over Colts
Unbeknownst to Andrew Luck, who continues posting gaudy numbers in spite of the talent (or lack thereof) surrounding him, this Colts team is absolutely dreadful. Even if Vontae Davis were cleared and Randall Cobb (doubtful) were ruled out, expect big days from Ty Montgomery, Jordy Nelson, and Davante Adams. Indianapolis has notably allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs (Montgomery, in this case) and seventh-most to opposing quarterbacks.
Titans (+4) over CHARGERS
I’m not buying Tennessee’s win over Jacksonville. This pick is more because the Chargers are expected to be missing Hunter Henry, and potentially the duo of Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams (both questionable). There are only so many injuries San Diego can withstand, and anything short of their top-three receivers is concerning. Whether it’s DeMarco Murray or Derrick Henry carrying the load for Tennessee, the Chargers have allowed the sixth-most raw fantasy points to opposing running backs.
VIKINGS (-5.5) over Lions
Broncos (+1) over RAIDERS
The marquee matchup of Sunday features an offense that’s allowed the fewest quarterback hits and pressures against a defense that’s recorded the most in both categories. The Raiders, however, have been much worse at home. Oakland’s defense has allowed 11 yards per passing attempt at the Coliseum this season, 4.1 yards more than what they’ve allowed on the road. Forget about Derek Carr’s 513 passing yards last week and focus more on the fact that the Raiders somehow won despite committing an NFL record 23 penalties for 200 yards.
Bills (+7) over SEAHAWKS
With LeSean McCoy healthy, the Bills were 4-2 and averaged 166.5 rushing yards per game. Hobbled with injury over the last two weeks, Buffalo has lost two consecutive divisional bouts and averaged 321.5 total yards. With McCoy reportedly healthy now, it’s clear who the better team in this matchup is. Forget about the seven points. I’ll gladly take the moneyline (+245) here.
(Editor’s Note: Steelers-Ravens had no line due to Ben Roethlisberger’s pending injury and therefore wasn’t discussed.)
This Week: 0-1
Last Week: 5-7
Season: 56-60-5, 48.2 percent