Home team in CAPS:
49ers (+3) over SEAHAWKS: Seattle boasts enviable energy, along with the redoubtable Russell Wilson — but you can’t lay beaucoup points with them against sound teams, given their pliable defense, frequently placed in deep jeopardy by their habitual turnover carelessness. The visitors rise to this challenge, snaring another win in the face of market doubters.
CHIEFS (-19.5) over Jets: Kansas City is marking time, looking to avoid peaking too soon, with relatively easy pickings on the docket until after Thanksgiving — so not anticipating any huge upset. Thus, Chiefs should produce sufficient output to hold Gang Green at more than arm’s length.
LIONS (+2.5) over Colts: Indianapolis hunkered down last week after yielding the Bengals a long, lonesome lead. The Colts field a solid defense, on paper — though they haven’t beaten much, and life is likely to get much tougher over the next month-plus. The home side is revived a ton, and Kenny Golladay is in stroke. LB Darius Leonard projects he’ll be back from injury for this — check status.
PACKERS (-7) over Vikings: The Minnesota secondary remains diminished, by 2019 standards — which leaves the visitors behind the 8-ball when attempting to trade downfield strikes with Aaron Rodgers and his confident brace of receivers. The market invites investment in a potential seasonal-sweep performance. RB Dalvin Cook is expected back for Vikings.
Patriots (+4) over BILLS: We can’t deny the Pats likely are approaching the end of their nearly two-decade reign of terror -— but that doesn’t mean they’re fatally vulnerable. Still, the underdog is expected to be without stalwarts Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry. Bills have regressed. Projected winds may affect scoring, should they creep over 20 mph.
BENGALS (+5.5) over Titans: Tennessee is coming off its third game in 13 days, when it didn’t show up against the Steelers until it was too late. Cincinnati has served us well — but Bengals RB Joe Mixon may be sidelined again this week. Multiple injuries on Cincinnati’s offensive side concern, as well, but Tennessee is a historically bad road favorite against unfamiliar sides. Joe Burrow!
Raiders (+3) over BROWNS: Cleveland’s remaining schedule outside of their division is friendly to their postseason ambitions, but this is no lock — though if the Raiders get some of their walking wounded back, give the visitors a solid shot. The Browns will miss key wideout Odell Beckham Jr. Neither defense is a powerhouse. Anticipated winds could hinder passing games.
Rams (-3.5) over DOLPHINS: L.A. team is a long way from home, off a Monday nighter. … But Miami is making the move from Ryan Fitzpatrick to precious high draft choice Tua Tagovailoa under center. Market price compels a strong lean to the superior road chalk.
Chargers (-3) over BRONCOS: Appears to us that wise heads played up the right side off the “pick” opening quote. The visitors’ bright young quarterback Justin Herbert gives every indication he could be better than good, and the Bolts should prevail if they commit to strong pass rush, designed to keep Broncos defense honest.
RAVENS (-4) over Steelers: “They” were trying to tell you something with the opener (Baltimore, -6). Steelers Nation proceeded to send it in. No question about it, The Ravens need this more, especially with the Browns in hot pursuit in tightly contested AFC North.
BEARS (+4) over Saints: Removed from its natural habitat, Chicago looked out of step when it couldn’t keep pace with the Rams on the Left Coast. The Saints appeared advantaged against defensively weakened Panthers, narrowly escaping. Key Saints pass target Michael Thomas isn’t expected to play. Powerhouse Bears LB Khalil Mack (knee) is iffy. Home side wideout Allen Robinson even less likely — check status.
EAGLES (-9) over Cowboys: Early market participants (opened Philly -1.5) were climbing over each other to avoid being run over. Seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci (out of James Madison) is slated to make his first start for Dallas, with Andy Dalton due back next week. Eagles are healthier, given likely happy returns of OL Jason Peters, TE Dallas Goedert and wideout Jalen Reagor.
Monday Night Football
Buccaneers (-10.5) over GIANTS: Tom Brady’s exquisite sense of career timing continues. Brady’s Bucs are prominent among NFC favorites to represent at the Super Bowl — which will be played at the Bucs’ home field. Tampa Bay can do this, even without an intense defensive effort, even with the absence of WR Chris Godwin and his broken finger. Giants’ Daniel Jones remains the league’s pacesetting turnover machine.
Last week: 7-5-1.
View original post