Last week ATS: 2-2
Overall ATS: 24-21-2
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) at Buffalo Bills
What, so the Steelers losing one game and all of a sudden they are a 2.5-point underdog against the Bills? Before Monday’s loss to Washington, Pittsburgh was a 2.5-point favorite. If you’re following along at home, that’s a 5-point swing as a consequence of (a) the Steelers losing at home on four days rest to a team who last played on Thanksgiving, and (b) the Bills beating up on a backup quarterback.
Maybe I’m slow to the Bills suddenly becoming the second-best team in the AFC, or maybe I’m guilty of not overreacting to a Steelers loss. Either way this seems like a massive line move without a lot of evidence to support it.
Score prediction: Steelers 31, Bills 24
2. Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts
I just can’t get over the idea that the Colts are overrated. Every time I start to like them — like last week against the Texans — I’m reminded that Phillip Rivers is their starting quarterback. He is serviceable in the same way a #3 starter in baseball is a consistent innings-eater, but when the rubber meats the road he isn’t the guy you want leading your team into the playoffs.
The Raiders are overrated, too, but at 7-5 they kind of have to win this game to make the playoffs. Word on the street is that stud second-year running back Josh Jacobs won’t play for a second straight week, but I’m betting coming off a scare to the New York Jets that the Raiders will be motivated and ready for a fight. I’ll roll with the better quarterback in Derek Carr and a Las Vegas team that performs well at home.
Score prediction: Raiders 25, Colts 24
3. Philadelphia Eagles (+7) vs. New Orleans Saints
To me, this is all about the Saints becoming too expensive to bet on. On the year they are 7-5 against the spread, but they are 5-0 straight up and ATS in their last five games including 3-0 with Taysom Hill at QB. Irrespective of how poorly the Eagles have performed this year I have a hard time laying more than a field goal with Hill starting on the road.
In a weird way, even at 3-8-1 I still believe Philly wants to make they playoffs. With division games coming up against the Washington Football Team and Cowboys, along with the idea that the Saints could be looking ahead to next weekend’s clash against the Chiefs, this might be a really sneaky upset spot for the Eagles. And I think they can do it.
Score prediction: Eagles 20, Saints 17
4. Tennessee Titans (-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars
I don’t think this one is that complicated. The Jaguars have no intention of winning football games, and the Titans just got embarrassed by the Browns on their home field. I was surprised this line didn’t open at double digits. The fact that it started at Titans -6.5 is kind of a joke, because they should have no problem putting up 35 points here.
Score prediction: Titans 38, Jaguars 10