Giants (+7) over Packers – So long as the Giants have this trio of wideouts and think a full house backfield is a good idea against the Vikings’ front seven, they are going nowhere this year. The biggest misperception of Odell Beckham being out of control is that he’s some deviant on a team that is otherwise IN control to begin with. Michael Lombardi hit the Giants on the head a few weeks ago when he proclaimed that Ben McAdoo “does nothing to help his players and relies exclusively on their talent to win matchups” and “has that huge play sheet, but I’m not sure he’s got anything on it”. That being said, the Packers have not played well enough at all to be favored by a touchdown over anyone. Their defense has already squandered a 28 point home lead to the Lions into a back door cover this year. The Giants are better than that Lions team, and with the remainder of the division all coming off of wins, they need this game more. Giants 24, Packers 23.
Rams (-1) over Bills – How this line isn’t 3 is beyond me. The Rams and Bills are virtually indistinguishable from one another, and the Bills have to be more ripe than anyone to drop a stinker on the road after getting their heads inflated by winning two straight. Sure, most teams wouldn’t take that win over the Patriots as a sign they’ve arrived, but you’re talking about Rex Ryan, who pats himself on the back after winning so hard that he almost always falls over the following week. Rams 27, Bills 20. Yes, this means that either the Rams will be 4-1 or the Bills will be 3-2 by Sunday night.
Redskins (+4) over Ravens – I thought the Ravens got exposed against the Raiders last week, and unless Steve Smith decides to have a breakout game in the intermediate route tree, Washington should be able to back off their DBs, take away the deep ball, and not need an overly sophisticated game plan to steal this. Redskins 23, Ravens 20.
Lions (+4) over Eagles – Eh, why not? Let’s get on the “Philly can’t possibly be this good” bandwagon even after thrashing the Steelers 34-3. A four point road favorite is equivalent to a 10 point home favorite, and if there’s certainly no way the Lions would be ten point favorites on the road. Detroit certainly has advantages on the outside if Golden Tate decides he wants to play this year, and you have to assume, even if Carson Wentz isn’t, that the Eagles have been reading about how great they are in the past two weeks. A passable clunker awaits. Lions 30, Eagles 20.
Titans (+3.5) over Dolphins – In a game that would be a pick ’em on a neutral field, I’m taking the points against a Dolphins team that has been miserable at home for several years. The Dolphins, requisitely, have been up to the task of being a miserable team with an overpaid defense, mediocre quarterback, and a receiving corps chock full of 4 yard catches and 50 yard drops. Mariota gets back on track, and has a smooth run of games in front of him to keep the Titans afloat. If the Titans get on a roll, lean on that running game to avoid mistakes, and build Mariota’s confidence, this might be a pleasant year in Tennessee. They’re certainly in the proper shitshow of a division to pull it off. Titans 26, Dolphins 13.