17-18-2 after going 5-1-1 since we last spoke.
Ravens (+3.5) over Giants – Anyone who thinks the Giants are bouncing back at home today has 1) not seen the Giants play in 2016 and 2) never seen the Giants play an inferior opponent at home. The Ravens will bring in a few new offensive concepts and Spagnuolo will just throw blitzers at it until he gives up 36 points and blames it on the pass rush. The Giants are the worst team in the league at the line of scrimmage, and you can take the points until they address this. Ravens 36, Giants 22.
Patriots (-9) over Bengals – The Bengals are absolutely done, and the Patriots are just getting started. The two TE set is going to dominate the league for at least the next eight weeks. People will eventually learn to match up a big corner on one of the TEs (think Aqib Talib on Jimmy Graham a few years ago) and scheme out the other with a double team, but Cincinnati has not shown they can keep up with anyone, and will likely get worn out by an attack like this. Patriots 37, Bengals 17.
Cowboys (+4.5) over Packers – There are only 4 elite units in the NFL right now (Cowboys OL, Minnesota D, NE 2TE offense, Denver D), and you have to take them if they’re getting points. The Packers have shown you nothing other than they can complete the 3-4 passes necessary to win a game if their opponents let them hang around. Until they find that explosive deep passing touch again, they shouldn’t be favored by more than 3 over anyone. Cowboys 23, Packers 20.
Falcons (+7) over Seahawks – Time to find out if Vic Beasley and the Atlanta pass rushers have actually found something after their surprisingly strong performance in Denver last week. Seattle’s OL is dreadful, and should keep the ‘Hawks from consistently producing to keep up with the Atlanta offense. Also, as good as the LOB is, they have NO ONE that matches up with Tevin Coleman (who is the most underrated player in the NFL right now). Falcons 24, ‘Hawks 19. ATL defends bends but doesn’t break, and Atlanta makes just enough explosive plays to win.
Jaguars (+1.5) over Bears – I still believe in the Jags, and no one else in the division has shown me anything, so I’m taking points as well as upside. I could be kicking myself taking them against a game manager like Hoyer, who won’t feed them turnovers to make things easier for Bortles, but if 2 weeks to prepare against this no-name Chicago offense isn’t enough, nothing will be. Jaguars 20, Bears 16.