- The MMQB staff likes a couple teams to bounce back after suffering losses in Week 7's action, including two facing off against lowly NFC teams.
The MMQB staff likes a couple teams to bounce back after suffering losses in Week 7's action, including two facing off against lowly NFC teams.
New England Patriots (-14) at Buffalo Bills
What a bummer that this game will be on Monday Night Football. Josh Allen is still out with his elbow injury, so Derek Anderson, the 35-year-old QB that Buffalo signed two weeks ago despite never intending for him to start, will start again. The Colts beat the Bills, 37-5, last week. The Bills being 14-point dogs seems generous. — Jenny Vrentas
New York Jets (+7) at Chicago Bears
Even on the road, take the Jets at a touchdown in Chicago with the way Mitchell Trubisky is struggling. — Andy Benoit
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5)
This is indeed intended as a backhanded compliment: Isn't this exactly the type of game the Bengals usually look good in? They just dropped two big spotlight games, to the rival Steelers and a Sunday nighter in K.C. A generally anonymous home date with a struggling opponent is just what the doctor ordered. Cincinnati is 8-1 against the spread after a road game over the last two seasons, and going back to 1992 the Bengals are 14-2 against the spread after allowing 400 or more total yards in two consecutive games. — Gary Gramling
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (PK)
Things normally don't go well after I say this but ... there are a lot of lines that intrigue me this week. I'd feel pretty comfortable backing Jacksonville, Denver, Carolina, Washington or New Orleans against the spread. That means those five will probably wind up 0-5. So let's stick with a pick that paid out well three weeks ago. San Francisco's defensive line will do damage against the Arizona front, but this is a Cardinals team coming off extra rest and looking to bounce back from an embarrassing Thursday night performance. Plus, new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich should represent an improvement over Mike McCoy. Playing at home, I like the Cardinals' chances. — Jacob Feldman
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5)
Maybe I shouldn’t go right back to the well after backing the Bengals last week, only to watch them get run out of Kansas City, but I simply can’t resist. My faith in this offense is unshakable, and Tampa Bay’s defense is among the worst in the league. In retrospect, the Bengals were in a terrible spot last week, going on the road to take on one of the league’s true juggernauts in a primetime game. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, squeaked out a home victory over the Browns in overtime. This line seems affected by recency bias, notably on the Bengals side, after the Chiefs blew their doors off in front of a national audience last week. Cincinnati's offense should get right against a friendly defense at home, leading to a victory by a touchdown or more. — Michael Beller
Washington Redskins (-1) at New York Giants
I don’t get it.
The Giants are one of the worst teams in the NFL and we need to treat them as such. They’ve even admitted it this week, and gotten worse in the short term, by trading away starters for draft picks. I know that most people don’t think the Redskins are as good as their 4-2, first-place record would indicate … but they are still 4-2 and in first place!
No Giants point spread should be under a field goal unless they are playing any of the five other teams within a game of their own crappy 1-6 record. — Mitch Goldich
Green Bay Packers (+9.5) at Los Angeles Rams
I’m always a fan of betting elite quarterbacks getting more than a touchdown. At +9.5, the Packers have never faced a higher line in the Aaron Rodgers era.
But should the Rams be favored by that much? The Rams took advantage of the mistake-riddled 49ers last weekend, as three of their four touchdowns came on drives 27 yards or shorter thanks to two turnovers and a 36-yard punt return with the 49ers kicking out of their own end zone. Another two points came on a blocked punt that resulted in a safety.
For all the flak that Mike McCarthy and the roster minus Rodgers get, they aren’t that bad. And in the Rams’ three games before crushing the 49ers, Los Angeles won all of them by a combined 12 points.
Speaking of McCarthy, the Packers are 9-2 against the spread off a bye in the regular season since he became head coach in 2006. This bye week comes at an ideal time, as Rodgers was without two trusted weapons in Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison in Green Bay’s last game against the 49ers. Rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander, who is ranked 15th at his position according to Pro Football Focus, also sat out, but is trending in the right direction toward playing in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has given up a combined 84 points to offenses led by Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson this season, so there’s no reason not to believe that Rodgers can’t find a similar level of success. The Rams have also allowed a wideout to have multiple TDs in three of the past five games (hello Davante Adams) and opponents have targeted tight ends a whopping 25.1% of the time against them, the third-highest mark in the league (hello Jimmy Graham).
The Packers have been disappointing in their two road games—including being outscored by a combined amount of 52-10 in the first halves of those contests—but expect Green Bay to be ready to go this time given the extra time to prep and since its facing the only undefeated team left in the NFL. At the very least, we’re getting 9.5 points! — Max Meyer
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