By Steven Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer (@deadduck77)
Steve fell back to earth this week but Shaun kept his streak going and turned in another good one. As the season goes on, this is supposed to get easier but those huge flashy buildings in Vegas don’t exist because they’re losing money. The train keeps rolling though and things are going to end where they should: in the green. So let’s see where we stand:
And now, we’re on to week 10!
Miami Dolphins (+9) @ Carolina Panthers
The post-Jay Ajayi era started last week for the Miami Dolphins and Kenyan Drake and Damien WIlliams both did a good job replacing him. The Dolphins lost but they seemed to be moving the ball quite well, albeit against an Oakland Raiders defense. The Panthers got a division win against the Atlanta Falcons even though Jonathan Stewart tried his hardest to not let that happen. Although the Dolphins are only 4-4, they haven’t looked terrible this season, just offensively constipated. The Panthers have been a much harder team to peg as one week they look great and then the next they look like...well the result of getting over the aforementioned constipation. Although Miami is only 2-3-2 against the spread (ATS) over their last seven games, they do sport a 5-0 ATS record against the Panthers and I think nine points are just too many. This takes into account that Carolina is only 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games. I’ll take the Dolphins to cover but lose the game in a close one 24-20.
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington (+1)
The Vikings are coming off of their bye week but it was an exciting one as we welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to the active roster! Unfortunately, Sam Bradford found his way onto the IR. Kirk Cousins probably had a nice flight home after leading a late drive to win their game in Seattle which, as we all know, is not an easy place to play. The Washington Football Team is hoping to ride that momentum into week 10 when they face another stout defense in the Vikings. Now, Washington hasn’t been the best home bet lately, sporting a 1-5 ATS record in their last six at FedEx Field. They’re also only 1-4 ATS in their last five overall but I’m going to try and ride the momentum with the team. Minnesota is well rested but they’re also only 1-7 ATS in their last eight games away from home. Give me Washington to ride the wave and win this one outright 24-21.
New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills UNDER 46.5
It might sound weird but I’m really looking forward to watching this game. This ain’t yo mamma’s Saints team anymore as they are winning games this year with defense while letting Drew Brees’ arm take a break. The Buffalo Bills are also making sure everyone know they aren’t tanking this year as they started the season off hot and have a 5-3 record heading into this one. I’m taking the UNDER here for a couple reasons and one of them has nothing to do with the Drew Brees home/road splits. It more has to do with their stingy defense that I mentioned early. The UNDER has hit in four of the last five Saints games and you’d have to go back a few years to see when that happened last. Something else that might shock you is that the OVER has hit in 11 of the last 12 games played in Buffalo. I knew you’d be shocked. I still think the Bills steal this one 21-18.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts OVER 44
I think we all can see how this game is going to go. The Colts are going to keep it close for a little while (as the Steelers always seem to play down to the level of their opponent) and then Pittsburgh will wake up and run away with it towards the end. The Colts are riding high after beating a Tom Savage led Houston team while the Steelers are coming off of their bye week. That means that Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are as fresh as they’ll be the rest of the season and I think they take it out on the Colts. I’ll the Steelers in an eventual route 37-17.
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins (+1)
Washington went up to Seattle and Kirk Cousins led them on a fourth quarter game winning drive in a low scoring, crappy weather game. So (to me at least), it is kind of surprising that they are now home dogs to the Case Keenum led Vikings. The Vikings are fresh off the bye. News came out that a Teddy Bridgewater return is near [Editor’s Note: Teddy Bridgewater was activated after this was written] and that he may serve as backup to Keenum, at least for a while. The Vikings have stormed out to a nice lead in their division and have seemingly not missed a beat. They lost super rookie Dalvin Cook but have been using Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray to effectively keep their ground game going. Washington struggled offensively in Seattle but the defense kept it close and Cousins was able to put together a drive when they needed it. The Vikings are 2-6 straight up (SU) and 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games. Washington wins 20-17.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) @ Indianapolis Colts
TY Hilton! If you have suffered this season by rolling with the disappointing Hilton in your lineup week after week then last Sunday was your day. Unless you finally got sick of the disappointment and benched him. If that was you I am truly sorry and that is the reason why you start your studs and go down with the ship if they never get it together. The Colts were able to hold off the Texans last week to secure the win. Tom Savage was awful yet they still had a shot at the victory if they could have punched it in at the end of the fourth quarter. The Steelers are fresh off the bye and are looking like a possible favorite to end up in the Super Bowl for the AFC. It seems they found that if they give the ball to Le’Veon Bell as much as possible, the offense looks good. There is still the cloud of disgruntled WR Martavis Bryant hanging around. But with Brown, Juju, and Bell catching plenty of passed they are making Ben look like a competent QB again. I feel like this will not be a competitive game and Bell and the Steelers will roll big time. Pittsburgh is 14-2 SU in last 16 vs Indy. Steelers win 30-17
New York Jets (-2.5) @Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Jets beat the Bills last week on Thursday Night Football. Matt Forte had his best game of the season and Josh McCown has looked downright impressive this year. Tampa Bay got housed by the Panthers last Sunday. I blame Jameis and his super uncomfortable pregame hype speech where he was “eating W’s.” Winston could only manage a half and is being shut down until his shoulder is completely healthy. Evans has to sit out after failing to be ejected after his cheap shot Sunday. Doug Martin and the Bucs offense as a whole has been less than impressive this year and this week it’s going to be the Ryan Fitzpatrick Show, again without Mike Evans. I guess you could say this is a revenge game for Fitzpatrick but that is a pretty big reach. The Jets are a perfect 8-0 SU and ATS vs the Bucs in their last eight meetings. Jets win 26-20.
New England Patriots (-7.5) @ Denver Broncos
The Asswasher (Brock Osweiler, for those of you who do not follow us regularly) era, 2.0, was as good as we thought it would be. It didn’t take long but Denver fans are ready for it to be over already. He was so bad that the Broncos cannot wait until Lynch is healthy so they can replace Brock Lobster and see if they have anything for the future in Lynch. The Broncos struggled to move the ball on offense and Carson Wentz proved that the once “no fly zone” known as the Broncos defense is now open to fly the friendly skies. Just in time for Tom Terrific and the Patriots to come to town fresh off the bye. The Broncos have lost four straight by an average of eighteen points. The Pats are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games off a bye. Brock Osweiler in two games vs the Patriots last year threw for one TD, four INT’s with a QB rating of 54.1. The Pats are also 7-0 ATS in grass over the last two seasons. Patriots cruise 31-16.
Steve - New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos UNDER 46.5.
I tried this last week but Carson Wentz screwed it up. I know Tom Brady is the GOAT but I’m going to say it again. Take the UNDER because Brock Osweiler. Patriots win 24-13.
Shaun - Houston Texans @ Los Angeles Rams UNDER 46
The Rams blew the doors off the Giants dropping damn near 50 points on them. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley have been on fire. Sammy Watkins even shows up about one out of every four or five games. The Texans. Oh the poor Texans. How quickly things change. The Watson injury has turned the once division leading Texans into an afterthought as the offense had a hard time doing anything, even against the Colts. I think the Rams win easily but I think they will score significantly less than 50. And Houston will probably score, but also probably not that much. Rams win 27-16.