The Reason: The AFC North is commonly known as being one of, if not the toughest division in the NFL. In the last 21 AFC North divisional matchups, 17 of them have gone “under”, and only one of the four that went “over” didn’t involve the Cleveland Browns. Matches between any two of these Bengals, Steelers, or Ravens have gone under in 10 of the last 11 matchups. 7 of the last 8 matches between the Bengals and the Steelers @ Heinz Field have gone “under”. Combine these statistics with the fact that the Bengals concede the least yards per play (4.2), and the Steelers concede the 3rd least (4.6), this bet is just obvious to me.
Ravens @ Vikings
The Pick: Vikings -4.5 @ $1.96 (Pinnacle)
The Reason: The reason? The Ravens stink, that’s the short answer. The long answer is that they can’t move the ball (30th in offensive yards per play), they can’t score on offense (four touchdowns in their last four weeks), and they have the 3rd worst road:home win/loss % differential (-26.3%) since John Harbaugh started coaching them in 2008. The Ravens are coming up against arguably the most underrated defence in the league, and the Vikings make the most of their home field advantage – 15-4 SU, 14-5 ATS as home favourites. I don’t care whether its Casey Keenum or Sam Bradford, I like the Vikings either way, here.
Panthers @ Bears
The Pick: Panthers -2.5 @ $1.88 (Pinnacle)
The Reason: The reason may sound way too simple, but I see this as Cam Newton vs Mitch Trubisky. I’m not the biggest Cam Newton fan as I see him being too inconsistent, I do see Trubisky being a star in the future, but this is a complete mismatch. The rest of the squad is comparable to one another, but taking 2.5 points off the Panthers isn’t enough for me. The Panthers have been playing better on the road than at home as of late too, 4-1 SU (a 1-point loss), 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road matches.
Broncos @ Chargers
The Pick: Broncos -1 @ $1.93 (Pinnacle)
The Reason: The Broncos were embarrassed by the Giants on national TV last week, utterly embarrassed, so I expect them to bounce back against their divisional rivals. The Broncos have dominated AFC West match ups in recent years, being an astounding 15-3 SU, 14-4 ATS in divisional road matches – 5-1 SU & ATS in their last 6 trips to the Chargers home. Good teams do not lose two in a row, and the Broncos are definitely in that category as they are 19-5 SU the week after a loss. Historically the Chargers have been poor at home in divisional matchups, losing 15 of their last 17. Now that they have the smallest ground in the NFL (and still can’t fill it out), this may as well be on neutral territory… and if it were, the Broncos should be winning by more than a point.
Cowboys @ 49ers
The Pick: 49ers +6.5 @ $1.95 (Pinnacle)
The Reason: The 49ers have to be the best 0-6 team in NFL history. They have lost their last five matches by three points or less. A win has to be around the corner, and this could be the game as the Cowboys are more vulnerable than ever. The Ezekiel Elliott saga seems to never end; one day he’s suspended, the next he’s not, then he is, then he’s not… That is just a distraction that will not go away. Talking of distractions, the Cowboys have not played since owner Jerry Jones said he will not tolerate players not standing for the national anthem, two weeks ago. The teams who were “more distracted” by the protests than their opponents in week 3, were 1-11 ATS (oddsshark.com). This hasn’t really been talked about in the media of late, but I have no doubt that this would’ve been discussed in the locker rooms. That’s just another distraction that the NFC East sliders do not need to have.
Falcons @ Patriots
The Pick: Falcons +2.5 1st Half Line @ $1.95 (Bet365)
The Reason: This pick is a bit of an odd one, but I believe the Falcons will come out firing early as they’ll still have the burning memory of their disastrous Super Bowl collapse against the Patriots in their minds. Not only do they have an emotional/motivational advantage, but the Falcons haven’t lost a first half this season – winning 4 and tying 1, whereas they have collapsed in the second half multiple times this season. Some would suggest it is because opponents have adjusted their defences to the Falcons offense after half time, and new Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian fails to react accordingly. This is evident as the Falcons average 16.2 points in the first half of matches this season (3rd in the league), and average 8 points in second halves (29th). Falcons/Patriots HT/FT @ $7 is also great value.