Welcome back to another week of NFL lines where I do my best to not shy away from the best matchups and give you a few plays along the way. So far this season, if you are paying attention, I am sitting at 9-6 on the year against the spread with some totals mixed in. This week we find ourselves in another COVID affected week and surely is something we will see going forward. We also find this week that the books have finally started to change up what they are doing with totals as they have gone over 60 percent of the time so far in 2020. Scoring is up and the lines are adjusted this week, so beware of the totals. Let’s look at what we have for you this week.
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are coming off a de facto bye week due to the Tennessee Titan COVID-19 issues last week. That leaves Pittsburgh at 3-0 so far with wins over the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and the New York Giants. I am all for singing the praises of the comeback train of this Pittsburgh Steeler team, but those teams have combined for a whopping 1-11 mark so far this season. So, I am pumping the breaks on their top-10 ratings on offense and defense thus far. I am not entirely sure we know exactly who Pittsburgh is yet and this game will be a good litmus test to see where they are at. The Eagles, who have been uninspiring to say the least, beat the San Francisco 49ers last week as both teams were undermanned. I will give them credit for stepping up and winning a game they simply had to win. Most of the Eagles’ problems stem from the offensive side of the ball which is why this game looks pretty scary on paper. That being said, Daniel Jones was able to move the ball on this defense and I do believe that Carson Wentz will bounce back here after four subpar outings in a row. Philadelphia’s offense has been abysmal but the defense has been serviceable, landing at 14th in DVOA. I do believe this defense will be able to hold its own in this one and may give Big Ben a run for his money. I believe that the Eagles will have a good showing in back-to-back weeks and cover this spread. The Steelers have shown nothing yet for me to think they will crush the talented Eagles’ roster, albeit banged up, and cover the 7.5 points.
My Pick: Eagles +7.5
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
The NFC South showdown is in the ATL and what a disaster start for the Falcons. Some would have thought opposite records for these two clubs coming in, however, that is not the case. The Falcons have choked away too many already in this young season. The Panthers are the surprise team in the first quarter of the season. McCaffrey went down with an injury and this offense hasn’t lost a step. Teddy Bridgewater has this offense sitting in the middle of the pack at 14th in DVOA. That’s better than what some thought in the preseason. The defense, however, has been exactly what we thought currently ranked 28th in DVOA. Yes, there have been some flashes with this newly rebuilt defense, and it will be interesting to see how they attack this Falcons’ offense. The Falcons and Matt Ryan historically have not been good front runners and they are favored in this matchup. Dan Quinn needs a win badly to have some chance to save his job. It starts here for the Falcons as they will need to win this one against a frisky (pardon the pun) Carolina Panthers team. I expect this to be a bit back in forth in the early going. I expect Atlanta to get one in the winner’s column this week, but it won’t be easy as we have seen so far Atlanta loves making it hard for themselves.
My Pick: Falcons -2.5
Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland Browns
This game is not my favorite to handicap, but I said I will try and grab the best games of the day and both of these teams come in with 3-1 records and ready to go at it. The Colts come in buoyed by an easier schedule and some stellar defense so far this season. The Colts are currently 1st in DVOA on Defense and it shows. They have been sensational against the teams they have played so far. That being said, injuries and attrition are hitting all NFL teams right now and I hope the Colts and the Browns have their full complement of players. The Colts’ defense has been very good but the offense has been pretty rough so far this year. They are currently ranked 24th in DVOA and some of the first down play-calling has been predictable. The receiving core is banged up and rookie running back Jonathan Taylor hasn’t found his stride yet consistently. The Browns’ defense is no joke and this very good offensive line of the Colts will have their hands full all day. The Browns’ offense opened up last week vs the Dallas Cowboys and they put on a clinic. They lost Nick Chubb to injury, however with Kareem Hunt already in the offense they shouldn’t miss a beat. I do think the Colts’ defense will cause enough havoc on Baker Mayfield that they should be able to get one or two turnovers in this game. I just can’t trust Mayfield in a big game like this so I am taking the Colts once again.
My Pick: Colts Moneyline (ML)
Appreciate you taking the time to read this week’s article. If you want to hear all my sides and player props make sure to tune into the Bets Unwrapped podcast on Spotify. Make sure you check out mybookie.ag and use the code USN100 for a 100% deposit match +15 dollar bonus. Go and signup now. Follow me @Cmoney52 and let me know who you are wagering on. See you soon!!