For purposes of these articles I will list the contest line as well as the most current line using 5Dimes sportsbook. I will note if the current line is playable or not. I have personally bet all of these sides unless otherwise noted. As always, shop for the best lines.
Current NFL Record:
YTD Supercontest Picks: 32-37-1 (46%)
Thursday Night Football: 11-3-1 (85%)
Other Sunday Posted Picks: 13-8 (62%)
All Posted Picks: 56-48-2 (54%)
Eagles -4.5 vs Washington (Current Line: -5.5 -118 5Dimes)
- The contest line is 4.5 but I would take Philly at anything under -6
- I backed Washington last week at Green Bay mainly because the Packers are overrated but also because Green Bay can’t stop the run.
- The Redskins are on a three-game cover streak with two wins. How have they done it? By running the football. Since Bill Callahan took over head coaching duties, Washington has run the ball at the second-highest rate in the NFL. They are also the slowest paced team.
- The teams they have covered against during this cover streak, the Lions, Panthers, and Packers, rank 18th, 26th, and 32nd in DVOA run defense. All three are also bottom 8 in success rate allowed on the ground since Week 7.
- The Eagles, however, rank eighth-best in the NFL in stopping the run. Washington will not be able to pound the ground game and it will be even tougher without Derrius Guice.
- The Eagles are obviously going to miss Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholar but at least it helps to know that they will be out in advance. Expect plenty of Zach Ertz and the running game and a low scoring cover.
Chargers +2.5 vs Minnesota (Current Line: +1.5 -115 5Dimes)
- I consider these teams essentially even. Both teams come in tied for sixth in the NFL in net yards per play at plus-0.8. Even if you don’t consider the Chargers having a strong home field advantage in LA, this line is off by at least 2.5-3 points. If this game was in Minnesota would the Vikings be favored by over 7 as this line implies?
- The Chargers are 5-8 but with a plus-38 point differential, they are playing much more like an 8-5 team. All eight of their losses have been by seven points or fewer and the Chargers are 2-8 in one score games. If they just won two of those eight games they lost, wouldn’t they be favored?
- The Vikings defense has been really poor of late, ranking 31st against the run and 26th against the pass since Week 7. The Chargers should be able to score on the Vikings defense.
- The Chargers are as healthy as they’ve been all season and based on last week’s performance, have definitely not quit on the season.
- Kirk Cousins has been excellent this season but his numbers on the road haven’t been nearly as good as at home. His completion percentage drops from 80% to 63% and yards per attempt from 9.6 to 7.7 when he goes on the road.
- Let’s face it, we all know where this is headed. Philip Rivers will have the ball down one score and the length of the field late in the game. Hopefully, he can pull through this time.
Steelers -2.5 vs Buffalo (Current Line: Pk -110 5Dimes)
- I am a bit surprised at this line move, although we have seen the line go against the Steelers of late.
- This comes down to how Josh Allen plays in a primetime game in a hostile environment against a top 5 defense like the Steelers. He hasn’t proven that he can succeed. Allen has faced four top 13 pass defenses — Cleveland, Denver, New England, and Baltimore — and in those games, Allen has completed only 50% of his passes for 5.6 YPA, 3 TD, 4 INT, and he has been sacked 12 times. The Bills are 1-3 in those games. I have zero faith in Allen on Sunday night in this spot.
- I don’t expect any sort of great offensive performance from Duck Hodges and the Steelers either but he has done a really good job of taking what the defense has given him with the occasional deep pass mixed in. He has completed 71% of his passes for an outstanding 8.5 YPA. He is the 10th-rated QB based on DVOA.
- The Steelers should do just enough on offense to win and cover this game.
Falcons +10.5 vs SF (Current Line: +10.5 -110 5Dimes)
- This really comes down to two factors for me: a big letdown spot after three straight big games for the Niners and a fade against a beat-up Niners team.
- The Niners faced a brutal stretch of games against Green Bay, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Now they come home with a game against the Falcons with two straight huge division games on deck.
- The Niners will be without five starters in Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, K’Waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt, and center Weston Richburg, along with multiple backup DL. That accounts for two of their top 5 PFF-graded defenders and three of their top nine.
- The Falcons have not quit and are in a similar spot when they went into New Orleans last month as 11-point underdogs and won outright. Look for feisty effort from the Falcons and the ability to cover through the backdoor if needed.
Cowboys +1 vs LA Rams (Current Line: +1 -110 5Dimes)
- I think this number is crazy. Before I saw the spread I would’ve guessed Dallas favored by 2. This line implies the Rams would be -7 in LA and I just don’t agree.
- Dallas isn’t playing well but they still are No. 2 in offensive DVOA. The defense is struggling but at least they get to face Jared Goff on the road.
- I consider these teams as close to even. Dallas is second in net yards per play and the Rams are third. In a game that is fairly close, I think there is value in taking the home team to just win outright.
Other sides and totals I have personally wagered on and I still like at the current number:
- Bears +10.5/Chargers over 39.5 teaser
- Carolina/Seattle over 49.5 (-110 5Dimes)