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: 22-26-1 (46%)
Thursday Night Football: 8-1-1 (89%)
Other Sunday Posted Picks: 9-4 (69%)
All Posted Picks: 39-31-2 (56%)

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Cowboys -6.5 at Detroit (Current Line: -6.5 -120 5Dimes)

 

  • I typically don’t like laying a big number on the road, but I am doing it twice this week including the Cowboys. FYI, I would not lay the 7 so if you can get it at 6.5 at -120 or better that would be my limit.
  • It’s easy to say I like Dallas only because of Jeff Driskel but that’s not really the case here.
  • Dallas has advantages up and down the field here and where they struggle is not where Detroit can take advantage.
  • On defense, Dallas has been shredded on the ground, ranking 20th in success rate defending the run and are 24th in Adjusted Line Yards allowed. Unfortunately for Detroit they rank 27th in DVOA run offense and have produced the third-lowest number of explosive runs in the NFL.
  • The Lions’ rush ranking includes most of the season with Kerryon Johnson. In the last three full games since Johnson got hurt, Detroit RBs have run the ball 62 times for 207 total yards and 3.3 YPC. They have done this against a group of opponents that have allowed 3.9 YPC. They will not be able to take advantage of the Dallas poor rush defense.
  • For Dallas, Ezekiel Elliot should be able to exploit a poor run defense for Detroit. The Lions rank 27th in success rate allowed and 29th in Adjusted Line Yards allowed. The Cowboys rank top 5 in both categories and should be able to control the line of scrimmage all game long. Detroit has faced three other teams this season that also rank in the top 8 in Adjusted Line Yards on offense —Minnesota, Green Bay, and Oakland. Each of those three teams rushed for at least 166 yards and in aggregate ran for 5.0 YPC against Detroit.
  • Dak Prescott will also have strong advantages against the Lions pass defense. Dak has completed the fifth-highest percentage of explosive pass plays, has attempted the sixth-most downfield passes of 20+ yards and has the second-highest adjusted completion percentage on those deep throws in the NFL. The Lions have allowed the fifth-highest percentage of explosive pass plays and with the 25th ranked pass rush, expect Dak to pick this secondary apart.

 

Bills -6 at Miami (Current Line: -6.5 -115 5Dimes)

 

  • Yes, Miami has been hot lately, covering five straight. But all that means is their power ranking has been fully adjusted and to me, it has now been over adjusted. I would take Buffalo at any number under 7.
  • All everyone will see from last week is a Miami 16-12 win over the Colts and will now think that Miami is a good team. But looking deeper into that game and you will see Miami was horrendous on offense and only won because of three Brian Hoyer INTs.
  • Miami’s offense racked up 3.7 yards per play on offense and allowed 4.3 to the Colts. Since 2009, teams that produce 3.7 yards per play or less have gone 52-270 for a 16% win percentage. Underdogs that produce that offense have only covered 36% of those games. What Miami did last week was pretty fluky.
  • Remember, last week was the first game that Miami played without No. 2 WR Preston Williams and both starting RBs, Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. The Bills struggle to stop the run but Ballage is terrible. He ran for 2.2 YPC against Indy and is averaging 2.1 YPC on 55 carries this season. Buffalo is ninth in DVOA pass defense and if Miami can’t run the ball then I am not sure how they will be effective enough to cover this game.
  • The Bills will be able to run the ball against this Miami defense with their ninth-ranked run success rate offense. Buffalo is second in Adjusted Line Yards and will go up against Miami and their 30th ranked defense in Adjusted Line Yards. 
  • This game is all about line value as well. Buffalo was -17 at home against Miami just four weeks ago. That would equate to -11 in Miami. So now we have Buffalo under a TD. So, is Miami five points better than just a few games ago? Sure they are better, but maybe 3 points not a full 5.

 

Texans +4 at Baltimore (Current Line: +4.5 -110 5Dimes)

 

  • I don’t know for sure if Houston will cover this game but backing the Texans here is an easy one for me. It’s all about Deshaun Watson.
  • There is no other QB I’d rather back as an underdog than Watson, who is 7-1 against the spread as an underdog of 3+. His only loss was a 7-point loss at NE in the opener last season as a 6.5-point underdog. As an underdog of any amount this season, Houston is 3-0 ats and straight up.
  • Lamar Jackson and Baltimore have been hot lately, but I think this matchup is ok for the Texans. Houston is sixth in run defense according to DVOA and ninth in success rate against QBs running the football. Nobody stops Lamar but Houston can at least contain him on the ground a little bit. At least more than a team like Cincinnati last week.
  • Baltimore is 28th in DVOA run defense and 26th in success rate defending RBs. Houston is sixth in open field yardage while the Ravens rank 23rd in open field yards allowed. If the Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson can get past the first level of the Ravens defense, they can do some damage in the open field.
  • The Ravens have generated the second-lowest amount of pressure on defense and Watson is ninth in passer rating with a clean pocket. The Ravens secondary is much improved as compared to early in the season, but Watson will have time to find WRs, including Will Fuller, who is expected to return on Sunday.

 

Raiders -10.5 vs Cincinnati (Current Line: -11.5 -110 5Dimes)

 

  • This line has moved a full point or even higher in some places. The difference between 10.5 and 12 isn’t very big in terms of key numbers so I like Oakland here at anything under 13.
  • I typically don’t like to lay double digits, but the matchup and circumstances warrant it for me.
  • Oakland gets extra rest off of a big Thursday night win against the Chargers, while the Bengals have to fly across the country. And do the players even want to board that flight? This team is clearly tanking with the benching of Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley. Where you take advantage of this Raider defense is through the air but I am not sure Finely is the QB to do so.
  • Motivation is a huge concern for Bengals backers. Meanwhile, normally this could be a letdown spot for Oakland, but you are talking about a team that is the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs and needs to keep winning. They are excited to be where they are at and I don’t see a let down here.
  • The Raiders have major advantages on offense. Behind Josh Jacobs, Oakland is sixth in DVOA run offense and also rank fourth in pass offense. The Bengals rank 25th in Adjusted Line Yards and 26th in open field yards on defense. Jacobs should have a monster game.
  • Cincinnati will be without starting CB Dre Kirkpatrick and the best player on their defense, Geno Atkins, is currently questionable. 
  • The Raiders have faced a gauntlet in terms of both travel and the teams on their schedule. Oakland has faced the third-toughest schedule and has played only two defenses that rank in the bottom 10, the Chargers and Lions. The Raiders scored 26 and 31 points in those two games. Facing this 32nd ranked defense will feel like a day off for this offense.

 

Chiefs -4 vs LA Chargers (Current Line: -4 -110 5Dimes)

 

  • I was a little surprised this line wasn’t closer to 6. The Chargers have played a relatively weak schedule, with opponents ranking 27th in net yards per play, and have struggled all season. The Chiefs have the third-best net yards per play figure against a schedule of opponents that rank as 11th toughest.
  • The Chargers are bottom 12 in both run and pass defense according to DVOA. The Chargers are 25th in yards per pass attempt allowed against a schedule of pass offenses that rates as eighth-easiest. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have the 11th best pass defense on a yards per attempt basis, against the toughest schedule of pass offenses in the NFL. KC rates as the fifth-best pass defense according to DVOA.
  • Really this comes down to the Chargers sticking to the run against the Chiefs’ 31st rated run defense while the Chiefs throw all over the Chargers. If KC can at least keep LA’s run offense to moderate success, I think KC covers here. It always sounds easy on paper to run the ball to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, but one or two punts and the Chiefs can lay it on your defense.
  • There is definite motivation on both sides, but the Chiefs clearly want revenge for that late-season loss against the Chargers last year as well as coming off a disappointing loss in Tennessee last week. Also, we have a clear coaching advantage with Andy Reid against Anthony Lynn.

 

Other sides and totals I have personally wagered on and I still like at the current number:

 

  • Denver +10.5 -122
  • Eagles +4 -110