BEST GAME – Dallas at Philadelphia (-5.5)
Dallas 4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS
Philadelphia 5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS
Jerry Jones has probably gone through a few buckets of Maalox already this week as his Boys get set for their early NFC East showdown in Philly. Two of the best teams in a pretty mediocre year for the NFL go at it Sunday night. Dallas is mum of whether QB1 Dak Prescott will be back in action (he may return to practice this week) against the league’s only unbeaten team. The Cowboys have some other health issues to deal with – notably banged-up pass rushes Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. The Eagles, meanwhile, are perfect so far but flying dangerously close to the sun and could be 2-3 with a few contrarian bounces of the ball.
WORST GAME – New England at Cleveland (-3)
New England 2-3 SU, 2-2-1 ATS
Cleveland 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS
Just what Bill Belichick wants – a quarterback controversy. Mac Jones was supposed to be the real deal, but a sprained ankle has opened the door for unheralded and unknown Bailey Zappe – and the fans are now reminiscing about Bledsoe and Brady two decades ago. The Patriots defense shut out the Lions (the NFL’s highest-scoring team) last week, so for those who love D and are not tired of the whole Belichick/NE scene, this game might not be THAT bad. Cleveland is one missed field gal away from a winning record and being tied for first in the NFC North. Not a dog game, but slightly worse than the others.
BIGGEST SPREAD – Carolina at Los Angeles Rams (-10.5)
Carolina 1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS
Los Angeles 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS
The Rams have quite a few things to sort out, but Concern No. 1 is an offensive line that can’t open holes for the running game. The defending Super Bowl champs are dead last in the league (62 yards a game) running the ball, and that’s makes throwing it even more difficult. Wideout Cooper Kupp is being blanketed and averaging only 7.4 yards per target (way down from previous years). Fortunately for the Rams, the Panthers aren’t much better – they have the worst offense in the NFL. Oddsmakers like the Rams to break out of their funk this week.
SMALLEST SPREAD – Washington at Chicago (-1)
Washington 1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS
Chicago 2-3 SU, 2-2-1 ATS
Speaking of teams having trouble moving the ball on the ground, say hello to your dysfunctional Washington Commanders. HC Ron Rivera thinks he knows where the problem lies. Hint: It’s not Ron Rivera. It’s QB Carson Wentz, and when the boss is dissing his most important player, there are major problems. This tight line (Bears -1) is a bit odd considering that Chicago hasn’t been all that bad this season and also QB Justin Fields seems to be figuring things out. Fields was more than decent in last Sunday’s loss to the Vikings and finished with a 118.8 passer rating. He also rushed for 47 yards and had a 52-yard rushing TD called back by a penalty. Still, oddsmakers have listed this one as the lowest total (38.5).
LARGEST TOTAL – Buffalo at Kansas City (53.5)
Buffalo 4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS
Kansas City 4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS
Buffalo has the NFL’s best offense, so it’s a bit counterintuitive that the Bills have covered the total only once in five games. Buffalo is actually 0-3 in games in which the total is 50 or more. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been in four shootouts already this season and are trying to win games despite a middling pass defense that hasn’t been all that impressive. Expect a lot of over money mid-week which could drive the total even higher before kickoff.