BEST GAME – Green Bay at Arizona (-3.5)
Green Bay 6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS
Arizona 7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers haven’t exactly kissed and made up, but their marriage of accommodation appears to be holding firm through the first half of the schedule. Rodgers’s three TD passes and 274 yards through the air offset getting sacked three times by Washington on Sunday, and the Pack are putting some air between themselves and the rest of the NFC North. A lot of credit has to go to a more-than decent defense which held the WFT to three points on four second-half red zone trips. This, despite missing four starters. Whether GB can hold it together twice in five days will be interesting when the Packers hit the road Thursday night against the undefeated and dominant Cardinals. Arizona had the next-beat thing to a bye this past Sunday, with Houston in town, and will have a huge prep edge against Green Bay. This game also has the highest total (53.5) on the board, due no doubt to the Cardinals’ potent offense (7th in the NFL) going against what has to be a rubber-legged GB defense that may or may be near full strength.
WORST GAME – Philadelphia at Detroit (+3)
Philadelphia 2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS
Detroit 0-7 SU, 4-3 ATS
With a 17-game schedule and an extra playoff team in the mix, five losses in seven games may not be the death sentence that it once was. But the Eagles have to right the ship, and fast, after an embarrassing and error-laden loss at Las Vegas. Simply put, Philly couldn’t move the ball until the fourth quarter when it didn’t matter. When your QB (Jalen Hurts) is also your leading rusher, there are problems. But the winless Lions don’t want to hear about anyone’s else’s issues, and it’s no consolation that Detroit has come close several times and actually has a better record ATS than 19 other teams in the NFL.
BIGGEST SPREAD – Los Angeles Rams at Houston (+14.5)
Los Angeles 6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS
Houston 1-6 SU, 3-4 ATS
Time for the Rams to make hay while the sun shines, because after this (Lions and Texans back to back) schedule respite, they have division leaders Tennessee, Green Bay and Arizona in three of the next four weeks. Yikes. So it’s imperative that LA – which had problems at home against the Lions and couldn’t put the game away until late – stays focused. All Houston is focused on, meantime, is whether or not Deshaun Watson will be traded. Houston’s defense is not the worst in the league, but the offense just can’t move the ball, leading books to make the Texans a huge home dog in this one.
SMALLEST SPREAD – Dallas at Minnesota (+1.5)
Dallas 5-1 SU, 6-0 ATS, 5-1 O/U
Minnesota 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS, 3-3 O/U
After a long, dark period, things finally seem to be breaking right for the Boys. A bye week followed Dallas’s strenuous overtime victory over the Patriots in Foxboro, gave everyone time to heal before what should be a tight game in Minnesota. The Vikings have been a so-so team, losing close games to powerhouses Arizona and Cincinnati, and are only two possessions from being 5-1 instead of .500. But as Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are,” so the Vikes really need this one badly if they are to make it a race in the NFC North. If things go south in the North this weekend, Minnesota could be three losses down to the Packers.
SMALLEST TOTAL – San Francisco at Chicago (39.5)
San Francisco 2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS, 3-3 O/U
Chicago 3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS, 1-6 O/U
This is the only game in the NFL so far this season with a total under 40, according to teamrankings.com, and it befits two teams whose offenses are struggling mightily and two quarterbacks who are having trouble getting their teams into the end zone. There are constant questions about SF’s Jimmy Garoppolo, and they are louder still today after what his coach said was his worst game of the season in a loss to Indianapolis. It’s doubtful that Justin Fields sympathizes much after turning the ball over five times (three INTs, two lost fumbles) and his Bears putting up only three points in a loss to Tampa Bay.