Chiefs (1-3) @ Colts (0-4)—Banged-up Indy on short work week after strong effort came up short Monday night in Tampa; Painter played lot better than expected, but Colts still have only five TD’s on 44 drives, with 17 3/outs- they’re very weak favorite here, vs Chief club that got first win last week. KC turned ball over just once in last two games (+2) after turning it over nine times (-7) in first two games- they’ve scored only four TD’s on 42 drives, with 15 3/outs. Chiefs are 9-20 in last 29 games decided by 7 or less points- they’ve covered five of last seven as a pre-bye underdog. Colts are 10-1 in last 11 series games, winning last three by average score of 19-9; Chiefs lost last five visits here, scoring just 12.6 ppg.
Cardinals (1-3) @ Vikings (0-4)—Larry Fitzgerald comes home with Redbird club that lost last three games by total of 8 points, visiting 0-4 Viking squad that has three losses by 5 or less points, despite leading three of four games by 10+ points at half. Cardinals lost eight of last ten in series, dropping last six visits here, with last win in 1977- they lost 27-24 in OT here LY. Arizona is 3-7 in last 10 games decided by 7 or less points; they’re just 6-26 on 3rd down last two games- they need to develop an option other than Fitzgerald, since teams blanket him in key spots. Vikings don’t have a takeaway in last two games- they outscored foes 37-0 in first half of their two home games, but got outscored 50-6 after intermission.
Eagles (1-3) @ Bills (3-1)—Team that won last three Buffalo games trailed by 11+ points at half; Bills trailed 21-3/21-10 at half in two home games, but won both, outscoring opponents 59-24 in second half. Iggles might be glad to get away from restless home fans after three straight losses- they were outscored 36-6 in second half last two weeks, blowing 23-3 lead at home last Sunday. Eagles’ allowed eight TD’s, two FG’s on ten red zone drives, which is bad- they had only two TD’s on seven red zone drives last week, missing two chip shot FG’s. This is Philly’s first visit to Orchard Park since ’03- they lead series 6-5, with average total in last five meetings, 29.2. Bills (+7) won turnover battle in all four games, scoring defensive TD in each of last two games, but they’ve converted only 12 of 36 on 3rd down last three games.
Raiders (2-2) @ Texans (3-1)—Hamstring injury to Andre Johnson big blow to Texan offense. Houston won five of six series games, with all five wins by 7+ points; Oakland lost 30-17/29-6 in two visits here, last of which was in ’09. Texans are 5-2 in last seven games as home favorite, winning 34-7/17-10 at home this year, allowing two TD’s on 20 drives at Reliant- they’ve allowed total of 30 points in three points, gave up 40 in only loss, in Superdome. Raiders split pair of 3-point decisions on road this year- since ’07, they’re 19-15-1 as road dogs, but in last three games, they’ve allowed 38-24-31 points. Houston is 4-9-2 vs spread in game that followed their last 15 wins. Curious to see if Texans (180 rushing yards vs Steelers last week) can run ball vs Oakland defense (allowed 133.3 rushing yards/game over last three weeks).
Saints (3-1) @ Panthers (1-3)—New Orleans won/covered its last three games by 17-7-13 points; they’ve converted 32 of 58 (55.2%) on 3rd down this year, which is why they’ve run 34 more plays than their opponents- since 2006, they’re 13-9 as road favorite, and are 15-8-1 in last 24 games as single digit favorites. Carolina passed for 403-404-374 yards in three non-monsoon games, but the rainy game is only won they’ve won; panthers’ losses this year are by 7-7-5 points, as Newton grows into starting QB job. Saints won three of last four meetings, winning 16-14/34-3 LY, after losing six of previous seven series games- they’re 4-3 in last seven visits here. Underdogs are 10-6 vs spread in divisional games this season, home dogs 4-2. Saints scored 13 TD’s, tried 14 FG’s, have struggled little in red zone (4.50, 15th). Three of four Carolina games went over the total.
Bengals (2-2) @ Jaguars (1-3)— Jags are 9-2 in last 11 series games, with four of last six meetings decided by 4 or less points, but Jacksonville is struggling on offense with rookie Gabbert under center, scoring three TDs, trying six FGs on 45 drives, with 16 3/outs. In its last three games, Jax is just 10-41 on 3rd down. Underdogs are 4-0 vs spread in Bengal games this year, with last three decided by total of 10 points. Cincy lost nine of last 12 games decided by 7 or less points, but they’re 3-0 vs spread as dogs this year and 11-6 vs spread in game following their last 17 wins- they’re just 7 for last 33 on 3rd down, with rookie Dalton under center- teams with rookie QBs generally struggle (which makes Newton look that much better). AFC North teams are 4-1 vs spread as non-divisional underdogs. All four Jaguar games stayed under the total.
Titans (3-1) @ Steelers (2-2)—Roethlisberger left Reliant Stadium Sunday with a boot on his foot; he has deep bruise, probably a stress fracture too, but he’ll play. Problem is Steelers have been outrushed in three of four games, were outsacked 8-1 last two weeks, but they did win only home game 24-0- they’re 21-18-1 in last 40 games as home favorite. Titans allowed 16 or less points in all four games, giving up only five TDs on 42 drives- they’re given up only 62.7 rushing yards/game the last three weeks. Steelers won three of last four series games, winning 13-10ot/19-11 last two years; Titans lost three of last four visits here, losing by 27-27-3 points- they lost their pre-bye game 59-0/33-25 the last two years. AFC South teams are 4-2 as non-divisional underdogs; AFC North non-divisional favorites are 3-4. Hasselbeck averaged 7.8+ yards/pass attempt in each of last three games.
Seahawks (1-3) @ Giants (3-1)—Home side won nine of last ten series games; Seahawks lost last five visits here, got beat 44-6/41-7 in last two games with Giants. Seattle lost its pre-bye game 27-3/20-3 last two years; they’re 3-15 vs spread in last 18 road games, losing 33-17/24-0 in first two road games this year. Giants scored 28-29-31 points in winning last three games; they’re just 6-11 vs spread in last 17 home games, but did win/cover home opener (28-16 over Rams) this year. Big Blue is 21-13 in last 34 games decided by more than 7 points- they’re 26-15 vs spread in game following their last 41 wins. Seattle is 12-27 in last 39 games decided by more than 7 points- their last two games, both at home, were decided by total of five points. NFC West teams are 4-7-1 vs spread as non-divisional underdogs.
Buccaneers (3-1) @ 49ers (3-1)—Niners were down 23-3 in 3rd quarter at Philly last week, rallied to win, as Harbaugh has instilled mental toughness needed to win close games- they outscored last two opponents 34-8 in second half. Long road trip for Tampa Bay club on short work week after escaping Monday night with win over Colts; Bucs beat Minnesota 24-20 in only previous road game, after being down 17-0 at half- they’ve trailed at half in three of four games. Home side won seven of last eight Buc-49er games; Tampa Bay lost 11 of 13 visits here, winning 21-0 LY. 49ers’ last three games were decided by total of nine points- they’re already +8 in turnovers, with 3-2-3-3 takeaways and only three giveaways. Don’t forget that in only loss, 49ers led Dallas 14-0 just before half. Three of Niners’ four games went over total.
Jets (2-2) @ Patriots (3-1)— Ryan is 3-2 vs Belichick, beating him here 28-21 in LY’s playoffs, but banged-up Jets are playing on road for third week in row, following losses at Oakland/Baltimore, when they allowed 34 points both games (gave up 346 rushing yards last two games). In 56 plays on field last week, Jet offense was outscored 21-3 by Raven defense. 48 of Patriots’ last 66 wins are by more than seven points- they’ve already scored 17 TD’s (on 42 drives) but have also given up 1,910 yards, as all four foes gained 448+ total yards. Welker already has 40 catches for 610 yards, outrageous numbers; Jets did hold last three foes to 3.4/5.3/4.7 ypa; we’ll see what happens here. Over is 3-1 in both team’s games this season. Average total in Jets’ last four visits here is surprisingly high 51.8. Divisional home favorites are just 4-6 vs spread this season.
Chargers (3-1) @ Broncos (1-3)—Denver’s pass defense allowed 7.2/7.8/9.7 yards/pass attempt last three weeks to Dalton/Hasselbeck/Rodgers, could be major problem vs Rivers here. San Diego is 8-2 in last ten series games, with average total in last six 58.7- seven of last nine series games were decided by 11+ points. Bolts won four of last five visits here- they’ve scored 32+ points in five of last six series games, but lost in Foxboro in only road game so far this year. Chargers are 5-10 in last 15 games as road favorite, but their defense appears to be improved, holding last three opponents under 100 yards on ground. Over last decade, Broncos are 8-6 as home underdog; they have only one FG to show for five drives this year that started in enemy territory; before getting crushed in Lambeau last week, all three Denver games had been decided by 3 or less points.
Packers (4-0) @ Falcons (2-2)—Pack pounded Atlanta 48-21 in playoffs here LY, on way to Super Bowl title; teams split last 12 meetings, with four of last seven decided by exactly 3 points. Green Bay is on serious roll, winning all four games this year by 7+ points- they’re 11-7 in last 18 games as road favorite, 24-14-1 in game following their last 39 wins, but this is their first game this year on artificial turf. Falcons not yet firing on all cylinders; they don’t have a sack in last three games. Even in last week’s win, they let 27-7 lead turn into 30-28 nailbiter at end in Seattle, but they’ve covered four of last five as home underdog. Green Bay already has 10 TD drives of 80+ yards- that’s a lot. Over is 3-1 in both team’s games so far this season. NFC non-divisional underdogs are 4-2 vs spread this year. NFC North non-divisional favorites are 3-4.
Bears (2-2) @ Lions (4-0)—First Monday Night Football home game in decade for Motor City, which is fired up over Lions’ 4-0 start. Upstart Detroit won last eight games that counted, despite trailing 20-0/20-3 at half of last two games; they’ve outscored last three opponents 85-13 in second half, with defense sparking rally with two TDs of its own in Dallas last week, but they’ve lost six in row, 10 of last 12 to Bears, with three of last five setbacks by 5 or less points. Chicago won five of last six visits here; their shaky OL (allowed 15 sacks) could have trouble with crowd noise in dome. Bears ran ball 31 times for 224 yards last week, after running it total of 51 times for 161 yards in first three games. Detroit allowed average of 132 rushing yards in last three games. Average total in last five series games is 43.2- all four Detroit games this season went over total.
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