Colts (5-3) @ Jaguars (1-7)—Indy playing inspired football for disabled coach Pagano (leukemia) who visited team Sunday, winning four of last five games, last three all by 4 or less points, or in OT; they’ve lost last two visits here, 31-28/19-13- last year was first time Jags ever swept season series. Series was split in five of last six years. Indy allowed 41-22-35 points in its losses; they’re 4-0 allowing less than 22 points, a figure Jax has yet to hit at home this year. Jags’ only win this year came on 80-yard pass in last 2:00 at Indy, after Colts had just grabbed lead; they only had 148 passing yards the whole game. Jax lost five games in row (2-3 vs spread) since- they’re 0-4 at home (0-4 vs spread) losing by average score of 32-6. Home underdogs are 6-9 vs spread in divisional games so far this season. Three of last four Jaguar games went over total; under is 4-2-1 in Colts’ last seven games.
Bills (3-5) @ Patriots (5-3)—If you go back a decade, average score of second Bill-Patriot game each year has been 32-8 Pats; average score in first meetings, 28-20. Patriots trailed first meeting 14-7 at half in Buffalo, then exploded in second half for 52-28 win, their 22nd in last 24 series games; Bills lost last eight visits here, with five of last seven by 10 or less points. Buffalo lost four of its last five games; only one of its five losses was by less than 12 points- they’re 1-4 as underdogs this year, 1-3 on road. NE won four of last five games, forcing 15 turnovers (+9) in those games, after forcing only five in first three; they’re 1-2 as home favorites. In its last four wins, Patriots ran ball for 131+ yards; Bills allowed an average of 211 rushing yards in their last five games. Home favorites are 7-14 vs spread in divisional games this season. Last six Patriot games all went over the total.
Giants (6-3) @ Bengals (3-5)—Cincy lost to Peyton Manning last week; younger brother Eli visits here, in series where home team is 8-0, with Giants losing all five visits to Cincinnati (four of five losses by 5 or less points). Bengals lost last four games (0-4 vs spread), with three of the four at home, allowing 34-24-31 points in last three games; they’re 2-3 as underdogs, 0-2 at home. Last three Giant games were all decided by 5 or less points; they’re 2-2 on road (4-0 vs spread), 2-4 vs spread as favorites, 1-0 on road. Underdogs covered seven of their nine games this year. Red flag for NJ: they’ve completed only 25 of 53 passes in last two games, scoring two TDs on 21 drives- they had defensive TD in each game. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 3-11 against spread, 1-4 on road; AFC North underdogs are 5-6, 2-2 at home. Three of four Giant road games stayed under the total.
Chargers (4-4) @ Bucs (4-4)— Being 4-4 depends on your outlook; Tampa fans are thrilled to be .500 after losing last 10 games LY; some Charger fans are calling for Norv Turner’s head because he’s 4-4. Bucs’ WR Vincent Jackson left SD for Tampa and has invigorated Tampa passing game that averaged 6.9+ yards/attempt in each of last five games, during which time they averaged 33.2 ppg (20 TD’s on 59 drives, 31 plays of 20+ yards). Bolts had three extra days after Thursday night win that snapped three-game; they’re 2-2 on road, but lost at Saints/Browns in last two- they’re 0-1 as dogs this year. San Diego won eight of nine series games, including all five played here, but Bucs won their only Super Bowl on Chargers’ home field. NFC South home favorites are 5-6 vs spread outside their division; AFC West road underdogs are 2-5. Four of last five Charger games, and last five Tampa Bay games all went over the total.
Broncos (5-3) @ Panthers (2-6)—John Fox returns to Charlotte to coach against team that (stupidly) let him walk two years ago, because they didn’t want to pay him what he’s worth; Denver is on roll, winning/covering last three games, scoring 35-34-31 points. Broncos scored 31+ points in all five wins, 21-25-21 in losses. Carolina lost five of last six games, but held three of last four opponents under 20 points; they’re 0-4 vs spread when scoring 14 or less points, 4-0 when they score 21+. Panthers lost last three home games, scoring average of just 11 ppg (3 TD’s on 30 drives). Home side won all three games in series; Broncos lost only visit here, 30-10 four years ago. AFC west non-divisional favorites are 4-5 vs spread, 1-2 on road; NFC South teams are 16-8 vs spread outside their division, 9-2 as underdogs, 0-1 at home. Three of last four Bronco games went over; three of last four Panther games stayed under.
Titans (3-6) @ Dolphins (4-4)—You’ll get spirited effort from Tennessee here after 51-20 home debacle vs Bears last week, after which octogenarian owner Bud Adams basically threatened everyone in organization; five of Titans’ six losses are by 23 points- they’re 1-3 on road, pulling out 35-34 win at Buffalo in last road trip, but losing first three by 28-24-23 points (1-3 as road dog). Five of well-coached Dolphins’ last six games were decided by 4 or less points; Fish are 0-2 as favorites this year (both games were decided by 3 points) as underdogs covered six of their eight games, including last five. After running ball for 263-185 yards in Weeks 2-3, Dolphins averaged just 70.8 yards on ground over last five games. Miami won eight of last 11, three of last four series games; Titans lost six of last seven visits here, dropping last three by 14-3-12 points. AFC East non-divisional favorites are 6-5, 3-3 at home; AFC South underdogs are 9-8, 4-4 on road. Under is 3-0-1 in last four Miami games.
Raiders (3-5) @ Ravens (6-2)—Baltimore won six of seven series games, but teams haven’t met since ’09; Raiders are 0-4 here, losing 28-6/29-10 in last two visits, last of which was in ’08. Oakland got run over last week by Bucs’ Martin, who had 265 yards on ground before giving few away on kneeldowns in last minute; they’re 1-3 on road, covering last two, but losing three of four, with losses by 22-31-3 points, and only win at 1-7 Chiefs.. Ravens’ 137 rushing yards last week was season high; they’re 4-0 at home, but 1-3 as home favorites, winning by 31-1-7-2 points at home. Baltimore allowed 24-43 points in its two losses; they had 26 plays of 20+ yards in first four games, only 11 in last four- they need more to protect injury-riddled defense. AFC North non-divisional favorites are 2-8 vs spread, 2-4 at home; AFC West underdogs are 4-7, 2-5 on road. Three of four Raven home games, five of last seven Oakland games went over the total.
Falcons (8-0) @ Saints (3-5)—New Orleans won 10 of last 12 games in one of NFL’s best rivalries (teams came into NFL a year apart), with five of last seven games decided by 4 or less points; Atlanta lost five of last six visits here, but are 8-0 this year, allowing only 15.3 ppg in four road wins (all vs teams with .500 or worse records, but Saints are 3-5). Saints won three of last four games, but wasn’t impressed by Monday night win over freefalling Eagles; loss of multi-purpose back Sproles (hand) hampers their quick passes out of backfield. Atlanta scored 17 TD’s on 54 drives in first five games, only five on 30 in last three, but they keep winning. Saints are 3-1 when they score 28+ points, 0-4 when they don’t; Falcons allowed 16.8 ppg in last four games; they’ve allowed more than 24 points once (Carolina) this year. Underdogs covered three of first four NFC South divisional games this year. Three of last four Falcon games stayed under the total.
Lions (4-4) @ Vikings (4-5)—Minnesota was outgained 341-227, didn’t score offensive TD, but had two TD’s on special teams in 20-13 (+3.5) win at Detroit in Week 4, just second win in last five games vs Lions, after they won 21 of previous 24 series games. Detroit’s 26-23 OT win here LY was their first in last 14 visits here; they’re 3-1 since bye, scoring 8 TD’s on 17 drives in last two games, with six of eight TD drives 80+ yards. Lions are 4-1 when they score 26+ points, 0-3 when they don’t; Vikings allowed 29.5 ppg in last four games, after giving up 15.8 in first five. Minnesota QB Ponder looked lost at Seattle last week, when Vikes lost by 10 despite running ball for 243 yards; Ponder’s averaged 2.2/6.0/1.7 ypa in last three games. Detroit has run ball for 117.5 ypg since the bye, after averaging 90.3 in first four games, so they’re making effort to take heat off Stafford by running ball better. Three of last four games for both sides went over the total.
Jets (3-5) @ Seahawks (5-4)—Much like Giants last week, Jet players have had to deal with hurricane-related issues to their homes, so long road trip west could help them re-focus; they’ve won eight of last ten series games, after losing first seven games with Seattle- they’re 3-4 in Pacific Northwest. Seattle much better team at home (4-0, scoring 23.8 ppg) with wins over Packers/Patriots; speedy WRs Tate/Rice allowed Wilson to become more dangerous improvising out of pocket. Curious to see how Jets change approach after getting drilled 30-9 by Miami in last pre-bye game, when normally reliable special teams fell apart in first quarter. NFC West teams are 13-10 vs spread in non-divisional games, 5-5 as favorites, 4-4 at home; AFC East teams are 12-10 vs spread, 7-6 on road, 4-4 as road dogs. Three of last four Seattle games went over total. Many moons ago, Pete Carroll was once HC of the Jets.
Cowboys (3-5) @ Eagles (3-5)—Do struggling teams have home advantage? Home folks ain’t happy with Iggles, who allowed Vick to get sacked seven times in 28-13 loss to Saints Monday night—could be that Reid’s long (and largely successful) run as Eagles’ coach is nearing an end, since Philly lost last three games, allowing 26-30-28 points- three of their four home games have been decided by 3 or less points, and now they face hated Pokes on short work week. Dallas lost four of last five games, with last three losses all by 6 or less points; they’ve run ball for just 169 yards on 66 carries (2.56 per carry) in last three games. Philly scored 20+ points in only two games this year, and lost both of those. Home teams are 0-4 vs spread (2-2 SU) in NFC East divisional games this season. Four of five Dallas road games stayed under total; three of four Eagle home games went over. Iggles won three of last four series games, but Dallas is 4-3 in last seven visits here.
Rams (3-5) @ 49ers (6-2)—Niners are bully team, allowing 6 or less points in four of last five games, but they’re just 2-2 when they allow more than 6 points; curious to see if Rams’ patchwork OL can give Bradford enough time to move chains with favorite target Amendola back in lineup. SF won seven of last eight series games, winning last four played here by average score of 30-9. St Louis lost last three games, scoring four TD’s on last 27 drives; they’re 2-2 as road underdogs, but haven’t forced a turnover in last three games (-4) after forcing nine (+2) in first five games. Niners scored 13-3 points in their two losses, running ball for just 89-80 yards; they’re 6-0 when they don’t lose the turnover battle, and are 2-2 as home favorites, with home wins by 8-4-27 points and a loss to the Giants. Underdogs covered four of first five NFC West divisional games. Six of last seven 49er games stayed under the total.
Texans (7-1) @ Bears (7-1)—Possible Super Bowl preview with both teams’ only loss to Green Bay; Bears are setting unreal pace of forcing turnovers, with 28 in eight games; Chicago is already +16 in turnover ratio halfway through season- they’ve scored eight TD’s on defense/special teams in last six games, masking an offense with a suspect offensive line. Houston is underdog for first time this year- they’re 3-0 on road, with wins at Broncos/Jets/Jags. Texans turned ball over six times (-6) in only loss; they only have three other turnovers all season (+5 for year). Houston won both series meetings, 24-5 here in 2004, 31-24 at home four years ago. NFC North non-divisional home favorites are 6-7 vs spread; AFC South road underdogs are 4-4. Four of last six Houston games, four of last five Bear games went over the total. NFC teams have turned table on AFC this year, with a xx-xx advantage in interconference games so far.
Chiefs (1-7) @ Steelers (5-3)—Pittsburgh OC Haley was dumped as Chiefs’ HC during last season; hard feelings exist between him and KC front office. KC coach Crennel hired former Oklahoma HC Gibbs to be new DC during bye week, with Crennel becoming more of overseer of program; Chiefs lost last five games (1-4 vs spread), scoring two offensive TD’s on last 42 drives- they still haven’t led any game in regulation this season, and were down 24-6 in only game they’ve won. Steelers won/covered last three games, allowing only four TD’s on 28 drives; they rallied from 10 down in 4th quarter to win in Swamp last week. This is just Chiefs’ second visit to Pittsburgh since ’89; their last was a 45-6 loss in 2006. Steelers won last meeting 13-9 LY at Arrowhead. AFC North teams are 2-8 vs spread as non-divisional favorites, 2-4 at home; AFC West non-divisional underdogs are 4-7, 2-5 on foreign soil. Six of eight Chief games went over total; four of last five Steeler games stayed under.