Three Yahoo scribes, a bunch of handicapping leans. Share your best picks in the comments.
• Seahawks +5.5 vs. Eagles: Obviously Seattle’s defense is riddled with injuries and can’t be trusted, but Russell Wilson’s having an MVP-worthy season without the pub — he can produce enough points to keep the matter competitive. It really helps that Jimmy Graham has been unlocked around the goal line. Now if only Seattle could get off to a good start for once; the Seahawks are one of the worst first-quarter teams in football, then gradually get better as the game goes along. As wonderful as Philly looks — and I’m a Carson Wentz believer for the long haul — it’s come against a cupcake schedule.
• Bengals +4.5 vs. Steelers: It’s fair if you don’t trust the Bengals in prime-time spots, but I don’t trust the Steelers on the road, either. And it sounds like Antonio Brown will be less than 100 percent, if he’s on the field at all. Andy Dalton has played well since the Week 3 coordinator change — I trust him to keep things close here.
• Jaguars -9 vs. Colts: Generally I’m not a fan of spotting big numbers, and especially when it’s tied to a Blake Bortles offense. But Jacoby Brissett’s pocket awareness has been non-existent in recent weeks, and Jacksonville’s defense figures to feast on that.
• Giants +8.5 at Raiders: I refuse to spot this many points with Oakland on general principle. The last time Geno Smith was starting on an NFL field, he wasn’t that bad.
• Cardinals +7 vs. Rams: I’ve been on the Rams just about every week — give Sean McCoy all the trophies, including an Oscar and the Vezina — but the line has overcorrected, and Arizona hasn’t packed it in despite its extensive injuries.
Last Week: 3-2
Brad Evans checks in:
#FadeTheNoise ATS Pick of the Week – Seattle +5.5. When odds released Monday, early bettors broke out sledgehammers and pounded Philadelphia -3, rocketing the line to where it currently stands. After all, the Eagles, 9-2 ATS, have covered convincingly in seven consecutive contests. But smart money should be placed on the home squad. In a game that will resemble an old school Supersonics tilt, an up-and-down affair is sure to transpire inside the Link. Both defenses are virtually impenetrable in the trenches and feature beatable secondaries, which should force Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson skyward. Throw in the heavy public lean (67%) on the visitor and it’s clear the ‘Hawks are the proper play. Additional action placed on the Seattle money line is also a sagacious move. Fearless Forecast: Seattle 27 Philly 24
#TeamHuevos Total of the Week – CLE/LAC UNDER 44. Josh Gordon’s return is absolutely glorious for fantasy and betting purposes. It’s a feel-good story, one the NFL and its struggling ratings, sorely needs. His presence combined with the Chargers’ ascending playoff hopes is clearly driving the “shootout” expectation. Just above 80 percent of public tickets are on the OVER. Most shrewd gamblers gladly fade popular perception and this example is no different. The Bolts’ defense, featuring Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward and underpublicized corner Trevor Williams, is one of the AFC’s stingiest. Cleveland, no slouch in its own right, has largely contained the run and has made significant strides versus the pass, especially with Jason McCourty back. Fearless Forecast: Los Angeles 27 Cleveland 16
Dalton Del Don closes up:
Bet of the Week: The Eagles are obviously legit, but giving 5.5 points in Seattle in primetime is a lot to ask (and marks the first time the Seahawks have been underdogs by more than a field goal at home since 2012). In fact, I did a double take when I first saw this line. Again, the Eagles are for real, but Seattle is well coached, can throw the ball and still have the toughest environment to play in across the league. Take the Seahawks +5.5 points. BET = $110 to win $100
Teaser of the Week: You can check out our Supercontest picks here, and I’m throwing in a seven-point teaser as well, taking the Patriots (-2) and Jaguars (-2.5). BET = $140 to win $100