This week's lines are somewhat surprising. Many of the road teams, despite the close games they will likely be playing in, are favored over the home teams. Some may be wise choices to pick against the spread, others might not. Here are my picks for the Sunday afternoon and night games this week.
This is the first of many peculiar lines, in my opinion. The Eagles have won their first two games by a combined two points, while the Cardinals were able to pull out a victory over the Seahawks and upset the Patriots on the road. With Philadelphia on the road and many of their top players ailing or out (Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, etc.), I am taking the Cardinals and the points at home.
No lines for this one from Bovada, but if it is anything under 4, I am taking the Falcons. Their offense looked sharp last week against the Broncos and the defense is full of playmakers. San Diego may be undefeated, but they have not played a team like Atlanta yet.
Last week during Monday Night Football, Peyton Manning truly looked like a shell of his former self. He is still getting used to working with his new team and his arm strength is far less than it was just two years ago. The Texans boast perhaps the best offense in the AFC, if not the NFL. They have a defense that can pressure the quarterback, despite losing Mario Williams in free agency. I am taking the Texans -3 for this game.
To me, this has the potential to be a blowout game. The Raiders have started 0-2 and their team looks downright flat. They have no true receiving options that can be a #1 guy and their offense revolves around Darren McFadden. The Steelers have always had a good run stopping defense and continue to have that again in 2012. Take Mike Tomlin's crew minus the points.
This is perhaps the best matchup of the week. Tom Brady and the Pats look for redemption on the road after falling to the Arizona Cardinals in a surprise upset in Gillette last week. However, the caliber of the defense will not be any different. The new offense with Joe Flacco running a quick tempo set of plays is lethal. Take the Ravens at home -3.