Another week, another set of lines for Sunday's NFL games. You may be accustomed to me doing the late games on Sunday, which features a lot more teams from the AFC/NFC West, but this week, I will be giving you my picks against the spread for the early games.
Without further adieu... As always, the lines come courtesy of Bovada.
There is not currently a line in this game, likely due to the uncertainty surrounding Jay Cutler. However, he is expected to play. The Bears are on a historic slide right now, so they may be favored, but it won't be by much. Take the Packers no matter the spread (as long as it is not above 3 in Green Bay's favor).
The Falcons may have the best record in the league, but they have failed to show us that they can actually be in contention for a Super Bowl run. With that said, Matt Ryan plays like a completely different QB when in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome. This should be a hard fought, close game, but I am taking the Falcons -1.
The Saints are not likely to make the playoffs this year, but that does not mean that they are not going to play hard at home under the direction of Drew Brees. All of the 'Bountygate' suspensions were recently vacated, so that is definitely some weight off their shoulders. I like the Saints to win this one, but not by much. They still have one of the worst defenses in the league. Take the Bucs and the points.
The Rams have been playing well of late, whereas the Vikings have hit a snag with Christian Ponder as their QB. Steven Jackson is still effective at his age, not fumbling even once this season. Combine that with an emerging group of receivers and the possible return of Danny Amendola and you have the recipe for a Rams victory. Take St. Louis minus the points.
This game does not have a line because we don't know if Robert Griffin III is going to play. Even if he doesn't, Kirk Cousins has proven to be a nice substitution. That said, the Browns are actually on a nice pace as of late and are on a three game winning streak. I like the Redskins in this game if RG3 plays, but if it's Cousins, take the Browns with anything under 3 points.
The Jaguars are still without Maurice Jones-Drew and are still losing, but Chad Henne has proven to be a better option than the young
bust Blaine Gabbert. With the game being played in Miami in front of the tens of fans watching, how will Henne respond against his old team? I think the Dolphins take this one... handily. Take them minus the points.
This is the early game we all want to see. If the Ravens win, they can show that they are legit contenders despite all of the injuries. If the Broncos win (which I think they will), that is all the proof we need that Peyton Manning is officially back and his offense is ready to win a title. I absolutely love the Broncos in this game, as I think the defense including DPOY candidate, Von Miller will harass Joe Flacco and company all day. Take the Broncos.
Division games are usually closer than they should be (unless you are the Arizona Cardinals losing by 58 points to the Seattle Seahawks). Andrew Luck has definitely proven to be special and the Colts are on the precipice of making the playoffs just one year after selecting first overall. Amazing what a franchise QB can do for you. Can the rookie handle J.J. Watt and the electric Texans defense, though? I don't think so, but I think they keep this game closer than 10 points. Take the Colts and the ten.
Enjoy the games!