The Philadelphia Eagles have a tight turnaround after their Tuesday night victory over Washington. But what they might lack in rest, the Eagles should make up for in intensity as at 7-7, they are basically in the must-win stage in their playoff push.
The Giants come in with a third-string quarterback in Jake Fromm, and may even get a spark from him for the mere fact he’s not Mike Glennon, whose presence on the field is almost Eeyore-like. Lincoln Financial Field should be an inhospitable place, though, fueling Fletcher Cox and the other nasties on the Eagles’ front seven.
Yes, the Giants won the first meeting 13-7 less than a month ago, but not much of what happened that day seems to apply to this game.
The pick: Eagles, -10.
(Note: all lines reprinted from Friday’s Bettor’s Guide.)
NEW YORK JETS (+1) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Since Halloween, the Jaguars have scored 17 points or fewer in each of their eight games (10 ppg), while the Jets have put up 34, 30, 24 and 21 in that span (21.3 ppg). Jacksonville didn’t get the positive emotional lift I expected after firing Urban Meyer as the Jags were shut out, 20-0, by the Titans. So though the Jets have coaching issues (Robert Saleh tested positive for COVID midweek and is out for this game) and injuries in lots of key areas, they’re the choice mainly for this reason: The Jags are firmly in draft mode, currently owning the No. 1 pick by a half-game over the Lions. The Jets are still clawing for every win they can get.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+10) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This one’s sort of a mathematical equation. Is Tom Brady’s anger over last week’s shutout, minus 10 points, greater than or equal to having to play without Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans? Not thrilled about Sam Darnold possibly getting a few plays for the Panthers, but at this number I’m willing to let Brady figure out his own problems with a No. 2 pencil.
HOUSTON TEXANS (+10) over Los Angeles Chargers
L.A.’s COVID issues include Austin Ekeler and Joey Bosa, so you have to think twice about laying double digits on the road with them. Don’t look now, but Davis Mills actually has been pretty good for the Texans. He has games of 310, 312 and 331 yards passing and is competent enough at least generate a backdoor cover if the Chargers pull ahead.
Detroit Lions (+5.5) over ATLANTA FALCONS
Two-pronged uncertainty for the Lions, as Jared Goff possibly will miss the game with COVID while running back D’Andre Swift could return from a shoulder injury. This number’s probably a little light if we were to end up with Tim Boyle at quarterback, but the Lions are coming off a thrashing of the Cardinals and are a sleek 9-5 ATS despite their 2-11-1 record.
Baltimore Ravens (+3) over CINCINNATI BENGALS
Former Jet Josh Johnson will start for Baltimore, with Tyler Huntley on the COVID list and Lamar Jackson not traveling with the team. On Oct. 24, the Bengals destroyed the Ravens, 41-17, at the Inner Harbor with Jackson healthy. Joe Burrow threw for 416 yards, 201 of them to Ja’Marr Chase. That happened, but this is what’s happening now: The Ravens’ past five games have been decided by three, six, one, two and one, so that makes even this small spread a big deal.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS
It’s a Tuesday-to-Sunday turnaround for the Rams, but the Vikings played Monday, so that advantage is a bit muted. Before holding the Bears to nine points, Minnesota gave up 29.3 ppg over its previous six games. Rams have covered in their past three games after an 0-5 ATS streak.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-2) over Buffalo Bills
Bill Belichick really has to be in Sean McDermott’s head after the Patriots threw just three passes in their 14-10 win on that blustery Monday night in Orchard Park. The Bills’ offense has perked up in the following two weeks while the Patriots had a bye and scored just 17 at the Colts. Damien Harris’ expected return would help.
Chicago Bears (+6.5) over SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Rain, wind and a little snow are expected, which could limit downfield passing. Seems to play into the Bears’ hands a bit because of David Montgomery. Plus the Bears’ D ranks ninth in yards allowed and the Seahawks are 31st, 1 yard per game better than the Jets.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+7.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
K.C. has gone from almost never covering the spread to a current 5-0 ATS run. The COVID news got better at the end of the week for the Chiefs as Tyreek Hill cleared protocol on Saturday and is expected to play. They were still waiting on news about Travis Kelce, With Hill back, the 7.5 points I took feels a little light, but Mike Tomlin is 44-22-2 ATS as an underdog in my running, unofficial count.
Denver Broncos (+1.5) over LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Raiders won 34-24 in Denver as +5 underdogs in October, but Henry Ruggs had a 48-yard touchdown and Darren Waller caught five for 59 yards. Without them, Vegas’ offense is extremely limited. Denver’s Drew Lock is 9-12 lifetime as a starter, which isn’t horrible.
Washington Football Team (+10.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS
Cowboys have a big rest advantage, and there’s a chance this turns out to be one of their occasional blowout wins. But WFT gets Taylor Heinicke back after miraculously functioning pretty well in Philadelphia with Garrett Gilbert, who barely had time to learn any plays. Though the Cowboys are cruising to the NFC East title, this game means everything to Washington’s playoff hopes.
Miami Dolphins (-1.5) over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Great win for the Saints as they fed Tom Brady a bagel. That’s four straight wins over Tampa Bay in the regular season, but after the previous three, the Saints are 1-2 SU and ATS. Dolphins have beaten up on a sinfully easy schedule of late but are 5-1 ATS in their past six at market prices. Line flipped 4.5 points as Ian Book will start at quarterback for New Orleans with Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemien entering COVID protocol.
Best bets: Colts, Eagles, Broncos.
Lock of the week: Colts (Locks 9-6 in 2021).
Last week: 10-6 overall, 1-2 Best Bets.
Saturday: Browns (W), Colts (W).