BENGALS (-1) over Eagles
Totally thought that we had Carson Wentz figured out, then comes the stinker - at home - against the Packers on Monday night. First loss at the Linc in his career, and hopefully, it will be the last. Or not. Wentz's brilliant start has been muddied by his last six games, with more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (four). Growing pains, huh? And it looks as if the pain will continue, because the road has been brutal for CW. After beating an awful group of Bears in Week 2, 29-14, it's an 0-5 skid away, straight up and against the spread. The money has moved the line toward Cincinnati. The game opened Birds at minus-1 1/2 points and the Bengals are now minus-1 themselves. You don't always have to follow the money, but in this case, you gotta respect it. Cincy is playing for nothing, the pressure is off, and that's when teams tend to get all loosey-goosey and play above their pay grade. Still not a huge fan of the Bengals, so we'll stay light, and mark the home team down for a 24-20 "W."
SEAHAWKS (-7) over Panthers
Step into my time machine and come back with me to Super Bowl XXXVII. It was the Raiders vs. the Bucs in San Diego. Oakland flew in as a four-point favorite, but Barrett Robbins, who was a first-team All-Pro that season, missed the game after disappearing two days before kickoff. Robbins was responsible for pass-protection calls and was an important component to the ground game. Without Robbins, the Silver & Black rushed for only 19 yards, and wound up on the wrong end of a 48-21 blowout. Why the history lesson? Carolina has lost its center - five-time Pro Bowler Ryan Kalil - as well as backup Gino Gradkowski. Uh-oh! Made a nice score betting Tampa Bay, and looking for another easy "W" Sunday evening. With Seattle's amazing record at home the last five years (36-5) and the Panthers' recent work against the spread (covering only two of the last 11), gotta make this my Best Bet.
Chiefs (+4.5) over FALCONS
Talk all you want about Kansas City's pedestrian offense, ranked No. 27 in offensive yards, while scoring only 20 TDs. Talk all you want about QB Alex Smith as a second-rate QB. But you can also talk about Andy Reid getting it done. KC has won six of the last seven (86 percent), and 19 of the last 23 (83 percent), with a 4-0 perfecto on the road since the bye week. The Chiefs might not find the winner's circle, but will cash a ticket as an underdog.
Rams (+13 1/2) over PATRIOTS
So, why bother with the Rams? The same reason we bothered with the Jets last week as a 10-point underdog, and wound up pocketing some cash. The Patriots are banged up, with Tom Terrific on a gimpy knee and Gronk out. Not asking you to bet the money line, but the normally fierce Rams "D" was totally embarrassed on Sunday (allowing 49 to the Saints) and should be in hypernasty-mode, which will keep the final margin under double digits.
Colts (-2) over JETS
Of course this comes with the stipulation that Andrew Luck is gonna play. Looks as if he is about to get out of concussion protocol, and if so, Indy should have no problems. If we don't have Luck, then, obviously, we would scratch this selection. And if you scroll back to last season (when the New Yorkers beat the Horseshoes at Indy on a Monday night) then revenge is the first word that pops into my head. The second is payback!
PACKERS (-6.5) over Texans
It's not the frozen tundra just yet, but we could be looking at some glorious snow, with temps in the 30s, which ain't gonna sit well with this Houston team that's used to a climate-controlled environment. Cheeseheads are a buy.
Broncos (-3.5) over JAGUARS
Trevor Siemian was in a walking boot earlier in the week. If he puts his cleats on, Denver will roll.
Giants (+6.5) over STEELERS
All the chatter is about how the Pittsburgh defense has gone into lockdown-mode. Puhleeze! The Steelers beat the Browns and Colts without Andrew Luck. Sound like lockdown to you? Don't forget the NYG have covered six of the last seven.
Lions (+6 1/2) over SAINTS
Since Detroit has covered six of the last seven, and has a perfect 3-0-1 record as an underdog, Motown will roar.
49ers (+1.5) over BEARS
We are circulating a petition to cancel this game. When you see it - the petition, not the game - please sign.
Dolphins (+3.5) over RAVENS
Miami has won six in a row, covered five, and the Fish might just be swimming toward a wild-card spot.
Bills (+3) over RAIDERS
Maybe that little pinkie dislocation will hinder Derek Carr's accuracy. Maybe.
CHARGERS (-3.5) over Buccaneers
Not thrilled with either side in this game, but if you absolutely must, a slight lean to the Lightning Bolts.
Redskins (+2.5) over CARDINALS
Forget about the ATM, these kids from D.C. have covered an astounding 12 of the last 13 regular season games. Wow!