Lions (-3) over CHARGERS
It’s been a long time coming, but Detroit is making the most of its opportunities — and the Lions get back RB David Montgomery. This would be a better game if the Bolts make the party in reasonably good health, but expect road chalk to show to advantage in their ascendancy.
RAIDERS (-1) over Jets
Can hardly be thrilled with current state of Raiders ace defensive end Maxx Crosby (knee), banged-up corner Nate Hobbs (ankle) and gimpy tight end Austin Hooper (calf). Still prefer home side, which continues to outpace the broad Jets development curve. Only the Giants have been less-productive in pure offensive point production at this seasonal juncture.
COWBOYS (-17) over Giants
You could see Dallas coming last season — and they’ve proceeded, building up their power rating as they’ve made their way through the first two-thirds of the regular season. Dallas might get caught in a lookahead — though their sustained power remains impressive.
Colts (+1.5) over PATRIOTS
Shade to Colts side, given our belief that Indy appears closer to developing more readily than do these Pats, in their prevailing state. The Colts and Pats have split their past two season series (with the Pats without Brady). Looking forward to further updates.
BENGALS (-6.5) over Texans
For the Bengals, having applied a thorough thrashing last week to the high-reputation Bills in a superficially close game (24-18), this could convert into a deep-breath prelim before engaging in a stretch that includes at the Ravens next week, then home for the Steelers, followed by a trip to Jacksonville on the subsequent Monday night.
Saints (-3) over VIKINGS
Saints may succeed in asserting themselves against comparable foes, with their above-.500 start in their salty division. Barring sustained nasty injury luck, Saints often make it hard on foe’s offense.
STEELERS (-3) over Packers
We hardly regard Pittsburgh as enduringly bulletproof, but they know the ways and means of pacing itself. Believe the Steelers will make most of this year, as they make their way through a testing slate of opponents.
Titans (+1) over BUCCANEERS
Tennessee finds itself facing another malleable opponent. Near-term, Buccaneers may have seen their best days, but there are more reliable sides to use Sunday. Feeling the Titans, plus, small.
49ers (-3) over JAGUARS
Niners have had issues making way through injury slate, but with Deebo Samuel and, possibly, Trent Williams likely to see action, now figure they have enough to get past the modest Jaguars with minimal stress, even if Ray-Ray McDonald is out. Class often tells, even on the road.
RAVENS (-6.5) over Browns
It’s hardly a question that this Brownie Troop has improved, but it’s their hard luck that Baltimore’s Odell Beckham Jr. came back last week sooner, rather than later. Have to expect this home favorite can make most of November and December.
Falcons (-1.5) over CARDINALS
Likelihood that Atlanta is ranked as a slight road favorite over Arizona hints at something regarding both sides … though the expected return of stellar Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray after 11 months may alter equation. If Cards can hang in there, this may be a close call, but Atlanta remains the better club.
SEAHAWKS (-6.5) over Commanders
We’re not sold that this is going to be a piece of cake, and we await something resembling Seattle’s return to relatively complete status — but not convinced the Commanders are going to be able to generate full 60-minute effort.
Betting on the NFL?
BILLS (-7.5) over Broncos
This isn’t an especially cheap lay, but the Broncos have come a considerable ways to warrant this caliber of respect. Our concern is the Bills have rated close to the league’s peak for a while. Don’t want to linger too long at the fair.
Last week: 8-5.