September 19, 2020 - 1:22 pm
Scott Kellen, @SixthSenseNFL, SixthSenseSports.com
Rams (1-0) at Eagles (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Eagles -1½, 45½
Analysis: Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss last week at Washington was not as bad as the score made it look. Washington’s five scores all came on drives that started inside Eagles territory. Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson returns after missing last week. The Rams took advantage of a below-average Cowboys defense in their Week 1 win, but the Eagles will provide a much stiffer test. Classic Week 2 overreaction to Week 1 results.
By the numbers: Quarterback Jared Goff’s road numbers for yards per pass attempt are 12 percent less than what he averages at home. … The Rams are 3-5 straight up on the road against teams that made the playoffs the year they played them.
Pick: Eagles 21, Rams 17
Panthers (0-1) at Buccaneers (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Bucs -8½, 47½
Analysis: Tampa Bay held the Saints to 4.1 yards per play last week. It was turnovers, penalties and bad special teams (blocked field goal) that did in the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s defense is underrated. This week the Bucs face a Carolina defense that was awful last season and, despite wholesale changes, is still a work in progress.
By the numbers: Tampa Bay is on a 1-7-1 ATS slide as a home favorite. … Carolina allowed 24 points or more in each of its last five road games and 34 or more in four of those games.
Pick: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 17
Broncos (0-1) at Steelers (1-0)
Time: 10 a.m., KLAS-8
Line/total: Steelers -7, 40½
Analysis: The Steelers return home after a solid performance in New York on Monday night. Their defense picked right up where it left off last season, and the offense has QB Ben Roethlisberger back to make life easier for everyone. Denver’s defense is banged up, missing linebacker Von Miller and cornerback A.J. Bouye. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton will be a game-time decision.
By the numbers: The Steelers have allowed 18 points or fewer in eight of their last 11 games as home favorites of seven points or more.
Pick: Steelers 24, Broncos 17
Falcons (0-1) at Cowboys (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m., KVVU-5
Line/total: Cowboys -4, 53½
Analysis: This is a matchup of teams with below-average defenses and above-average offenses. Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith is questionable and would be a big loss if he can’t play. The Cowboys lost linebacker Leighton Vander Esch last week and already was without linebacker Sean Lee.
By the numbers: Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in its last six games as a road underdog and has scored 24 points or more in each game. It also allowed 22 points or more in four of those six games. … Dallas has scored 24 points or more in nine of its 11 games as home favorites with wide receiver Amari Cooper. It also allowed at least 20 points in those games against any above-average offense. Both teams should score plenty.
Pick: Cowboys 28, Falcons 27
49ers (0-1) at Jets (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: 49ers -7, 41½
Analysis: San Francisco is banged up, losing cornerback Richard Sherman and tight end George Kittle for this game. The Niners already were extremely thin at wide receiver, so losing Kittle is a major blow. The Jets won’t have receiver Jamison Crowder and lack talent across the board.
By the numbers: New York QB Sam Darnold generally has been good as a home underdog, but he’s 0-2 against teams that finished the season above .500, losing by seven and 20 points.
Pick: 49ers 26, Jets 20
Bills (1-0) at Dolphins (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Bills -5½, 41
Analysis: Buffalo punted only once last week, and Miami allowed New England to rush for 217 yards. If Patriots QB Cam Newton had success running on Miami, there’s no reason Bills QB Josh Allen won’t as well.
By the numbers: Miami went 4-1 ATS as a home underdog last season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The one spread loss was by 17 points to the Bills. Fitzpatrick started the last four of those games and finished the fifth game, and Miami went over the total in all four games he started.
Pick: Bills 23, Dolphins 17
Vikings (0-1) at Colts (0-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Colts -3, 48½
Analysis: Indianapolis never punted in last week’s loss at Jacksonville. Every drive finished in Jacksonville territory with the exception of the two interceptions Philip Rivers threw. The Vikings defense was shredded by Aaron Rodgers. Minnesota lost almost everyone on the defensive line and secondary in the offseason. The Colts might have the better defense and probably are better on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
By the numbers: Since QB Kirk Cousins joined Minnesota in 2018, he’s 2-6-1 ATS as a road underdog. The Vikings allowed at least 21 points in eight of those nine games.
Pick: Colts 24, Vikings 20
Lions (0-1) at Packers (1-0)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Packers -6, 49½
Analysis: The Lions allowed 21 fourth-quarter points to Chicago last week and lost three players in their secondary. Detroit wideout Kenny Golladay is out again. Aaron Rodgers shredded the Vikings’ defense last week.
By the numbers: Green Bay is on a 21-12-1 under streak as a home favorite with Rodgers at QB. … The Packers are 20-6 ATS as a home favorite of fewer than seven points with Rodgers at QB.
Pick: Packers 30, Lions 23
Giants (0-1) at Bears (1-0)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Bears -5½, 42
Analysis: The Giants lost 19-14 at Chicago last season. New York QB Daniel Jones was serviceable last week and is probably the better quarterback in this game. Jones has weapons if he can get protection from his line.
By the numbers: The Giants are on a 10-3 ATS run as road underdogs. … The Bears are 9-6 ATS as home favorites the last three seasons. Chicago has allowed 17 points or fewer in 11 of its last 15 games as a home favorite.
Pick: Bears 21, Giants 17
Jaguars (1-0) at Titans (1-0)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Titans -7½, 44
Analysis: Jacksonville didn’t force Indianapolis to punt last week. The Jaguars took advantage of mistakes by the Colts, including two interceptions. But they lack the playmakers on defense to stop a good Titans offense.
By the numbers: Tennessee was 3-0 ATS as a home favorite with Ryan Tannehill starting last season against three teams that didn’t make the playoffs. … Jacksonville is on a 1-3 skid at Tennessee, with the losses by 14 points or more.
Pick: Titans 27, Jaguars 17
Washington (1-0) at Cardinals (1-0)
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Line/total: Cardinals -7, 46½
Analysis: Arizona was impressive in last week’s win at San Francisco. Arguably the biggest improvement for the Cardinals was their defense, which limited the 49ers to 4.9 yards per play if you take out a screen pass that went for 75 yards. Washington sacked Carson Wentz eight times, but will struggle to do that against Arizona QB Kyler Murray and his athleticism and elusiveness. If forced to drive the length of the field, the Washington offense will struggle. But the Washington defense can hold its own and will make life tough for Arizona.
By the numbers: Murray averaged only 5.5 air yards per pass attempt last week, the seventh-lowest average in the league. Last season, it was the eighth lowest at 7.1 yards. That simply means Arizona uses short pass plays and long drives to score touchdowns.
Pick: Cardinals 23, Washington 17
Ravens (1-0) at Texans (0-1)
Time: 1:25 p.m.
Line/total: Ravens -7½, 50
Analysis: The Ravens are a machine that seems unstoppable during the regular season. Houston’s defense lost a lot during the offseason and will struggle to stop Baltimore, which whipped the Texans 41-7 at home last season.
By the numbers: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is 9-1-1 ATS on the road, with the loss at Kansas City by five points as a 4½-point underdog. … This game also qualifies in an under situation that is 71-29-2, including 41-11-2 for totals 48 or higher.
Pick: Ravens 26, Texans 17
Chiefs (1-0) at Chargers (1-0)
Time: 1:25 p.m., KLAS-8
Line/total: Chiefs -8½, 47½
Analysis: Los Angeles’ defense is still above average despite recent injuries. But the offense is pedestrian and isn’t likely to go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs. Kansas City’s defense is sneaky good. The Chargers will try to grind this game out.
By the numbers: Kansas City is 21-9 ATS as a road favorite under Andy Reid but 3-4 ATS as a road favorite of seven points or more. … The Chargers are 3-9 ATS as home underdogs since 2014. That includes two losses to the Chiefs in this role since 2017 by seven and 14 points. … The Chargers are also on a 9-3 under run as home underdogs. This game qualifies in an under situation that is 71-29-2.
Pick: Chiefs 24, Chargers 16
Patriots (1-0) at Seahawks (1-0)
Time: 5:20 p.m., KSNV-3
Line/total: Seahawks -4, 44½
Analysis: Seattle looked great last week at Atlanta against a Falcons defense that is below average. This week they get a much better defense in New England. The Patriots defense looked good against Miami, but will be tested against a good Seattle offense. Is Cam Newton back? We get a better answer this week compared to the weak Miami defense he faced.
By the numbers: Seattle is on a 6-12-1 ATS slide as a home favorite. The Seahawks won 12 of those 19 games, but only six of the wins were by more than three points.
Pick: Patriots 21, Seahawks 20
Saints (1-0) at Raiders (1-0)
Time: 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Line/total: Saints -5½, 49
Analysis: New Orleans wideout Michael Thomas is listed as out with an ankle injury. The Saints won at home last week against Tampa Bay, but they gained only 4.1 yards per play and were largely unimpressive against a good Bucs defense. They won’t face the same type of defense in Las Vegas.
By the numbers: The Saints are on a 10-3 cover streak as road favorites. … Both teams were in the top 10 of the league in percentage of run plays last season, and both quarterbacks are near the bottom in air yards per pass attempt. Translation is short passes and long, time-consuming drives to score points. This game qualifies in an under situation that is 71-29-2, including 41-11-2 for totals 48 or higher.
Pick: Saints 27, Raiders 20