NFL Odds, Picks & Predictions: Your Guide To Betting Sunday’s Games
Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Shanahan, Russell Wilson
NFL Odds, Picks & Predictions
Steelers vs. Ravens Odds & Pick
Stuckey: Yes, Pittsburgh is undefeated on the season, but its first four wins all came by 10 or fewer points against four sub-.500 teams with a combined 6-20-1 record. The Steelers bludgeoned the Browns in a very favorable matchup in Week 6 then squeaked out a win against the Titans in Week 7. But ultimately, I’m just not that impressed by the resume as others seem to be, and I think the market has too much love for the Steelers.
I have the Steelers power rated as the third-best team in the AFC — but still have them approximately four points worse on a neutral field against both the Chiefs and Ravens. Throw in a half-point for the Ravens coming off a bye and an additional point for home-field advantage, and you get to my line of just below Ravens -6 here.
As has usually been the case, the bye should serve the Ravens well. I expect the offense to be much sharper and Jackson to be fully healed from a few lingering injury issues.
This could be a game in which the Steelers really miss linebacker Devin Bush, who is out for the season. Not only do I think the Ravens will call plenty of quarterback draws, but Lamar Jackson should have some chunk runs up the middle after being pressured.
Jackson can fully exploit this now-slow Steelers interior linebacker group with his legs and through the air over the middle. That and Baltimore’s overall superior rushing attack should ultimately prove the difference between a pair of rivals that have eerily similar profiles.
The early-down success rates for Pittsburgh’s offense are huge red flags. That’s something you can get away with against the Titans, who now have the worst third-down defense through six games in the history of the NFL. But that’s going to catch up to the Steelers very soon, and it could very well get ugly on Sunday against one of the league’s best defenses that ranks sixth on third down conversions.
Oh, and don’t forget about Baltimore’s special teams edge, which it will have almost every week.
I personally jumped at the opportunity to play Baltimore -3 (-125) earlier in the week, since I show plenty of value at that number and also understand how close these matchups tend to be. That puts even more importance on laying only a field goal — even if I had to pay 15 cents to do so — thought I do still like Baltimore at -4.
I also fancy the under — points should come at a premium, which makes every point even that much more valuable. I would play it down to 45.
PICKS: Ravens -4; Under 46.5 [Bet now at Parx]
Raiders vs. Browns Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: The Raiders were in a tough spot last week. They had a COVID-19 outbreak that caused uncertainty on their offensive line against the Buccaneers. Still, the Raiders were within four points of the Bucs in the fourth quarter before the game ultimately got out of hand.
Fortunately, the Browns are a step down in competition.
The Browns are 5-2 for the first time since 1994, but their five victories against come against teams — the Bengals (twice), Washington, Cowboys and Colts — that have a combined record of just 9-17-1 with a point differential of -88. Of those five, only the Colts have a winning record (4-2) and positive point differential (+42).
All things considered, this is the perfect spot to buy low on the Raiders after their 45-20 home loss to the Bucs: Since 2003, teams that have lost by 25 or more points are 237-209-8 (53.1%) against the spread the following week (per our Bet Labs data). This isn’t a significant edge, however it’s clear that teams that trail by more than three touchdowns tend to bounce back the following week.
And finally, road dogs of six or fewer points are 27-12 (69.2%). My model also makes this game a pick’em, so I bought low on the Raiders at +3 (get notifications as I make my picks), but I like them down to +2.5.
I would also recommend adding this play to a 6-point teaser along with the Packers (-0.5).
PICK: Raiders +2.5 [Bet now at BetMGM]
Vikings vs. Packers Odds & Pick
Michael Arinze: A common narrative in the NFL is to back teams that are coming off a bye week. However, I’m not so sure that would work in this instance. Usually the bye affords teams the opportunity to return with a renewed effort, but I would actually question Minnesota’s motivation in this spot.
At 1-5, the Vikings have seemingly dug themselves an insurmountable hole in the playoff picture. Minnesota is seeded 15th in the NFC and would need to supplant eight teams above them for a chance at the playoffs. When you couple that with the fact that the team has already made it known that they’re looking to offload some players, it’s only fair to wonder about the team’s morale coming into this game.
Zimmer hasn’t exactly found the blueprint to rally teams coming off a bye. Zimmer is just 8-12 against the spread when coming off a bye and in his last five games he’s 0-5 against the number. His quarterback hasn’t fared much better, as Cousins is just 4-15 for a loss of 11.21 units coming off added rest.
While I understand why this line moved in favor of the underdog for a game likely to be affected by windy conditions, Cousins and a possible lack of motivation for the Vikings are enough to keep me off the dog in this spot.
If you missed grabbing the under earlier in the week, it makes sense to tease the total up and play the under with the Packers as part of a two-team teaser. That’s exactly how I’ll look to play this game as DraftKings is currently offering the total at 50 with the Packers as a 6-point favorite. A two-team, 5-point teaser would yield odds at +120 with a total of 55 and Green Bay a 1-point favorite — there’s sufficient value with being able to grab this at a plus-price.
Titans vs. Bengals Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: This game will be decided by how much the Bengals can keep up with the Titans offense. While the Titans are converting 80% of their drives inside their opponents’ 20-yard line, the Bengals are scoring on just 50% of their trips — even if they can overcome their locker room and offensive line issues, will it even matter if they’re trading touchdowns for field goals?
Road teams have done particularly well this season as they’re 58-46 (55.7%) against the spread. If we get more granular, road teams that have had the number move in their direction are 33-18 (65%) this season. The Titans opened as 4-point favorites and the line was swiftly bet up to -6.5, but I still think this line is short and will be laying the points in a prime bounce back spot for the Titans after suffering their first loss of 2020.
I would recommend betting this before the line rises further — I would only bet it up to 6.5. I would also recommend adding the Titans to 6-point teasers along with the Packers or Raiders.
PICK: Titans -6.5 [Bet now at DraftKings]
Jets vs. Chiefs Odds & Pick
Mike Randle: I hate laying big numbers, but I can’t see any outcome other than a big Chiefs win. The Bell revenge narrative is strong, and I’m willing to take the risk of a late backdoor cover.
The Jets will need to control the ball behind their running game, which only features the rookie Perine and (maybe) a limited Gore. I’m going to follow the trend and back the Chiefs giving the big number.
The weather forecast also appears clear, with 50 degrees and sun. I’m laying the points against the shorthanded and winless Jets but would only do so up to -20.
PICK: Chiefs -19.5 [Bet now at PointsBet]
Colts vs. Lions Odds & Pick
Brandon Anderson: The Lions are starting well but can’t finish the job. The Colts are digging early holes but waking up at halftime and fighting back late.
I like the Colts to win, but I’m no longer as confident as I was early in the week — especially now that the line has moved to -3, I don’t see much value there, but I don’t love the Lions at +3 either.
But there’s a much better play here: The Lions first half. Detroit has been ready early on, scoring quickly and forcing turnovers. The Colts have been mistake prone early.
You can play for a Lions halftime lead at +143 at DraftKings, the exact same odds as a Lions win. Why hold on for dear life when we know what Detroit does late when we can just bet on the early lead?
That’s the play here. And if that play is looking good, I won’t be afraid to make the obvious double down, buying back in on the Colts live if Detroit does take an early lead and the Colts are suddenly long odds. I would definitely play them to get back within a touchdown, and I’d be pretty happy playing a long odds moneyline, knowing how Detroit loves to blow things late.
The Colts need this one, and they may well get it. But don’t be surprised if the Lions take that early lead, matching what these teams have done all season.
PICK: Lions 1H ML [Bet now at DraftKings]
Patriots vs. Bills Odds & Pick
Mike Randle: This game will cement the changing of the guard in the AFC East. New England has struggled mightily on both sides of the ball, and the trade rumors during a potential rebuild are gaining steam. The defense was severely substandard in home losses to Denver and San Francisco.
The Bills’ return home combined with improving health on both sides of the ball give Buffalo clear advantages. This game is projected for poor weather, with 20 mph winds and rain, which will help the more versatile offense of the Bills.
I’m backing the home favorite. Newton’s recent struggles have made New England’s offense too one-dimensional, and Allen’s versatility will provide enough cushion to cover this low number. I would back the Bills up to -4.5.
PICK: Bills -4.5 [Bet now at BetMGM]
Rams vs. Dolphins Odds & Pick
Phillip Kall: While Tua Tagovailoa getting his first start is a great story, his day may get very difficult with Aaron Donald matching up against the Dolphins’ struggling offensive line.
The matchup will be no easier for Miami on the defensive side of the ball, as their 30th-ranked rushing defense looks to stop the second-most run happy offense.
PICK: Rams -3.5 [Bet now at PointsBet]
Chargers vs. Broncos Odds & Pick
Reed Wallach: This is really a sell-high play on the Chargers offense that has scored 30 or more points in three straight games. I see that as kind of an outlier. Anthony Lynn’s team has had some explosive play-making that I can’t see keeping up with this disciplined Denver defense that sets out to limit that type of play.
Typically, both teams like to slow it down, anyway. The Broncos rank 25th in seconds per play and the Chargers rank 27th, according to Football Outsiders. Herbert is due to see his explosiveness come down to earth and have a more pedestrian game, and this Broncos defense may be in the right spot to slow him down just a bit.
If Denver’s offense really can’t move again, L.A. can control the game script and maintain a slow pace and run this out. I see scoring drives taking their time and good defense prevailing.
PICK: Under 44.5 (down to 43) [Bet now at BetMGM]
Saints vs. Bears Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: Forecasts for Sunday’s game puts temperatures in the mid 30s with 22 mph winds that should impact the passing game.
The Saints’ struggles in cold weather have been well-documented. Brees has a 65.1% completion percentage and 91.8 quarterback rating when playing outdoors compared to a 69.9% and 104.8 when playing indoors. He also drops from 308.6 passing yards per game to 250.6. According to our BetLabs data, the Drew Brees and Sean Payton led Saints are 1-6-1 against the spread when the temperature is 40 degrees or lower.
Despite the ineptitude of the Bears’ offense, they’ve performed well when they’ve played against bottom-tier defenses. They scored 27 points against the Lions, 30 against the Falcons and 23 against the Panthers. The Saints are more talented on defense than these teams, but they’re still allowing 29 points per game.
Given the lack of deep threats on the Saints and Brees’ struggles in cold weather, the Bears should have a chance at staying inside the number and possibly getting the upset. Take the points and sprinkle a small percentage of your wager on the moneyline.
PICKS: Bears +4; Bears ML + 175 [Bet now at PointsBet]
49ers vs. Seahawks Odds & Pick
Raheem Palmer: The 2020 season has been the year of the offenses as some of the best teams have struggled on the the defensive side of the ball. The Seahawks are 5-1, the Packers are 5-1, the Saints are 4-2, the Titans are 5-1 and the Browns and Bills are 5-2. All of these teams rank towards the bottom or middle in most defensive metrics. If you have a top-tier offense, you can overcome a bad defense this season.
All things considered, it took a series of blunders for Seattle to lose last week’s game against the Cardinals — Two uncharacteristic red-zone interceptions from Wilson coupled with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Benson Mayowa with 3:02 left to play, which nullified a Cardinals field goal, giving them a first down and an opportunity to score a touchdown to bring the game within three points. On the following possession, the Seahawks were within one yard on a Hyde rush from obtaining a first down and clinching the game.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are coming off a 27-point road win over the Patriots. This team was catching 2.5 points against New England on the road last week and oddsmakers opened them as 3.5-point dogs on the road against Seattle this week. Are the Seahawks just one point better than the Patriots?
Buying in on San Francisco right now means you’re buying in on the 49ers’ stock at the highest point. Fading teams who win by 27 or more points has a 197-171-14 record and has been quite profitable according to our BetLabs database.
The 49ers have no hopes of stopping the Seahawks on offense, but can they maintain enough offense of their own? I don’t see it.
There’s been sharp money on both sides of this game with some professionals taking the 49ers at +3.5 and others taking the Seahawks at -3. I think the latter is the correct side. I’ll lay the points.
PICK: Seahawks -3 [Bet now at BetMGM]