Tennessee Titans -6 at Cleveland Browns
It seems as if, for one reason or another, the Titans and Browns are a “mainstay” at Beating Vegas this year. This week, these two teams square off against each other, with the Titans coming off a Monday Night victory against the Colts and the Browns losing…again. After Kevin Hogan’s inefficient outing against the Houston Texans, the Browns have decided to go back to starting rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. Teams that flip-flop on quarterbacks like this, especially when both quarterbacks are below average – are usually teams that have issues. The Browns have had issues since they’ve come back into the league. In the five games he’s played, Kizer has three touchdowns, nine interceptions and is averaging less than five and a half yards a carry. He’s a quarterback who only finds success when throwing to the left side of the hash-marks and one must wonder what his confidence is like at this point. The good news for Cleveland is that Tennessee’s defense has been disappointing this year. The Dick LeBeau coached unit is allowing 27 points per game and allowing opponents to complete passes at a 60% rate. The thing to watch here is the health of Marcus Mariota. He was stiff but was able to complete passes from the pocket for over 300 yards against the Colts. Mariota’s more effective as a mobile threat and he should be a little more inclined to take off this week. The Browns are holding opponents to 3 yards a carry and this will be the defenses toughest test when they go up against Demarco Murray (4.6 yards a rush) and Derrick Henry (5.1 yards a rush). Add to the mix a more mobile Mariota and this will be too much for Cleveland to sustain passed a half.
The Pick: Titans -6
Washington Redskins +5 at Philadelphia Eagles
Philly’s second-year quarterback Carson Wentz is already putting himself in some NFL pundits’ early MVP conversations. He’s looking like a seasoned pro this year and his supporting cast have all helped to carry some of the load. The name that may surprise many this year is running back LaGarrette Blount. Why is he a surprise? Because a week before the season there was talk about him possibly getting cut. Blount is averaging 5.6 yards a carry this year, which puts him right in the class of Kareem Hunt, who is averaging 5.9 yards a carry this season. This will be an interesting match-up for Blount because Washington is currently only allowing 88 yards a game on the ground. For all the talk of Carson Wentz this year though, Kirk Cousins is putting together another nice season for the Redskins. Cousins is averaging 8.5 yards per pass this season with 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The emergence of running back Chris Thompson has been something to see this year as well. Thompson has apparently come out of nowhere and is leading the team in yards per carry (4.9), receptions (18) and receiving yards (340). The Redskins are averaging 23.4 points a game so far this season, which is a pretty average total, but considering they are getting little to no contributions from Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, and Josh Doctson – it’s a miracle they’ve done this well. Keep an eye on this game as the public will tend to go heavy on the Eagles, at home on Monday night, so the Skins may end up getting more points before kick-off. The Redskins lost by thirteen points at home when they opened up the season against Philadelphia and they’ll be looking for revenge on the national stage.
The Pick: Redskins +5
New York Jets +3.5 at Miami Dolphins
The New York Jets have a lot of gamblers sweating considering they were only expected to win 4-5 games this season and they are already at three. Be careful with those pre-season prop bets. . . Anyhow, the Jets haven’t looked too bad. Their running game is confusing because although everyone sees that Bilal Powell should be the guy the Jets keep on trying to force Matt Forte onto our television sets. That’s a good reason why they are ranked 28th in the NFL in rushing offense. Its been veteran quarterback Josh McCown who’s been leading the charge. He’s got viable targets in Jermaine Kearse, Robbie Anderson, and Jeremy Kerley – you would think they’d throw the ball more but they hover around mediocrity averaging 234 passing yards a game. The Jets should look to take advantage of a Miami secondary allowing a completion percentage of 72.4%. The Jets though have been struggling to stop the run and if last week’s explosion by running back Jay Ajayi was the coming out party most of the league has been waiting on for him, he could stand to put up another monster performance. Also, last week – it seems Adam Gase stopped being conservative and let Jay Cutler just throw the ball around – it opened up the entire offense and they’ll want to do that again this week because they’ll have their shots to take. Division rivals usually are at a 3.5 point spread because of the familiarity, and it’s a good line here – for Vegas. The real play here is the over/under of 38 points. The over is the play here because both teams’ strength on offense is the other teams’ weakness. Could spell a recipe for disaster for one side. Which side? Who cares? Just put those points up!
The Pick: The Over at 38 points
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!
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