New York Jets +15.5 at New Orleans Saints
Yes, you read it right — the Saints are a fifteen-point favorite in a professional football game. This is not a college spread, this is an actual professional match up. It won’t look like one though, as the Jets are now forced to go with back up quarterback Bryce Petty, in place of the injured Josh McCown. McCown was having a career year and was the main reason this Jets team has been able to compete week-to-week when many doubted they could. What the Jets lose with McCown goes beyond the stat-line though. He was building a rapport with the wide receiver talent around him (even making Robbie Anderson emerge as a true number one), made up for a lack of a running attack and was the calm, confident leader this team needed. Bryce Petty’s short career numbers are three touchdowns, seven interceptions and a completion percentage of 54 percent. The Saints pass defense is mediocre, allowing 60 percent completion percentage, but can get to the quarterback (34 sacks) — against this offensive line, they’ll be bringing the heat. The last time we saw the Saints, they lost in embarrassing fashion to the Falcons on National Television, now they get a mentally defeated Jets team without their leader and on their home turf. Considering the Jets defense put absolutely zero pressure on the frantic and easily frazzled Trevor Siemian last week, I’m sure the veteran Drew Brees will be someone’s MVP in fantasy football this weekend.
The Pick: Saints -15.5
Tennessee Titans +2 at San Francisco 49ers
With all things considered, and when all the numbers and analytics are figured out – Marcus Mariota is the 34th best road-quarterback in the NFL. Remember, there are only 32 teams so that means – well you get it. . . Mariota has 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on the year and although this team is 8-5, word on the street is they play like they’re 5-8. This is a team that is in La-La-Land because they are three games over .500 and just don’t want to rock the boat. Their only source of offense that teams should concern themselves with is running back Derrick Henry who is averaging five yards a carry and has really emerged as the go-to guy in the backfield with Demarco Murray. The San Francisco 49ers rush defense is hard to figure out because they’ve allowed over 1,500 rushing yards, yet they have an impressive 3.9 rush on average by the opposition. This offense has also been pretty adequate all season long. They are on a two-game winning streak since putting in Jimmy Garoppolo at starting quarterback. In his two games, he’s posted a completion percentage of 67percent and is grasping the offense more and more with each snap. Garoppolo racked up wins against the Bears and the Texans, but the road gets tougher at home this week against the Titans, followed by the Jags and the Rams. The 49ers fan base and organization as a whole have something to root for in a losing season as they all see the future in Garoppolo.
The Pick: San Fran -2
San Diego Chargers -1 at Kansas City Chiefs
Do people realize that the San Diego Chargers are on a four game winning streak? Have people realized that if not for some bad kicking in their first two weeks, this is a team that could easily be 9-4 instead of 7-6 ? The Chargers are right now looking to take control of their destiny as the final three games of their season are against a Kansas City Chiefs team that seems to have lost their identity, a below average Jets team and a Raiders team that is just lost. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is well on his way to a 1,000-yard season, and back up running back Austin Ekeler has been adding in a punch late this season with 5.5 yards a carry. This backfield has helped give balance to this offense which is led by quarterback Philip Rivers and his 3,600 yards passing. The last time these two teams played, the Chiefs won 24-10. But this is back in week three when the Chiefs looked like the best team in the AFC, Alex Smith looked like the MVP and Kareem Hunt looked like the Rookie of the Year. Times have changed and since they started out 5-0, they have limped since October 15th with two wins and six losses. The Chiefs control their destiny as well in this division, but you have to ride the hot hand in this situation. Chargers are hitting their stride and the Chiefs are grasping at straws.
The Pick: Chargers -1
Good Luck and Wager Wisely