Again we get the win on Thursday now we just need that to carry over to the Sunday games. I went 10-6 with no point spread and 8-8 against the ESPN Pick Em lines last week and through three weeks the record is 33-15 SU and 25-23 ATS. I’ll probably use my efficiency ratings next week but for now all picks of the losers are completely my own. Clicking on a link will bring you to the teams’ contract and salary cap matchups….
Ravens (-3.5) over BILLS– It seems like almost every week something happens to give Buffalo a chance to win, but in watching them play a bit the last two weeks its kind of hard to explain how they are close enough to pull that off. The Bills secondary was lit up by Geno Smith last week and Id expect the Ravens and Joe Flacco to do the same down the field. Ravens 27 Bills 14
Bears (+2.5) over LIONS– A really big game for Chicago as a win this week gives them a really commanding lead in the NFC North. I guess the best way to describe the Bears right now is efficient and they are finding ways to win close games. I don’t trust the Lions in that type of game and I expect this to be close. If the Lions win I think they will do so by more than 10 points. Bears 23 Lions 21
Bengals (-4.5) over BROWNS– The Browns surprised everyone with the effort last Sunday and I am sure their home crowd will go wild at the start of this game, but it took crazy things to happen for the Browns to win last week. The Bengals are far superior to the Vikings who looked completely unprepared for their game against the Browns. Tough defensive game but I expect the Browns offense to sputter for 4 quarters. Bengals 17 Browns 10
Colts (-8.5) over JAGUARS– Maybe the Jaguars should consider giving the Colts the free beer before the game. I’m still not a big believer in the Colts, but it will be some time before I pick Jacksonville. Colts 30 Jaguars 14
Steelers (-0.5) over VIKINGS– Hopefully these teams play better in London than they do at home. A dreadful start to the season for both clubs and the loser of this game may be done for the season. I swear the Steelers have talent but there is such a disconnect between what that talent is actually good at and what the coaching staff thinks it’s good at that they are just miserable. The Vikings do their best to make things easy on their opponents so Im assuming that will carry over to London as well and they will hand the Steelers some points. Steelers 26 Vikings 21
CHIEFS (-4.5) over Giants– The lone thing that will help the Giants in this game is the fact that Alex Smith can’t really exploit the secondary down the field which should limit the big plays, but the Chiefs are going to tee off on Eli Manning defensively. Giants O-line is in shambles and Manning looked lost in Carolina. If he does not have the time to hit his big plays down the field the Giants have no chance. Chiefs 19 Giants 10
Cardinals (+2.5) over BUCCANEERS– I whiffed on Arizona badly last week but I’ll turn to them again. This is a must win for Tampa and their coach. Right now they made Josh Freeman the scapegoat, but if they continue to lose close games and look inept on offense the team is going to fracture. I do think the Bucs players are not upset with a switch and they will win, but Id expect a late game FG style win more than a big win. Buccaneers 17 Cardinals 16
Seahawks (-2.5) over TEXANS– The line scares me for the game because I feel even on the road that Seattle should be a bigger favorite. Houston got destroyed last week and could very easily be 0-3 right now. Its always possible that the Seahawks could have a letdown game but right now that does not seem to be the mindset. The scary thing with Seattle is that their offense has not even played all that well. I think they move to 4-0. Seahawks 24 Texans 20
Jets (+3.5) over TITANS– I think the Jets are a live underdog this week and they have a chance to win the game provided they don’t have the mental breakdowns that happened in the game against the Bills. Tennessee could easily be 3-0 right now and is playing better than I thought they would play. Jake Locker had a good game last week and he could be called on this week to do the same if the running game is unproductive. I think home field makes the difference but not by enough to cover. Titans 20 Jets 17
CHARGERS(+1.5) over Cowboys– If Dallas happens to win this game they will take a commanding early season lead in the race for the NFC East. As it stands they look like the best team by a wide margin, but things can change as the season goes on so you do not want to waste early season chances. San Diego has been much more competitive than they have been in the past and Philip Rivers is playing better than he has in some time. A win keeps their season afloat trying to catch up to whomever is the second best team in this division. Chargers 24 Cowboys 17
Eagles (+11.5) over BRONCOS– Peyton Manning is going to shred the Eagles defense which is awful, but 11.5 is so many points to give up to a team that can score from anywhere on the field and turn a rout into a close game on the scoreboard. I think the bloom is off the rose with the offense in Philly, but they have explosive talent to at least compete in a shootout. Broncos 40 Eagles 33
Redskins (-2.5) over RAIDERS– Part of me wants to pick the Raiders even if Terrelle Pryor does not play, but last week was the first time the Redskins showed signs of life and after two weeks of real practice I do believe this is when RGIII makes people begin to forget the injury. Raiders will give an effort but expect a statement game from Griffin. Redskins 24 Raiders 14
FALCONS (-1.5) over Patriots– If I am a Falcons fan I am really worried about the season. Right now Atlanta is sleepwalking through games and when a talented team with a mediocre coach sleepwalks they lose. Falling to 1-3 would be a disaster for the team. New England is a tough team to get a read on. They are 1-2 but could have lost in a fluke type way to Buffalo and were outmuscled by the Jets. To their credit they are 3-0 and the QB is still very effective. This is more a pick of me believing the Falcons can’t be 1-3 than a belief they are the better team right now. Falcons 28 Patriots 24
Dolphins (+6.5) over SAINTS– A good test game for both teams. The Saints are getting so much of a better defensive effort than anyone ever thought while the Dolphins are playing much better on offense. Someone will probably overreact to the result of this game but both look like quality teams this season. I feel like Miami’s defense, which has been good for the last three years, doesn’t get enough credit and they should be able to do enough to slow the Saints down. I do think the Saints will win, but a TD win is just too much. Saints 20 Dolphins 17
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.