This week’s lines are from usatoday.com (as of Thursday night).
ATS – Against the Spread
SU – Straight Up
O/U – Over/Under
Byes: New England, New York Jets, St. Louis, San Francisco
Chicago at Tennessee (+3.5)
The Bears squeaked out a win over the Carolina Panthers last week to improve to 6-1 on the season. Cornerback Tim Jennings made a key play in the fourth quarter, taking back a Cam Newton interception for a touchdown. The Bears defense continues to stay hot on the season, ranking second in points allowed as they continue to capitalize on turnovers.
After a slow start to the season, Titans running back Chris Johnson has come on strong lately, rushing for 395 yards in his last three games. I don’t expect him to keep it up this Sunday against the Bears run defense which ranks first in the NFL holding opponents to 78 yards per game. The Bears offense is inconsistent at best this season, but they have a nice matchup against the Titans defense, which is giving up 32 points per game and ranks near the bottom in both pass and run defense.
Look for the Bears to bounceback with an impressive win this week against the Titans.
Gimme the Bears minus the points.
Denver at Cincinnati (+3.5)
Peyton Manning has been on fire lately. Since his three interception game in Week 2 in Atlanta, Manning has 14 touchdowns and only one interception. The offense has been clicking on all cylinders with wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker and running back Willis McGahee leading the way. Cincinnati’s defense is giving up almost 27 points per game, ranking 25th in the NFL. The Broncos should have no problem putting up another 30-plus point game this week. The Bengals have lost their last three games. During that time, the offense has struggled with quarterback Andy Dalton throwing five touchdowns and six interceptions. The free agent signing of running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been a bust. He’s averaging only 3.4 yards per carry and has only two touchdowns on the season.
Look for Manning to stay hot and have another 300-yard game and three touchdown game against a struggling Bengals team.
Gimme the Broncos minus the points.
Detroit at Jacksonville (+4)
The Lions played well last week in their 28-24 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns against one of the league’s top defenses. Detroit has an easier task this week against the Jaguars defense who’s giving up 27 points per game, 27th in the NFL.
The Jaguars will be without their best player again, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who is out with a foot injury. The offense has struggled this season, ranking last in the league in points scored (14.7 points per game) and last in passing yards (165 passing yards). Quarterback Blaine Gabbert will get one of his weapons back this week in wide receiver Laurent Robinson, who will be available to play after missing the last three games due to a concussion. Gabbert’s new favorite target has been wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who has 12 catches for 195 yards and one touchdown in his last two games.
The Lions should win this game and get their record back to .500 on the season.
Jacksonville is 0-3 ATS at home this season.
Gimme the Lions minus the points.