Buffalo (+2.5) @ New York Jets
Niko: While the Jets have more than suffered the proverbial post Pats hangover (loss to Oakland, ugly win vs. Jags), you better believe they’ll be ready to face their old coach, Rex Ryan, who is becoming harder and harder to take seriously. This should be a good, physical, low-scoring game Thursday night and really is a “must-win” for both squads. I’ll go with the Jets at home.
Pete: Surprisingly, I am actually looking forward to this game. With Rex making IK (The dude that punched Geno Smith in the face) a captain, there should be some added fuel to this divisional rivalry. Couple that with the fact that these two teams could actually still make some noise this year, and we could get a good defensive game. I want to pick the Jets, but my heart just won't let me. Bills in a close one.
Jordan: The way the Jets have played as of late has me wondering just how legit they are this year. Your defense can only get you so far before they eventually start to get banged up and tired. However, the Bills defense crumbled against the Dolphins last week and have given me no reason to believe they'll beat the Jets. So I'll take the Jets at home over Buffalo.
Detroit (+11.5) @ Green Bay
Niko: Coming off back-to-back road losses, I expect Aaron Rodgers and co. to dominate the pitiable division rival Lions at Lambeau. Packers in a blowout.
Pete: Green Bay was really exposed in their respective game against the Broncos and Panthers. This is a team that lacks weapons on offense and has a mediocre defense. However, they have the 2nd best quarterback in league and are able to mask their deficiencies against lower caliber teams. Packers are in trouble moving forward, but not this week.
Jordan: The Packers defense has been real shoddy these past couple weeks, losing to noodle arm and to the undefeated Panthers. In a potential time of panic for cheeseheads, I'll take a page out of Aaron Rogers' book and say "just relax." Because the Packers are facing the very poor Detroit Lions team. Packers are going to run them out of the stadium.
Carolina (-4.5) @ Tennessee
Niko: Consider me impressed/surprised with just how well Marcus Mariota has played this season. He’s been very, very good (268.3 yards/game, 13 TDs 5 INTs). I thought the adjustment would be longer and more difficult for the former Oregon Duck. That being said, Tennessee just does not have the talent to match up with Carolina, on either side of the ball. The Panthers cover on the road.
Pete: I am starting to buy in on Carolina just a bit. Sure, aside from Greg Olsen, they don't really have many options on offense, but Cam Newton has finally put it all together and has been able to lead so far. He isn't the MVP, so people can shut up with that as well. Nevertheless, Panthers should roll.
Jordan: Marcus Mariota showed tremendous poise in his 2nd career win as an NFL QB. Yes, he beat the Saints, but I was very impressed with the way Mariota was able to lead his team to a victory in a high scoring affair. The Panthers are undefeated, but they looked beatable against the Packers as they almost blew a big second half lead. I'm going to be bold and pick the Titans over the Panthers in Tennessee.
Chicago (+7) @ St. Louis
Niko: The Bears have been largely competitive all season and are 5-3 in their last eight games, including most recently a win at San Diego on Monday night. While I like the Rams (read: Todd Gurley and the D-line), I don’t see this as a blowout. I’ll take the points and go with Da Bears.
Pete: I'm inclined to go with Niko on this one. However, I really like Todd Gurley. He may be the premier running back in the NFL in the next couple of years, if he isn't already. I will take the points and go with the Bears, but I still think the Rams win the game.
Jordan: Jay Cutler vs. Nick Foles. Isn't that a matchup for the ages? Cutler, however, has looked very sharp since his return from injury a few weeks back and Foles has been the beneficiary of having one of the most explosive running backs in the game today. I say that Gurley runs for 150 and 2 TDs but Cutler leads a game winning drive capped off by an Alshon Jeffery TD, Bears cover.
Miami (+6) @ Philadelphia
Niko: Philly has looked better in recent weeks, especially at home (blowout wins vs. the Saints and Giants) and the wheels have officially fallen off the bus for the Dolphins. Philly wins big at home.
Pete: Murray looks like he is finally settling in with the offense, and Sam Bradford has been good enough as of late. I don't think Philly could threaten in the NFC, but in a really weak NFC East, they could slide right into the playoffs. In this matchup, especially with how poopy the Dolphins are, you have to take Philly.
Jordan: The Eagles offense has looked very sharp, we even got to see the Eagles run some running plays from under center, allowing Murray to finally make a big impact. But their defense got roughed up by Matt Cassel last week who, statistically, had a better day than Brady did for New England. However, the Eagles were able to win in a shoot out last week, and I expect them to do the same this week. Philly over Miami.
Cleveland (+4.5) @ Pittsburgh
Niko: It doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback for the Steelers this Sunday, I like them over Cleveland. DeAngelo Williams runs wild. Steelers cover.
Pete: Man, I don't know. And that really says something about the state of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Big Ben and Bell out, this game is going to be a lot closer than we think. However, Cleveland is just god awful. They can't move the ball and don't have the coaching necessary to pull off the upset. Steelers.
Jordan: Big Ben went down again, Le'Veon Bell got hurt a couple weeks prior and now the Steelers are looking at Landry Jones at QB with DeAngelo Williams at RB. It worked against the Raiders, but I expect the Browns to pull this one out. Browns will cover in Pittsburgh.
Dallas (+1) @ Tampa Bay
Niko: I think Dallas goes into Tampa Bay, establishes the run (McFadden has looked solid as of late), and keeps their season alive for another week. Cowboys 26-23.
Pete: Its crazy that the Cowboys are just a one point favorite here. Sure, they aren't that good, but Tampa SUCKS. I hope the Cowboys lose, because I hate everything they stand for, but I am going to say they pull it off and give Greg Hardy his first win in a Cowboys jersey. *vomits*
Jordan: Cassel looked sharp, Dez got back on track, and McFadden has looked very good in replace of Joseph Randle, this is the game that many expect the Cowboys to win, and I would be among those people if it wasn't for the way Tampa Bay and their defense has played in recent weeks. Jameis Winston has been surprisingly very good the last few games and I expect him to really put himself on the map in the NFL with a big game against Dallas. I see him throwing north of 300 yards and 2 TDs and Tampa Bay beats Dallas at home.
New Orleans (-1) @ Washington
Niko: Does anyone know what the Saints are? I certainly don’t. Last week, they lose a home game to the Titans, the week before they drop 52 in a win against the Giants. That being said, I do know what the Redskins are, and it’s not good. Saints win.
Pete: After last week, I question whether Washington deserves to even suit up in the National Football League. They legitimately look like a High School Junior Varsity team. New Orleans big.
Jordan: Drew Brees has been throwing TDs left and right lately, and the Washington secondary has certainly been less than average this year, Brees and the Saints will blow out the Redskins in Washington.
Jacksonville (+5.5) @ Baltimore
Niko: Both teams are pretty bad, and the injury bug has hit Baltimore hard (first Suggs, now Steve Smith), but this is typically the time of the year the Ravens play their best ball. I’ll go with the home team to cover.
Pete: Admittedly, both teams are pretty bad this year. No one expected the Ravens to be this bad, but everyone kinda thought that Jacksonville was going to suck. I guess I will go with the lesser of two evils and go with the Ravens.
Jordan: I really like Jacksonville in this one. The Ravens can't get out of their own way this season. It seems as though every other play results in a Baltimore injury, notably Suggs in Week One, and Steve Smith last week for the rest of the year. Even though Baltimore is at home, I'll take the points and go with Jacksonville.
Minnesota (+3) @ Oakland
Niko: Regardless of Bridgewater’s status, I like Oakland here. While they haven’t put it entirely together week in and week out, I’ve seen enough of David Carr, Amari Cooper and co. to think they can take care of business at home this Sunday and at least threaten for a wild card spot in the AFC this season.
Pete: Terry Bridgewater's injury was a crushing blow. Minnesota finally started to put it together and they lose their quarterback to a nasty, dirty hit. Imagine if that was Tom Brady. Good God. People would be rioting in the streets. If Teddy B doesn't play, Oakland should roll.
Jordan: With Christian Ponder likely at QB this week due to Teddy Bridgewater's concussion last week against the Rams, I don't see the Vikings beating the quiet Raiders team that's 4-4 at the moment. Derek Carr has been outstanding, Amari Cooper and "the sorry receiver" Michael Crabtree have been unbelievable this year. I say Oakland wins this one.
Kansas City (+6.5) @ Denver
Niko: After dominating Green Bay, the Broncos got shredded by Andrew Luck and the Colts in Indy, losing Demarcus Ware to a back injury and Aqib Talib to a suspension in the process. Call me crazy, but I think this game will be very close. It’s getting awfully cold out there. I’ll take the points and go with Kansas City.
Pete: Like Niko mentioned, Denver will be down a couple of guys on defense which should make this game closer than it normally would be. It snowed in Denver this week....time to start freaking out Noodle Arm...He will get it done this week, though.
Jordan: Without Aquib Talib this week due to his eye poke of Dwayne Allen in last week's loss to Indy, the defense for the Broncos got significantly worse, and with Denver's offensive struggles, I don't see them beating the Chiefs. KC covers.
New England (-7.5) @ New York Giants
Niko: Pats will beat up on a Giants defense that has very little resemblance to years past. Time to wipe out the demons and keep this tour rolling. Extended thoughts coming in the Roundtable later this week.
Pete: More thoughts coming in the Roundtable, but I will keep it short and simple for now. This should be a good game. Both team will score some points. Pats should score more points.
Jordan: Odell Beckham Jr. should certainly have a big game this week against the much shorter corners of New England. However, this is a no contest and I see New England beating down of New York.
Arizona (+3) @ Seattle
Niko: While 6-2, Arizona has played two good teams all season and lost both games (at St. Louis, at Pittsburgh w/o Big Ben). With two remaining matchups with Seattle, and dates with Cincy, Green Bay, Philly, and Minnesota still on the schedule, we’ll find out who the real Cardinals are. My guess is they’re overrated. I’ll go with Seattle at home.
Pete: Both teams are pretty overrated. Niko showed you the remaining schedule for Arizona, and my guess is they fall flat on their face. On the other side, Seattle has righted the ship a little bit, now at 4-4 and 3rd place in the NFC West. However, neither team are a real threat in my opinion. I'll take Arizona, just because they have been the better team so far this season.
Jordan: I gotta give it to Seattle this week. Coming off a bye and playing against a team that is prone to having bad injuries towards this point of the season, I see the Seahawks beating Arizona at home.
Houston (+10.5) @ Cincinnati
Niko: I talked myself into taking the points here. No rhyme or reason, but 10 points is a lot, especially against Cincinnati when the weather turns. I’ll go with Billy O’s crew and take the Texans coming off a bye.
Pete: With Andrew Luck's lacerated kidney, there is a chance that he could be out for over a month. With such a terrible AFC South, it is wide open for a team other than the Colts to win the crown. If Obby and Co. can dig their heels in and somehow get to 8-8, they will win the division. 10.5 points is a lot, and I still hate the Bengals. Plus Obby went to the same high school as me, so I have to pick him, right? Houston hands Cincy their first lost of the season.
Jordan: This is another easy win for Cincy. Dalton has played very well, Eifert also looks like a guy who could compete with Gronk as too TE in the game today. However, I see Houston covering and Cincy winning.