*Lines Accurate as of Wednesday Morning*
New York Jets (+1.5) @ Buffalo Bills
Niko: Have to love this matchup. For a Pats fan, this is a win-win. Either the Jets knock Rex that much closer to bagging groceries, or Rex continues to embarrass his former team. This time around, I’m going with the former. Should be a tight one. Jets take it on the road.
Pete: This is a fantastic matchup for a Pats fan, as Niko already pointed out. Regardless of the game, here is to hoping that these two teams beat the snot out of each other. Like I said last week, every year the Bills are overhyped as the next team to knock off New England. I think the Bills will have the lead in this one, but Rex Ryan will make some boneheaded decision that will cost them. Jets in a close one.
Will: The Battle for the AFC East Silver Medal will actually be a good game. Rex Ryan will certainly cherish the opportunity to defeat his former team, and with their homefield advantage, I say he gets it done. Bills by 4.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) @ Cleveland Browns
Niko: The Browns are an absolute train wreck. I’m talking 0-16 bad. Ravens cover on the road.
Pete: If the Ravens don't win this game, they should disband as a franchise.
Will: Nothing to say here that hasn't been said by Niko or Pete. Ravens by double-digits.
Tennessee Titans (+5.5) @ Detroit Lions
Niko: Look for Marcus Mariota to bounce back this week and for this to be a close game. That being said, as untrustworthy as the Lions are, I’m taking the home team in this one. Detroit covers.
Pete: Was anyone else surprised with how well Detroit played in their game last week against the Colts? I sure as hell was. That being said, I surprisingly like the Titans this week. I like what they are doing with the running game and hope that continues. Furthermore, Mariota looks to be a franchise quarterback if he can learn to protect his body.
Will: This is a very deceptive game to track, but it comes down to two questions. Can Marcus Mariota chew clock and not turn the ball over? If he does, Titans win. On the other side, can Detroit implement their rushing attack and allow Matthew Stafford to make some easy throws? I'm going with the latter, and I also believe the Lions cover the spread, winning by 10 points.
Miami Dolphins (+6.5) @ New England Patriots
Niko: As exciting as the win in ‘Zona was on Sunday night, it means very little if the Pats can’t keep the momentum within the division this week against the Dolphins. I think we do, with a big effort from the defense. New England covers in a good one.
Pete: Obviously I am picking New England. Have you guys learned nothing about me in these past two years? More thoughts to come in the roundtable.
Will: Much like last Sunday's game, this game comes down to Jimmy Garoppolo. He showed great poise and was as clutch as could be against a stout Cardinals defense. This week is much easier, and I see no reason that Jimmy G doesn't rise to the challenge. New England covers.
New Orleans Saints (+4.5) @ New York Giants
Niko: These squads matched up last season in New Orleans and gifted the crowd with a 52-49 (!!) thriller. The Saints were able to eek it out at home, and I’m going to go with New York to return the favor this year, hopefully in similar fashion. G-Men cover.
Pete: This could be a candidate for Sneaky Game Of The Week, but the fact of the matter is that neither of these teams is all that good. Sure, the Giants may squeak into the playoffs and Drew Brees may put up massive passing totals, but don't expect either of these teams to be hosting the Lombardi Trophy come February. Giants, but this will be a high-scoring affair.
Will: A much better game than it's being made out to be. The Giants are now the frontrunners in the NFC East, and a win over a quality opponent like the Saints would be a major confidence boost for them. Manning carves up a weak New Orleans defense and the G-Men get a few key stops on defense down the stretch. Giants cover.
Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Niko: This one should start Sunday off with a bang. Going to go with the home team Steelers in this showdown of bitter rivals. At the end of the day, I trust Big Ben far more than Andy Dalton. Doesn’t hurt to have the best receiver in the game either. AB is something else.
Pete: Sneaky Great Game Of The Week right here. Both teams are looking to make some noise in the playoffs, and I am starting to come around to the idea of the Steelers being the second best team in the AFC. At home, give me Big Ben and the Steelers all day.
Will: No Le'Veon Bell, no Martavis Bryant, and yet the Steelers offense still looks incredible. As long as they have the Big Ben to Antonio Brown connection, they'll be a tough out. Steelers win by a touchdown, covering the spread.
Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) @ Washington Redskins
Niko: NFC East games: always fun, always unpredictable. Should be more of the same in this one. Word to Jay Gruden: let Norman be the guy you paid him to be, and have him chase Dez all over the field Sunday. Redskins win in a close one.
Pete: Last week, I thought the Redskins were going to pull off the upset against the Steelers. This week, as the favorites, I am thinking that they will get back to playing more competitive football against a team they should beat with relative ease.
Will: The NFC East just looks like a division loaded with fun, unpredictable games. The 'Skins looked lost on Monday night at home, albeit against a great Steelers squad. I think they'll rebound here, making life miserable for Dak Prescott. Redskins cover with a 6-point victory.
San Francisco 49ers (+14) @ Carolina Panthers
Niko: Carolina is going to come out angry after their heartbreaking loss to the Broncos to open the season. That being said, San Fran looks rejuvenated under Chip Kelly and two touchdowns is a lot to cover. Panthers win this game, but San Fran covers the spread.
Pete: Big spread. That being said, while the 49ers surprised me last week by putting up 28 points against the Rams, they were also playing the freaking Rams. Like Niko said, against a pissed off Panthers team, I expect Carolina to come out guns blazing.
Will: San Francisco surprised everyone with a valiant effort on Monday Night Football against a very good Rams team. If they were playing virtually anyone else with this line, I'd have them cover. But coming home after a tough loss of their own, the Panthers are about to unleash their vengeance on the 49ers. Carolina wins by 24, easily covering the spread.
Kansas City Chiefs (+2) @ Houston Texans
Niko: Playoff rematch. Houston is hoping it ends a lot differently this time around. I think it does. Texans get a big statement win against a talented Chiefs team.
Will: Easily the most underrated late-afternoon game here. Two teams hungry for their chance to win their respective divisions, and this game will go a long way towards cementing it. After their unlikely comeback against San Diego last weekend, I think the Chiefs benefit from the (likely) return of Jamaal Charles to win this game outright.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) @ Los Angeles Rams
Niko: LA looked ghastly on Monday night. Seattle is the better team, with the better coach, and the better quarterback. However, LA’s strength is their defensive line and Seattle’s O-line is abominable. I could see the Seahawks having issues consistently moving the ball. Regardless, look for Seattle to win on the road in a sloppy one. I can’t roll with Case Keenum against that defense.
Will: Both teams will recover after disappointing performances in Week 1, but Seattle has a significant advantage here. Look for the Seahawks defense to annihilate Keenum in another lopsided defeat for Los Angeles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Niko: Do the Cardinals spiral out of control after the “shocking” loss on Sunday night? They don’t have time to feel bad for themselves, as Jamies Winston and the improved Bucs are in town this weekend. This has the makings of a good one, but I’m going to go with Bruce Arians and co to bounce back and cover at home. ‘Zona.
Will: If the Jameis Winston we all saw last week is the real Jameis, the rest of the NFC could be in big trouble. Arizona wins the game, but Tampa Bay beats the spread, and the Buccaneers put out a warning to the rest of the NFL.
Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) @ Denver Broncos
Niko: Another win-win for Pats fans. I loathe both of these teams, and typically do everything in my power to pick against them without sounding like a total buffoon. Having said that, Mile High stadium is an extremely tough place to play, and in my experience with Indy, when the going gets tough, they make excuses. I’ll roll with the Broncos at home.
Will: These Colts just don't look the same, continuing their trend from last season. One could say that they've been....deflated? Regardless, Andrew Luck will be able to move the ball against this stout Denver defense. But the Colts defense lets up once again, allowing CJ Anderson to run ragged on them. I'd love to say that the Colts will pull this game out, but I just don't see it. Broncos cover.
Atlanta Falcons (+4.5) @ Oakland Raiders
Niko: Atlanta stinks. Poor Julio Jones. Plus, Raiders HC Jack Del Rio’s gutsy call to go for 2 to win their game last weekend is the kind of thing that carries into the next week. Raiders get it done in what should be a high scorer in Oakland.
Will: The AFC West looks like it'll be a fun division once again. Atlanta could pull this out in the Georgia Dome, but having to fly cross-coast to face a raucous Oakland crowd that's excited to see their Raiders winning again? Raiders win by 7.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) @ San Diego Chargers
Niko: I look one second and San Diego is beating KC 21-0 last Sunday. I blink, and they lose. This team just doesn’t have it. I’ll go with the improved Jags in an upset on the road.
Will: How in the hell are the Jaguars underdogs in this game? No Keenan Allen for San Diego, and Jacksonville is coming off a game where they went toe-to-toe with arguably the NFC's best team. Jaguars win the game in convincing fashion.
Green Bay (-2.5) @ Minnesota
Niko: Great Sunday night matchup. These are two very talented teams that should be neck and neck for the division into December. I’m rolling with Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in this one, on the road. Expect Rodgers to put up big numbers all season now that his binky Jordy Nelson is back.
Also, is Eddie Lacy still fat or am I seeing things?
Will: God, I wish Teddy Bridgewater was healthy; this would be the game of the week if so. Unfortunately, the Vikings reality is Shaun Hill. The Vikings defense is strong and stole a win last week, but elite quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers get paid for situations like this. Packers by double-digits.
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) @ Chicago Bears
Niko: Carson Wentz showed enough on Sunday to feel good about his future. Yes, it’s one game, but the physical tools are evident, and the poise was a pleasant surprise. Eagles pull off the upset on the road.
Will: I'm not fully sold on Wentz just yet, but as Niko pointed out, he's definitely on the right track. Even so, I think the Eagles find themselves in a bigger fight than they thought, while Alshon Jeffrey abuses their secondary. Bears win, and cover the spread in the process.