This week we mix things up by taking teams from all sides of the spectrum.
We’re riding with an overachiever. We’re running with an underachiever. We’re rolling with a superior team that has been snake-bitten twice earlier this year. We’re kicking back to watch the revenge play of the season.
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook
Take Minnesota Vikings and lay 3 points (-108) vs. New York Jets
The Vikings have been blessed this season by playing four games (all wins) against teams starting a backup quarterback. This week they get a fifth as Mike White makes his second start since the benching of Zach Wilson. White provided a spark last week, but going on the road in the deafening conditions at US Bank Stadium will make communication difficult, and White is a backup for a reason. Look for Minnesota to win the turnover battle and win the game.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions: Take the Under of 51 points (-108)
I understand the reason why this point is so high – the Lions defense is pretty brutal and their games have averaged 53 total points. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The Jaguars don’t have a potent offense that lights up opponents. While I’m sure there will be the potential for plenty of points to be scored, these teams could combine to score seven touchdowns in 60 minutes and still be hitting the Under. I like those odds.
Take Los Angeles Chargers and lay 1.5 points (-109) at Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers somehow seem to get a pass from most NFL analysts despite having elite talent on both sides of the ball and still being one of the most underachieving teams in the league the last couple of years. In the three years with Justin Herbert as its starting quarterback, the team is 21-22. The one thing they do, however, is beat teams with bad records. Their six wins this season have come against the Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals, so only having to lay 1.5 points shouldn’t be a huge risk, because the Chargers are who they are.
Take Kansas City Chiefs and lay 2 points (-112) at Cincinnati Bengals
Despite being beaten twice by the Bengals in January of last season – one to get Cincinnati into the playoffs and one that propelled the Bengals to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are the slight favorite. The Chiefs have 11-point halftime leads in both those games. You can bet your bottom dollar that this game was circled on the calendar of Chiefs players when the schedule came out. If they get a big lead (like they did both times last year), they won’t take their foot off the gas.
Take Cleveland Browns and lay 7 points (-109) at Houston Texans
The Browns mortgaged their short-term draft future and long-term salary cap future to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Texans. He’s getting his first start after serving his suspension and is going up against a Texans team that has been outscored by seven or more points in eight of its nine losses – including every game on the current six-game losing streak. The Browns may need to run the table to make the playoffs, but the Texans are team that is eminently beatable … and beatable by double digits if Watson’s debut comes through as expected.
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