We look at the opening lines and decide who to bet on before the lines change!
New York Jets -1 (-110) vs Detroit Lions
I made the mistake of picking against the Lions at home in my Early Leans preview last week. Luckily I was able to salvage things a little by taking the over in my 5 Best Bets for Sunday. I’d been riding the Lions at Ford Field all season, but I was hesitant to back Detroit as favorites against the Vikings. Minnesota is a team that has somehow continuously managed to overachieve all year. Their only two losses come at the hands of the Eagles and Cowboys. Welp, the Lions continued to roll, with Jared Goff adding 3 more scores through the air, bringing his impressive touchdown to interception ratio at Ford Field to 20:3. Lesson learned.
This week the Lions hit the road for the first time since Week 11, which also happened to be at Metlife Stadium, in a 31-18 victory over the Giants. The Lions ran for 4 touchdowns in that game, so Goff certainly wasn’t the catalyst in the victory, throwing for just 165 yards and zero touchdown passes. This seems par for the course, as he’s only thrown 1 touchdown pass playing outdoors all season. The Jets defense should present a much more formidable challenge than the Giants and I like them in this spot regardless of who ends up starting under center.
Green Bay Packers -7 (-105) vs LA Rams
I was upset when the Panthers decided to bench Baker Mayfield, because fading him every week was easy money! But a new opportunity has presented itself! Baker is back as a starter and I will be fading him hard this week! Although the Packers have not been themselves this season, they’ve been a much better team at home. So I’m going to push my chips in on Aaron Rodgers having some magic left in that arm of his! Also, he tends to play better during these primetime matchups. The Rams offensive line remains a mess! So despite the Packers defense being atrocious against the run all season, I think their offense will be able to put up points. Thus, forcing Baker to throw in the second half, which won’t bode well for the Rams.
Tennessee Titans +3 (-120) @ LA Chargers
The Titans let me down big time against the Jags last week! In a game I was confident Mike Vrabel & Company would handle business after the firing the GM the week before. What I overlooked was that Vrabel’s teams have historically performed much better in the underdog role. The Chargers defense certainly looked great against the Dolphins on Sunday night, but they’re still giving up 147 rushing yards per game on the season. Despite it coming in a losing effort, King Henry averaged over 7 yards per carry against Jacksonville. The fact this is a home game for the Chargers isn’t much of a factor, and I’m not a believer in Brandon Staley, so Tennessee has a major coaching advantage here. I like the Titans to win this game outright! I’ll happily take a field goal in this one.