Chiefs 8-0 and Bills 3-5
1 p.m. ET
Line: Chiefs plus 3
The Bills play everyone tough and then find a way to lose so it can be said they play everyone tough. A spate of injuries in South Canada have relegated the up-and-coming Bills to the already also-ran column of the AFC East.
But wait, can the pass-rush-that-improves-weekly take down the undefeated and on a trap-week Chiefs? Even though KC has had close calls over the past couple weeks with the easily messed-with Texans and the colorless Browns, (plus it’s in Buffalo, and Buffalo does a nice job almost winning at home against division leaders). Chiefs are the fourth team since 1970 to hold opponents to 17 or fewer over the season’s first eight games; Buffalo has scored 20 or more in each of its first eight. Something’s gotta give and we think it’s KC’s porous secondary.
Pick: Bills and the money line
Colts 5-2 at Texans 2-5
8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Colts plus 2.5
I dunno, Texas is horrible. Chase Keenum is from Abilene and still has his letterman jacket from Houston, which is cool for him, but not for fans of professional football in Space City.
Houston, you do have a problem and that problem’s name is also your real favorite son, Andrew Luck.
Saints 6-1 at Jets 4-4
1 p.m. ET
Line: Saints plus six
The Saints are currently allowing only 17 points a game, and scoring about 40. The Jets are the opposite side of that coin, yet still a .500 club (albeit the worst of the very average in the AFC.)
The Jets also have a habit of following an atrocious loss with a slightly less atrocious win. We’d like to take the J-E-T-S and the six, but the fact of the matter is Drew Brees is one of the only domed QBs who’s actually hotter outside on the road (.700 winning percentage outside November on since 2011).
Vikings 1-6 at Cowboys 4-4
1 p.m. ET
Line: Cowboys plus 10.5
Dallas’s D liked giving up 330 yards to Megatron alone last week, and losing in the final seconds. It made personnel like Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray nostalgic for college days they can’t recall. Like the Jets of the NFC, the ‘Boys are the least playoff-ready middling playoff contender. Vikes are still making the starting QB (Ponder or Freeman) a game-time decision. Either way, that’s like choosing between Subway and a pack of Winstons when you’re trying to lose weight and you only have five dollars to spend: both may do the trick, but it’s not exactly the healthy choice.
…Speaking of unhealthy choices, the spread is double digits and the last time the Cowboys won by more than 10 at home was 2010. Minnesota might not put up much of a fight, but a 17-10 Dallas victory is more than likely.
Pick: Vikings and the points
Titans 3-4 at Rams 3-5
1 p.m. ET
Line: Titans plus 3
The Rams have a nice little rookie running back in Zac Stacy, who got all kinds of folks to stop watching Kate & Allie and tune in for is 26 carry, 134-yard Monday night debut last week.
Kellen Clemens is currently the only former U of O quarterback still taking snaps in the NFL and, because he’s not playing for Chip Kelly, we like him under center against the Titans colander interior line. Jake Locker hasn’t shown much and the Rams do have a nice little pass rush going and we love the Rams getting points at home.
Pick: Rams and the moneyline
Eagles 3-5 at Raiders 3-4
4:05 p.m. ET
Line: Raiders plus 2.5
Still taking his first-year head coach lumps, Chip Kelly’s still building his resume for USC as his high-octane offense has yielded exactly 10 points in the last couple weeks with Nick Foles and the Eagles’ D, which gave up four touchdowns to the Chargers and five scores to the Skins.
The inconsistencies in Philly should give Raiders’ QB Terrelle Pryor (who was recruited heavily by Oregon before choosing to sell his jerseys and stuff as a Buckeye) time to get his groove on and make Chip jealous from the visitors’ sideline.
Falcons 2-5 at Panthers 4-3
1 p.m. ET
Line: Panthers by 7.5
The Panthers prey on hapless also-rans. Their last three match ups featured teams with four combined wins.
The Falcons should fare no better as Matt Ryan is still sans services Julio Jones and Roddy White, his double-threat that took the Falcons to the brink of the Super Bowl last year.
Panthers are stingy on D (holding opponents to fewer than 20 points since the season’s second week) and at home Cam likes to get in for an average of three scores.
Buccaneers 0-7 at Seahawks 7-1
1 p.m. ET
Line: Seahawks plus 16
Everyone’s talking ‘trap game’ for the sea chickens, and the class of the NFC West as well as their malingering opponent is coming off a bye week.
Look for Wilson and the Seahawks to come out a little quiet on offense but Seattle’s secondary to skewer the Bucs’ up-and-coming rookie-QB-led offense. This game’s rife for a 7-3 halftime score and a 21-13 Seattle win.
Notice that doesn’t cover?