Buffalo Bills (+7) @ Carolina Panthers: I like how the world is waiting on Trent Edwards to see if they’re going to bet on the Bills, or even more, the books are waiting to post lines until that information comes out. Here’s a piece of advice for you, if you like the Bills, like I do here, wait until the news comes out that Trent will not be playing Sunday. If and when that happens, you’re likely to see this line jump up a little in Buffalo’s favor, and +7.5 is just that much sweeter than +7. That being said, I don’t see what the Panthers have done to be a touchdown favorite against anybody in the NFL. Was it last week’s win over Tampa where they barely pulled it off? Or was it the week before that when Washington had Carolina on the ropes 17-2 midway through the 3rd quarter? Or could it be when Carolina got beaten in ever single other game they’ve played this year? Listen, Buffalo doesn’t stop the run really well, but they do play close football games. Despite their poor record, 2-4, they’ve been in every single game they’ve played late, besides when Miami dominated them. If Carolina has yet to win by more than a touchdown and Buffalo has played just about everyone tough, how can you call Carolina -7 value? It’s not, not at all. Anything can happen, but the Bills have proven to me that they can keep it close. Carolina can’t put up a bunch of points fast, Buffalo covers in Carolina.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) @ Houston Texans: One down game from the 49ers doesn’t have me going away from them here. Now, I like both teams. I thin the Houston Texans are going to put up some wins this season, no doubt, their 3-3 record thus far isn’t a fluke, but the 49ers are too tough for them. San Francisco is coming off a bye, and an off week of feeling that Falcon blasting from Week 5 might just be the thing they needed to step up their play. This will be Michael Crabtree’s first NFL appearance, after he finally signed his rookie deal two weeks ago. But I don’t think Crab will be the guy that makes the difference here, that title goes to the return of Frank Gore. That’s right folks, the spoon that stirs San Francisco’s offense will be back and starting in this one, and that Houston front 7 (or 8 during this game) will have their hands full. I expect the 49ers to win in Houston, so taking them to cover here (getting a field goal free) is just bonus!
San Diego Chargers (-4.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: I know KC is tough at home, and I know this game was very close twice last year (though San Diego won both, KC covered each) but I’m with the public in this one. I think most of the spreads this week are pretty tough, but I like the Chargers by a touchdown here. I actually think San Diego played very well last week against the Broncos. They allowed two kick return touchdowns to Eddie Royal (well one punt and one KO) and besides that they were stingy on defense. They held a pretty tough rushing attack to 101 yards on 33 carries, and the secondary made some nice plays. And that’s all against a very efficient offense that boasts one of the best offensive lines in football. Kansas City doesn’t have that. Offensively, Phillip Rivers and company moved the ball fairly well, and LT actually ran with solid effectiveness against a defense that has shut down the run all season long. There’s some questions in San Diego, no doubt about it, and Kansas City has played pretty decent over the last couple weeks, going to OT with Dallas and getting their first win of the season against Washington, but I have to go with the Chargers here. Four and a half isn’t crazy. The Chargers have played some close games with some good teams, and at 2-3 on the season with Denver at 6-0, they can’t afford to take the Chiefs lightly. I’ll take the road favorites here.
Indianapolis Colts (-13) @ St. Louis Rams: The Colts are too good to go against here. The Rams may have given Jacksonville a scare last week, and I know this is the NFL, so anything crazy can happen (see Philadelphia’s breakdown in Oakland last week) but does anyone really see the Rams having a chance here? I’ve never been a huge Peyton Manning fan, but I can respect the man’s work, and he does it perfectly. He has all the tools, the accuracy, and the know-how – not to mention the work he puts in to be great. And he’s going up against the Rams, a defense that doesn’t successfully stop anyone. Offensively, the Rams just aren’t good enough to oust the Colts. Not only are the Colts a team that makes you be efficient and methodically move the ball to stand a chance, but they have a front 4 that constantly puts opposing offenses in tough situations. And this week they will likely get Bob Sanders back. Yeah, that’s right, the Colts have done this all without their best secondary player, the human missile, Bob Sanders. Marlin Jackson (the best corner on the team) might also be back after missing the first handful of games. I know it’s a double digit spread, but if there’s ever a time to take a road favorite in this situation, it’s now. The Colts have a very quick strike offense with one of the best QBs of all time. They limit big plays defensively and get after opposing QBs. Marc Bulger is a turnover machine under pressure and he just happens to be quarterbacking the worst team in football. That’s all I’ve got, give me the Colts.