Daniel Jones is 5-16 as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s 4-0 against Washington (2-0 against their former name and 2-0 against the Football Team) and 1-16 against all other comers. That one victory was in his starting debut in Week 3 of 2019 at Tampa Bay, so this nasty streak is at 16 games.
OK, so Danny Dimes has to learn how to win a game against a team not named “Washington.” Last week in this space, we were asking him to figure out how to avoid the costly turnover. He did that. Not only did Jones make it through a turnover-free game, he miraculously held on to the ball on a blindside sack near the end.
The overall stats from that game were not promising. The Giants had a 5-0 turnover differential and still had to hold on for a 23-20 victory against a rusty Alex Smith, who shredded their defense except for the timely interceptions by Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan. The Giants defense gave up 402 yards in just 23:33 of possession by the WFT.
Those are the scary numbers as the Eagles come into MetLife Stadium off a bye with a two-game winning streak. After playing quite a few games with practice-squad guys, Carson Wentz will have Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert and possibly Miles Sanders back, along with LT Jason Peters and possibly RT Lane Johnson.
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Though the spread is small at Eagles -3, it’s possibly meaningful. The Giants past five games have been decided by three, one, one, two and three points. Don’t love the matchup from a Giants standpoint, but will take those points as a little wiggle room in the event Jones can’t break his personal streak
The pick: Giants, +3.
(Home team in CAPS)
CLEVELAND BROWNS (-3.5) over Houston Texans
With heavy rain and winds gusting up to the upper-30s (mph), it’s looking to be a day when you’ll have to run to win. The Browns could be getting back Nick Chubb. They had the top rushing attack in the NFL before he got hurt. If Chubb can’t go, look for Kareem Hunt to run wild. The Texans rank dead last in stopping the run and next-to-last in rushing yards.
Washington (+3) over DETROIT LIONS
The WFT are 7-3 against the spread in their past 10 games with Alex Smith as the starter, and as the numbers above show, there’s some life in this offense. Have no interest in giving points with the Lions. Short road ’dogs +6 or less are 35-15 ATS this season (though I didn’t go there with the Texans).
Jacksonville Jaguars (+13) over GREEN BAY PACKERS
Double-digit underdogs are 6-4-1 ATS for the season. VSiN reports that sharp bettors drove the line down from two full touchdowns. The Packers give up 25.5 ppg, so there should be plenty of chances for Jaguars QB Jake Luton to get this within the big number.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Panthers had a near-upset at Kansas City and have plenty of offensive weapons, even without Christian McCaffrey. Teddy Bridgewater is 22-5 ATS as an underdog in his career and divisional ’dogs are 28-16 ATS thus season, both according to VSiN.
Denver Broncos (+4.5) over LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Each of the past two seasons, these teams have played a game in which the Broncos won by one point, which makes the spread feel a bit rich. Denver fits the divisional and short road ’dogs +6 or less trends.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (-1.5) over Los Angeles Chargers
Bucking the short road ’dog trend here because of Tua Tagovailoa, who is 2-0 after wins over the Rams and Cardinals. He’s been aided by defensive and special teams touchdowns, but that’s not necessarily a negative. That’s what the Dolphins do. Eager to see him against a Chargers team that has given up 38. 30, 29, 31 and 31 points the past five games.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (-1.5) over Buffalo Bills
Respecting the apparent line freeze in this matchup. VSiN reports the public is pounding the Bills but the line has stayed at Cardinals -1.5 and was even at -2 at one point, with sharps buying low on Arizona off a loss and “fading the trendy ’dog” Bills. Buffalo does fit the short road ’dog trend.
Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) over LOS ANGELES RAMS
Last week in Orchard Park was a typical Seahawks game, but two uncharacteristic Russell Wilson interceptions turned it into a loss to the Bills. Wilson, however, is 34-8 straight up and 26-11-5 ATS off a loss in his career, per VSiN’s Steve Makinen.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-9) over San Francisco 49ers
Don’t see the alternative to backing the Saints as a double-digit favorite. The 49ers are decimated at many key positions and might be looking ahead to next week’s bye as a chance to stop the bleeding.
Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5) over PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Reports out of Pittsburgh on Thursday suggest the Steelers expect Ben Roethlisberger will play, though he hasn’t practiced due to possible COVID exposure. Big Ben is 23-9 ATS lifetime vs. Cincinnati, but this Bengals team is a different kind of cat than he’s ever faced (6-2 ATS with Joe Burrow).
Baltimore Ravens (-7) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots are banged up, including Cam Newton — who has a sore neck after a high, hard hit by the Jets’ Ashtyn Davis — and don’t appear to have too many weapons anyway. The short week doesn’t help, either. Have to wonder about Lamar Jackson saying the defense knows what play is coming, but I like Jackson’s 11-2-2 ATS record on the road a bit better than the trend that has prime-time underdogs at 19-9 this season.
Monday Night Football
CHICAGO BEARS (+2.5) over Minnesota Vikings
Bears come in on a three-game losing streak while the Vikings have started to hit stride with a two-game winning streak, with Dalvin Cook amassing 478 yards from scrimmage the past two games. The Bears have some defensive players who can get after him. Chicago also fits the prime-time underdog trend.
Best bet: Browns, Washington, Dolphins.
Lock of the week: Browns (Locks 3-5-1 in 2020).
Last week: 7-7 overall, 2-1 Best Bets.
Thursday: Titans (L).
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