Four teams are on bye this week, but there is still plenty of intriguing action. The Arizona Cardinals will look to remain the only undefeated team in the NFL when they travel to face the Cleveland Browns, while the Los Angeles Chargers can make another statement in Baltimore against the Ravens.
Here is my favorite bet for each game this week. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Oct. 15.
Dolphins (-3) at Jaguars
The pick: Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (-115) under 23.5 rushing yards
The reason: Lawrence has averaged seven rushing attempts per game over the past three but at only 4.3 yards per carry. While mobile, he’s not an elite threat on the ground. If the carries drop, it’s hard to see him surpassing this total.
Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington
The pick: Scoring total (-110) over 54.5 points
The reason: There has been a lot of ink spilled about the (relative) struggles of Patrick Mahomes. He has a good matchup this week, as the Washington defense has had serious issues all year long. The Football Team has been putting up points itself, and a high-scoring affair seems likely.
Rams (-10) at Giants
The pick: Giants (-110) to cover the spread
The reason: New York was hit hard by injuries last week, torpedoing its chances against the Cowboys. However, quarterback Daniel Jones is expected to play following a concussion in that game. Running back Saquon Barkley and wideout Kenny Golladay are out, but receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Kadarius Toney should provide enough firepower to keep this one close.
#Giants QB Daniel Jones is off the injury report and good to go for Sunday. Same with WR Sterling Shepard.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2021
Packers (-6) at Bears
The pick: Bears quarterback Justin Fields (-115) under 17.5 completions
The reason: Fields is only completing 51.4% of his passes this season, which is the lowest mark in the NFL. While it should inch higher as the season moves along, the passes have generally been both high-difficulty and inaccurate. Fields hasn’t completed more than 12 passes in a game this season, and while there is the risk of a bombs-away game if Chicago falls behind, the under seems the sensible choice.
Chargers (+2.5) at Ravens
The pick: Ravens (-115) to cover the spread
The reason: Both quarterbacks are playing at an extremely high level, but this isn’t a great matchup for Los Angeles. The Baltimore running game should dominate behind Lamar Jackson, and the Ravens’ defense should be able to keep Justin Herbert and his group somewhat at bay. This one may be tight, but the Ravens should win by a field goal or more.
Lamar Jackson (illness) practiced fully today and does not have an injury designation. So he's fully ready to go vs. the Chargers.
— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) October 15, 2021
Bengals (-3.5) at Lions
The pick: Jared Goff under 255.5 passing yards
The reason: The Bengals have looked like the much better team this season, but the talent gulf between these teams isn’t the size of the Grand Canyon. This one could be close from start to finish, and if that happens, Goff won’t have a high volume of passes. The Cincinnati secondary is above average, which will also keep the yardage down.
Texans (+10) at Colts
The pick: Texans (+100) over 7.5 second-half points
The reason: Houston will likely be trailing late in this one, which will force it to get aggressive. The most likely scenario to surpass this total would be a touchdown and a field goal, but a two-point conversion opportunity could also present itself. That would be a major boon for those taking the over.
Cardinals (+3) at Browns
The pick: Cardinals (+145) on the moneyline
The reason: Both teams are talented, and both are dealing with significant injuries. The Cardinals will be without center Rodney Hudson, pass-rusher Chandler Jones and tight end Maxx Williams. The Browns, though, won’t have running back Nick Chubb, while defensive end Myles Garrett, running back Kareem Hunt, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, tackle Jack Conklin, center J.C. Tretter, defensive end Takk McKinley, cornerback Greg Newsome, cornerback Denzel Ward and tackle Jedrick Wills are all questionable. The Cardinals have the superior quarterback, and if Cleveland doesn’t run the ball as well as expected, Arizona could pull the upset and move to 6-0.
Cowboys (-3.5) at Patriots
The pick: Cowboys (+100) to cover the spread
The reason: Dallas is playing really well on both sides of the ball this season. The defense has been opportunistic and does not figure to be lit up by New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones. On the flip side, the Cowboys are extremely talented on offense and should do enough to cover even if this game is competitive.
A season-high six Cowboys players are listed questionable for Sunday at Patriots: RB Ezekiel Elliott (ribs), LT Tyron Smith (neck), CB Trevon Diggs (ankle), DE Randy Gregory (knee), SS Donovan Wilson (groin) and FS Damontae Kazee (hip).
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 15, 2021
Raiders (+4) at Broncos
The pick: Raiders (+160) over 2.5 touchdowns
The reason: It’s been a turbulent week in Las Vegas following the resignation of coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders will attempt to get past that in this matchup with the Broncos. While Las Vegas’ offense struggled last week, it has shown the ability to put up points, and dialing up three touchdowns is a good value at these odds.
Seahawks (+5.5) at Steelers
The pick: Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (-125) under 32.5 passing attempts
The reason: The notoriously conservative Pete Carroll will likely run the ball as much as possible in this one with a backup quarterback at the helm. Considering Russell Wilson didn’t surpass 32 attempts in a game this season, it seems unlikely Smith will hit that mark.
Bills (-5.5) at Titans
The pick: Scoring total (-110) under 53 points
The reason: The Bills’ defense is excellent, and the Titans would love to run the ball and shorten this game as the underdogs. Even though there is some serious talent on the offensive side of the ball, there will be enough long drives to keep the scoring down.