1) BUF +6 vs. BAL (-110)
This game was very close, and the Bills had their chances at the end to steal a tying TD, or at least cover the spread. At the end, Marcus Peters made the game sealing play and the Bills lost by 7. The Bills look as fiesty as ever, but the Hayden Hurst 61-yd TD was the mistake that the Bills needed to prevent the win. That opening was enough for the Ravens to control the tempo, and win the game + the cover.
2) MIN SU vs. DET, IND +3 @ TB (+125)
The most marginal of victories, with the Colts losing by 3 resulting in a push for the majority of the value for this parlay. The Vikings controlled the game the entire way against the Blough-led Lions, and the result was as expected.
The Colts looked to have the game in hand, but Jameis cleaned up his play in the fourth quarter, and was able to win by a field goal. The Colts desperately need a healthy T.Y. Hilton/Jacoby Brissett if they want to return to contention. This was sort of a “must-win” for the Colts in terms of playoff contention, and while they came out competitive, they lost to a streaky Bucs team who gave up their requisite amount of turnovers. The Colts are lucky that the Texans also lost (in a much more embarrassing fashion) to the Broncos, an even less competitive team than the Bucs.
3) CIN +14.5 @ CLE, SF +8.5 @ NO (-110)
The 49ers game was very tight for the vast majority of the contest. Additionally, the Bengals kept it tight against the Browns with Dalton at QB as well in a game with depressingly low levels of offensive momentum. This bet felt safe from the start, I just expected lower scoring affairs from both matchups.
The Bengals now have a baseline of competence with Andy Dalton’s return. Players like Mixon and Ross now pose an actual threat, which opens up the offense for Joe Mixon, who has been getting smothered with attention after Dalton was benched. This game really came down to who wanted to lose less, as both teams are out of playoff contention.
The 49ers showed early that they could be more than just a run game on offense, and then mixed it in to great results after the pass game got going. Big plays from Sanders and the other receivers allowed Mosert and Breida to break through for long runs. The Niners secondary began to experience some injuries as the game progressed, and the Saints pass game opened up vastly. Penalties on the 49ers secondary also prolonged the Saints comeback attempt. Similar to Will Lutz in Week 1, Robbie Gould sealed the game with a field goal. The bet was never in doubt, which enhanced the enjoyment of the end of this exciting (and I’d say this season’s best) game.
4) TEN -3 @ OAK (-105)
Rumors around that Ryan Tannehill is in discussions with the Titans to extend his contract, and make him their starting QB for the foreseeable future. Plays like a 91-yard TD pass add substance to his case for an extension. Further, the defense made great adjustments in the second half, not allowing a score, and getting a pick-six. The Titans look like they’re poised to make noise in the playoffs, and have some crucial matchups against the Texans coming up. Derrick Henry’s health is something to monitor, but if he is fully healthy, I continue to like the Titans based on their defense and capability for chunk plays both on the ground and in the air.
5) SEA -1 @ LAR (-110)
The spread/odds bounced around for this game, ranging from SEA -1 to SEA +1 with odds ranging from -115 to +100.
I’ve thought that the Rams have looked bad for weeks now. Jared Goff didn’t pass for a TD in the month of November. When the Rams blew out the Cardinals last week, I attributed that much more to Cardinals ineptitude than a Rams return to form. In addition, the Seahawks are undefeated on the road, and home games for the Rams had been in name only. For whatever reason, Todd Gurley has awoken from his slumber, and Goff has returned to being a serviceable QB. The Rams controlled the game from for the entire first half, only allowing the Seahawks one score on their opening drive.
A key difference from the last time these teams matched up is the swap of Jalen Ramsey for Marcus Peters (and Aqib Talib as well). This made a key difference on key 4th down plays, as well as Lockette’s ability to get open. This win for the Rams keeps the NFC West, and NFC playoff picture a bit more variable. The urgency for both of these teams will be increased moving forward.