September 9, 2017 - 4:46 pm
New York Jets at Buffalo
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Bills -9, 40½
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Both teams have stripped their rosters of longtime starters and playmakers, particularly New York, which has a season win total of 3½ at the Westgate. Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor cleared concussion protocol but won’t have wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was traded in the offseason. New York’s defense will get to any Buffalo QB.
By the numbers: The line of 9 points makes it difficult to hit either side, but with the lack of offensive prowess on both teams, the under seems to be the stronger play. The under has cashed in four of the past five meetings between the teams and is 8-3 in the Jets’ past 11 road games.
D’Amico’s pick: Bills, 17-16
Atlanta at Chicago
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Falcons -6½, 49
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Atlanta, nursing a Super Bowl hangover after blowing a 25-point third-quarter lead, boasts a well-balanced offense and tough defense. Meanwhile, even the Chicago faithful will be hard-pressed to name the Bears’ starters with all the new faces they’ve added. Mike Glennon will start at quarterback, and running back Jordan Howard will be the Bears’ workhorse again after finishing second in the NFL in rushing last season with 1,313 yards. The Falcons will come out with something to prove and make a statement.
By the numbers: The over is 16-4-1 in Atlanta’s past 21 games and 11-3 in Chicago’s past 14 games in September. … Atlanta is 8-1 ATS in its past nine road games. … Chicago is 0-7 ATS its past seven games played in September.
D’Amico’s pick: Falcons, 31-17
Jacksonville at Houston
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Texans -5, 39½
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: The defending AFC South champion Texans have dominated this series, winning six straight by an average of 9.83 points. The Jaguars are in for another disappointing year despite the addition of former LSU running back Leonard Fournette. A healthy J.J. Watt and a highly touted Houston defense are going to shut down the Jacksonville offense. The state of Texas has been through a lot recently, and the Texans are extra motivated to give their fans something to smile about.
By the numbers: The Jags are 7-19 ATS in their past 26 games played in September. … Houston is 8-2-1 ATS in its past 11 games played vs. AFC South opponents.
D’Amico’s pick: Texans, 27-13.
Philadelphia at Washington
Time/TV: 10 a.m., KVVU (5)
Line/Total: Eagles -1, 48
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Philadelphia and Washington are projected to finish third and fourth in the NFC East. On paper, the Eagles certainly look like the play. But as we look more closely, the Redskins have had their number, covering six in a row and winning the past five meetings. Even oddsmakers are unsure here with Philly as a 1-point favorite. This game is too tough to call, and there are better games on the board.
By the numbers: The Eagles are 4-0 ATS their past four games in September. … The Redskins are 10-4 ATS in their past 14 games overall.
D’Amico’s pick: Eagles, 24-23
Arizona at Detroit
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Cardinals -2, 48
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Arizona looks to eclipse last year’s subpar season, as Detroit looks to again exceed expectations. The Cardinals have a solid running back in David Johnson to go with their aerial assault. The Lions locked up Matthew Stafford to a mega-contract, but Arizona has a talented secondary that can slow Detroit’s passing game and force last season’s 30th-ranked rushing offense to run the ball.
By the numbers: The Cards have won seven straight in this series, going 6-1 ATS. … Arizona is 6-2 ATS in its past eight games in September. … The under is 9-2 in the Lions’ past 11 games and 7-2 in its past nine vs. the NFC.
D’Amico’s pick: Cardinals, 23-20
Oakland at Tennessee
Time/TV: 10 a.m., KLAS (8)
Line/Total: Titans -2½, 50½
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Our soon-to-be Raiders possess a high-scoring offense. Quarterback Derek Carr, running back Marshawn Lynch and receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree comprise a formidable arsenal. The problem is Oakland’s defense has leaks, as coach Jack Del Rio will probably start four rookies on a unit that already had issues. Healthy Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota has a stacked offense at his disposal. While this game will be decided by a field goal or less, there is too much offense on both sides and not enough defense.
By the numbers: The over is 8-3 in the Raiders’ past 11 games and 9-4 in the Titans’ past 13. … The over is 20-8 in Oakland’s past 28 games as an underdog and 7-2 in Tennessee’s past nine as a favorite.
D’Amico’s pick: Raiders, 31-30.
Baltimore at Cincinnati
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Bengals -3, 41½
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: The fact that Joe Flacco missed the entire preseason with a sore back normally would make this game tough to handicap. But the Ravens’ rugged defense should exploit a Bengals’ offensive line in transition. Cincinnati is going to be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam Jones because of suspensions, giving Baltimore a slight edge.
By the numbers: The under is 4-1 in the Ravens’ past five vs. AFC North foes and 20-8 in the Bengals’ past 28 vs. AFC North opponents. I lean to Baltimore and the under.
D’Amico’s pick: Ravens, 17-13
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Steelers -9½, 47
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Cleveland’s 4-0 preseason record won’t extend into the regular season. The only bright spot for the Browns, who went 1-15 last season, was defensive end Myles Garrett, their No. 1 overall pick who will miss the opener with a high ankle sprain. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are going to wreak havoc on a Cleveland team that they’ve beaten four straight times, going 3-0-1 ATS.
By the numbers: The Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their past six road games. … The Browns are 1-8 ATS in their past nine home games.
D’Amico’s pick: Steelers, 27-13
Indianapolis at Los Angeles Rams
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Line/Total: Rams -4, 42
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Colts backup quarterback Scott Tolzien will make his fourth start in place of Andrew Luck. He has T.Y. Hilton, who led the NFL in receiving yards last season with 1,448. The Rams ranked ninth in total defense in 2016 but will be without defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who ended his holdout Saturday but won’t play. Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff is 0-7 as a starter. Because of the QB situations, expect running backs Frank Gore and Todd Gurley to get most of the workload in a low-scoring game.
By the numbers: The Colts are 4-1-1 ATS in their past six road games, and the Rams are 0-6-1 ATS in their past seven home games.
D’Amico’s pick: Colts, 17-14
Seattle at Green Bay
Time/TV: 1:25 p.m., KVVU (5)
Line/Total: Packers -3, 51
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: In what might be a sneak peek of the NFC title game, this might be the most exciting game on the board. Seattle’s defense is loaded with talent at every position. The Seahawks’ offensive line has some question marks, but elusive quarterback Russell Wilson will remedy that. Of course, any time Aaron Rodgers is on the field, Green Bay is dangerous. But I look for Seattle to get some payback from December’s 38-10 thumping.
By the numbers: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is 14-1 ATS as an underdog avenging a loss from a previous meeting. … The over is 11-3 in the Packers’ past 14 games in September and is 6-2-1 in the past nine meetings.
D’Amico’s pick: Seahawks, 27-26.
Carolina at San Francisco
Time/TV: 1:25 p.m.
Line/Total: Panthers -5, 47½
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: Both teams should be improved from last season, as the Panthers added running back Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers have a new coach in Kyle Shanahan, a veteran QB in Brian Hoyer and receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. But it’s going to take awhile for the 49ers to mesh. A leaner Carolina quarterback Cam Newton also has his two favorite targets in Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen.
By the numbers: The Panthers are 0-8 ATS in their past eight as a road favorite. … The 49ers are 6-0 ATS in their past six season openers.
D’Amico’s pick: Panthers, 27-24.
New York Giants at Dallas
Time/TV: 5:30 p.m., KSNV (3)
Line/Total: Cowboys -4, 48
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: New York won both meetings last season and has covered five straight against its NFC East rivals. Dallas has running back Ezekiel Elliott, while Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be a game-time decision. If he plays, he’ll give the rebuilt Dallas secondary some headaches. But we also expect Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s new system to create turnovers.
By the numbers: Both meetings went under last season, and the under is 7-2 in New York’s past nine games. … The under also is 7-2 in the Giants’ past nine road games and past nine as an underdog.
D’Amico’s pick: Cowboys, 24-20
New Orleans at Minnesota
Time/TV: 4:10 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Line/Total: Vikings -3½, 48
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: The Saints might be getting older, but Drew Brees and company can still score. The Vikings have a solid defense, but their offense struggled to score last season and during the preseason. Former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson returns to Minnesota wearing a Saints uniform.
By the numbers: New Orleans is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 road games. … The Vikings are 1-8 ATS in their past nine Monday night games.
D’Amico’s pick: Saints, 20-17
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver
Time/TV: 7:20 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Line/Total: Broncos -3, 43
Joe D’Amico’s analysis: While both squads have new coaches and players, the Broncos have owned the Chargers, winning eight of the past 10 meetings. Denver has Von Miller anchoring a good defense, and Los Angeles has some quality cornerbacks to slow the Broncos’ wideouts.
By the numbers: The Chargers are 8-2-4 ATS in their past 14 games in Denver. … The Broncos are 2-6-1 ATS in their past nine on Monday night.
D’Amico’s pick: Broncos, 23-20