It’s not throw-a-parade material, but we’ll take last week’s 3-2 mark. It’s a start. Sometimes getting on base is enough.
Onto the next episode.
Bills +2.5 at Chiefs
Kansas City is all offense thus far, ranked first in offensive DVOA and dead last in defensive DVOA. Buffalo’s story is contrary — they have the top-rated defense, but are merely 17th in offense. That said, the Bills scoring unit has clicked the last two weeks, and home-field doesn’t mean what it once did, especially with Buffalo having been over this track last year. Kansas City did throttle Philadelphia last week, but it has still been a horrible bet since last November. The settings are ripe for an upset.
Niners +5 at Cardinals
As wonderful as Arizona looked last week, you want to sell a team off a likely high-end performance, especially with the line adjusting. And the Niners weren’t as outplayed against Seattle as the score indicates — San Francisco easily could have won last week. Trey Lance was uneven in his relief appearance (though the stats were glorious, partly from one fluke pass), but a full week of reps can go a long way. Take the generous points.
Jets +3 versus Falcons
I view these mediocre entities as roughly even, and there’s no home field to speak of in Europe, though the Falcons are technically the home team. Despite constant sabotage from its offense, the Jets defense actually profiles around league average. The quarterbacks are polar opposites — Matt Ryan is the aging vet who doesn’t want to make mistakes (conservative to a fault), while Zach Wilson plays with his hair on fire much of the time, testing limits and seeing what he can get away with. Given where the Jets are on their journey, you’re better off having him learn this way. Take the points.
Ravens -6.5 versus Colts
I dare you to name anything the Colts do well. Beating up on a broken Miami team means little to me. The Ravens still have a plus defense, and Lamar Jackson has quietly made significant strides as a passer. Baltimore’s also one of the few franchises that still seems to hold some home-field advantage.
Chargers -2.5 versus Browns
Saw LAC -1 early in the week and figured it wouldn’t last. It didn’t. The Browns offense played well in what should have been an opening-day win at Kansas City, but it’s gotten worse in every subsequent week, as Baker Mayfield obviously navigates a bum left shoulder. Chargers might have the AFC’s deepest roster, and Brandon Staley sure looks like the right hire.