Let’s jump right in.
ATLANTA (+7 at Baltimore)
On Pinnacle, the line has moved down to 6.5. If a line crosses the 3 or 7, or even just moves on or off it, I jump on it. I don’t love Atlanta, but they have the offensive firepower to score a garbage TD to close the line. I don’t really see a blowout happening here, even though Atlanta’s offensive line might get eaten alive.
BUFFALO (-4.5 vs. Minnesota)
This has moved a half-point to -5. More to the point, I’ve learned my lesson from last week’s disastrous Minnesota pick: Don’t take a rookie QB behind a shaky offensive line against a great defensive line. Buffalo is at home, and I’m not sure the Vikings have anyone who can cover Sammy Watkins.
CAROLINA (+7 at Green Bay)
This line has also moved to 6.5. I don’t much care for Carolina’s chance to slow down Green Bay, but even without Greg Hardy, they should have an advantage in the trenches there. More to the point, Cam Newton is healthy enough to run the read option again, and Green Bay’s inability to stop the read option is extremely well documented by now.
HOUSTON (+3.5 at Pittsburgh)
This has moved to 3 on Pinnacle, so you know it was another priority for me. I also like the matchup given that Pittsburgh’s defense is no longer the fearsome unit its reputation carries. I’m pretty sure Arian Foster has a non-zero chance to crack 200 yards. The Rooney’s incredible patience with coaches and GMs is going to bite them in the ass over the next few years, as Mike Tomlin less and less seems like a coach who adds anything to a team’s win probability, and Kevin Colbert keeps spending money on veterans who don’t deserve it.
INDIANAPOLIS (-3 vs. Cincinnati)
I passed a couple of other lines that moved (Dallas, Denver, New Orleans) because I just really think that, all else being equal, Andrew Luck is going to dominate this game. I see something similar to the Colts’ win over Baltimore happening. Without A.J. Green, it’s tough to see Andy Dalton making enough happen to keep up, and as great as the Bengals’ defense can be, they’ve also given up 80 points in their last two games. I think it’s arguable that Indianapolis has a better offense than either New England or Carolina. (Which is not to say I expect 40+ points, just that I think Indianapolis covers, unless the Bengals’ game plan is almost entirely Giovani Bernard-centered and they’re able to dominate the time of possession.)