ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Oh what a week it has been.
The sub-headline for last week’s article was “AJ expects points in Orchard Park this week, one of six winners he’s handing out.” It turns out, there were indeed points but was the only winner I handed out.
However as they say, it’s always darkest just before dawn. This column now has its theme. It’s time for a heroic march back to .500. We enter this week six games back.
Cardinals (-3) vs. Bills
As always, these lines are the current consensus at the time of publication. This means I wish I would have published this article before the Bills’ COVID problems were announced.
Four players will be out for the Bills, the big three being corners Josh Norman and Levi Wallace as well as safety Dean Marlowe.
The Bills were going to be tested enough by the Cardinals’ passing attack but now this makes it that much more difficult. Safety Micah Hyde is also questionable after injuring his ankle at Thursday’s practice. It’ll also be tough for the Bills to get pressure to bail the secondary out— the Cardinals allow the second-fewest sacks in the league
I liked the Bills even before this news came out. The Cardinals are 3-1 in their last four against the spread while the Bills are 1-4 in their last five. Buffalo is also 1-4-1 against the spread in their last home game. The Bills head out west and come back with a loss before their bye. Cardinals 31, Bills 24.
Seahawks (+2.5) at Rams
I’m a big fan of this line. I think Seattle is in a tier higher than the Rams so I’m happy to get the points in this one.
Credit to Matthew Freedman of the Action Network for these stats. Russell Wilson is 24-12-4 against the spread off of a loss and he’s 23-9-2 as an underdog. Sign me up.
The Rams may be 5-3 on the year, but if you take a look at their schedule you’ll learn why. Four of their wins are against the NFC East and their other win was at home against the Bears. I say Russ has a bounce back game after a tough showing against the Bills.
Bengals (+7) at Steelers
The Steelers have survived to this point, but they’re due for a letdown. At the very least, another close game.
Anyone who has watched the Steelers in the Mike Tomlin era shouldn’t have been surprised that they played down to their competition last week against the Cowboys.
The Bengals have been covering machines this year, going 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games.
While the Steelers have gone 6-2 against the spread this year, a lot of those covers have been very lucky including their games against the Titans, Eagles, and Texans. Six of their wins have been by nine points or less, so I like Cincy’s chances of keeping things close.
Chargers at Dolphins Over 48.5
You can expect a few things with the Chargers this year. They’re going to find a new and creative way to lose a close game each and every week. They’re also going to do it with a lot of points.
Los Angeles has gone over each of their last five games, averaging a total of over 62 points per game.
The Dolphins defense has been stingy this year, surrendering the 4th-fewest points per game in the league. But their offense has been strong, 9th-best in the league. And last week Tua showed that he was comfortable playing in a shootout. I’d also feel good about the Dolphins giving a few, but I’ll stick with the over.
Texans at Browns Over 45.5
In a year where scoring numbers are up throughout the league, it’s rare that I think a game will be high scoring with a total as low as this.
The Browns are getting healthier with Nick Chubb set to return as well as offensive guard Wyatt Teller. That bodes well for a team set to face-off against the Texans, who are allowing a league-worst 159.5 yards on the ground this year.
The Texans have put up at least 27 points in three of their last four games and Deshaun Watson has six straight games with multiple passing touchdowns.
This line has moved from Browns -2.5 to -4, eliminating some of that value. But I think you’ll be in good shape taking the over.
Week 9 results: 1-5
2020 season: 21-27-1
Bills Bets: 5-4
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