There is no worse feeling than losing a standalone NFL game against the spread. As opposed to losing one of the 1 p.m. games, when there are about 19 other games to distract you from that loss, losing the Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games force you to sit there and think about how dumb and bad you are. It really isn't fun.
That's why I would like to give a special shoutout to Cam Newton, who is absolute garbage. I didn't have time to do a full writeup on Thursday's game between the Saints and Panthers (not reaching your goals and having a real job is swell), but my thought process in taking the Panthers +3 was that the Saints offense would struggle on the road (they did), and that their offense would do enough to win.
The defense held up their end of the bargain, especially in the first half, until Cam Newton went full Cam Newton and fumbled inside of his own five yard line. The Saints were able to open the scoring easily, despite struggling for the entire night before that, and never looked back. So, thanks Cam Newton. You are garbage.
Anyway, let's pick some football games.
DOLPHINS -2 over Chargers
Philip Rivers is a better quarterback than Ryan Tannehill, but this game has all the makings of a trap for San Diego bettors.
Yes, San Diego has the second best pass offense in the league by DVOA's standards, and yes they are top five in yards per pass attempt. But Miami has a fantastic pass defense that should give the Chargers fits. Miami is first in the league in yards against per pass attempt, and are fifth in DVOA against the pass. This will force San Diego to find production with the running game, where they are dead last in yards per attempt.
An astounding 82% of bettors are on San Diego, yet the line has moved another half point towards the Dolphins, as the line opened at Miami -1.5. The Dolphins are the right side here, regardless of outcome.
Jaguars +10.5 over BENGALS
A.J. Green may actually play this week, but Gio Bernard may not. Either way, the Bengals aren't a team usually tasked with covering big numbers. With all kinds of questions surrounding their offensive skill players, I'm not sure they can here.
Cincinnati's defense is dead last against the run in DVOA, and are tied for last in yards against per rush attempt at 4.8 yards per carry. Denard Robinson has been legitimately good at running the football for Jacksonville over the last few weeks, so this will be more interesting than people think.
BROWNS -6.5 over Buccaneers
Yesterday, Johnny Manziel accidentally tweeted out his phone number, which is the most Johnny Manziel thing one could do with their personal information. I decided to shoot him a text.
I was pretty bummed he didn't respond, to be honest.
VIKINGS -1 over Racists
This will not end well for Washington. Hearing Washington fans clamor for Colt McCoy after this game will be lots of fun.
Also, Dan Snyder can take a knee to the back from one of his team's defenders.
TEXANS +1.5 over Eagles
Three quarters of bettors are on Philly here, but the line has moved a full point from Texans +2.5 to the current line. Smart people are on Houston here, because Chip Kelly's offense is overrated.
Philadelphia is ranked 23rd in DVOA offensively, which is not what you'd expect when you think about this team. But Philly scored on a number of defensive and special teams touchdowns early in the year, which covered up their deficiencies on offense for a while. Nick Foles is tied for 26th in the league in yards per pass attempt. He is tied with Jake Locker.
CHIEFS -9.5 over Jets
The Jets are going off the deep end. Quickly. This game is going to get ugly. Quickly.
Cardinals +3 over COWBOYS
Nobody even knows if Tony Romo is going to play in this game, so Arizona bettors either get three points against Brandon Weeden or against a hobbled Tony Romo.
"But DeMarco Murray can carry the load!" you say in between breaths through your mouth. No. Arizona is tops in the league in yards against per rush attempt.
Arizona also benefited from watching Washington lay out the blueprint to destroying the Cowboys offense on Monday. Arizona loves to blitz, so they'll be right at home doing what Washington did in their overtime win over the Cowboys earlier this week. Arizona will win this game straight up. Play the moneyline.
49ERS -9.5 over Rams
San Fran is coming off the bye and really need to win this game to remain firmly in the playoff hunt. They'll make it happen here.
Broncos -3 over PATRIOTS
This isn't a great idea, but the thought of laying less than a touchdown with Peyton Manning is too good to pass up.
Raiders +14 over SEAHAWKS
Seattle has been legitimately bad lately. It'd be flat out stupid to lay two touchdowns with them, even if the Raiders are the league's worst team.
Ravens -2 over STEELERS
Pittsburgh overvalued after putting up 51 points on Indianapolis. Pittsburgh's 26th ranked DVOA defense will give Baltimore the edge here.
Colts -3.5 over GIANTS
Eli Manning < Andrew Luck
Last Week: 8-7
This Week: 0-1
2014 NFL ATS: 65-56-1 (53.7%)