Inside the Lines is a weekly feature on ScouTurf.com where we outline the NFL spreads, provide a short snippet of match up insight, and give final score predictions. Last week, we missed on our "Hot Play of the Week" (not enough FitzMagic for Bucs +7) but still went 8-5 against the spread with a 72-60 record on the season.
All lines are from MyBookie as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
Carolina Panthers (+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Panthers have been on fire this year and match up very well against the Steelers despite this being a home game for Pittsburgh. Cam Newton should be able to keep plays alive with his feet and the Panthers defense is top-eight in rushing yards allowed per game, which is bad news for James Conner. Expect offensive coordinator Norv Turner to continue to get the ball into the hands of DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel in creative fashion and the Steelers middle linebackers should struggle suffocating Christian McCaffrey on quick screen passes.
Panthers 28 Steelers 27
Buffalo Bills (+6.5) at New York Jets
No Darnold? No problem. After an eyebrow-raising four interception performance against division rival Miami last week, it's almost a good thing the Jets offense will be in the steady hands of 40-year-old Josh McCown while Darnold is in a boot. The Bills are probably going to go with Peterman again, so the Jets defense should go nuts. Honestly, I'm surprised the spread isn't bigger.
Jets 35 Bills 10
Atlanta Falcons (-5.5) at Cleveland Browns
The Falcons defense got a boost this week in adding veteran pass rusher Bruce Irvin, and Irvin is fortunate to be going up against some of the worst tackles in the NFL this week. Regardless, expect Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfield to continue to get the ball out of his hands quickly and we should see another heavy dose of Duke Johnson this week. With the Browns having home field advantage, they may not win this game, but I would be surprised if they didn't cover 5.5. Take the over (50.5).
Falcons 34 Browns 30
New Orleans Saints (-6) at Cincinnati Bengals
HOT PLAY OF THE WEEK
The Bengals have recently leaped the Chiefs as the worst passing defense in the NFL and have no other than Drew Brees coming into town this week? AND AJ Green likely isn't playing for the Bengals? BUY BUY BUY. This week's hot play is so scorching, it burns.
Saints 42 Bengals 21
Washington Redskins (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Redskins screwed us last week dropping a home game against the Falcons, and I'm not letting it happen again. The Skins are now down three starting offensive linemen for this contest and the home field advantage for the Bucs should factor in here. Honestly, this is probably not a game I'm comfortable placing on, but for the sake of the pick, let's go Bucs -3.
Bucs 30 Redskins 24
New England Patriots (-7) at Tennessee Titans
Lots of storylines to consider in this one. Mike Vrabel plays his old head coach Bill Belichick for the first time as a head coach, and Belichick usually handles his coaching/football tree in easy fashion. Malcolm Butler, who has struggled mightily this season, gets to prove to the coach that benched him in the Super Bowl that he made a huge mistake. You don't know what kind of Marcus Mariota you're going to get (played extremely well against a solid Cowboys defense last week), but the Titans now boast the number one overall NFL defense in points allowed per game (17.6), so I'm going with the Titans covering at home.
Patriots 24 Titans 20
Miami Dolphins (+10.5) at Green Bay Packers
Incredible that a team coming off a divisional win is a dougle-digit dog against a team that lost by double-digits the week before, but here we are. We get another week of Brock Osweiler going into Lambeau and Aaron Rodgers is starting to get to the point in the season where he needs to pick up the pace to keep up with the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North. But is Miami's defense that had four interceptions last week good enough to cover? Sam Darnold ain't no Aaron Rodgers, and the pendulum will swing back to reality.
Packers 31 Dolphins 20
Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
If you told DUUUVAL before the season started that they would be three point underdogs to the Colts after the bye, they probably would have hit you in the face with a bottle of Fireball. The reality is that while the Colts and the Jaguars have the same record, both teams are trending in the opposite direction coming off of their byes. Will the return of Leonard Fournette help spark the offense? Maybe, but that won't change the fact that the Colts defense hasn't allowed a sack in 156 consecutive drop backs and Sacksonville hasn't been able to get home consistently despite leading the NFL in pressure rate. Bye-bye, Jaguars 2018 season.
Colts 20 Jaguars 18
Detroit Lions (+7) at Chicago Bears
The Bears dismantled the Bills last week and only got Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson, and Bilal Nichols back this week. The Lions offensive line was a disaster last week allowing 10 sacks - the most of Matt Stafford's NFL career. The Bears know they can't drop this game if they want to keep a game up in the division, but will they be looking ahead to the Vikings game flexed to Sunday Night Football next week?
Bears 31 Lions 21
Arizona Cardinals (+17.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
What a disaster of the game. The Cardinals are coming off a bye and the Chiefs will win this game handily, but that spread is just too big to bet on comfortably. Cardinals fans should just be focused on improvement from Josh Rosen and more life on offense under the tutelage of Byron Leftwich.
Chiefs 35 Cardinals 17
Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5) at Oakland Raiders
Never again, Oakland.
Chargers 42 Raiders 14
Seattle Seahawks (+10) at Los Angeles Rams
Have the wheels fallen off the Rams? Is Dante Fowler Jr. cursed? All ridiculous questions and I'm being facetious, of course. The Rams should win this game handily and move the football on offense against the Seahawks. The Seahawks offensive line has been much improved since the departure of Tom Cable (shocker), but Aaron Donald, Ndamokung Suh, Michael Brockers, and Dante Fowler Jr. ain't no slouches, especially if the Rams can get up ahead early.
Rams 35 Seahawks 24
Dallas Cowboys (+7.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Can we get the Cowboys off prime time, please? America's team, yadda yadda whatever. Let's see how America's team handles getting the brakes beaten off of them on a short week on the road against a divisional rival coming off a bye. With the Redskins offensive line getting decimated by injuries, the NFC East is ripe for the taking, and I'm sure Doug Pederson and his players are well aware.
Eagles 28 Cowboys 20
New York Giants (+3.5) at San Francisco
I'VE GOT A FEVER - AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION IS MORE NICK MULLENS! San Francisco has the offensive tackles to slow down Olivier Vernon on the edge and the Giants don't have much film on Mullens. Saquon Barkley scares me, but I expect DeForest Buckner and the 49ers defensive line to get some good pass rush on Eli Manning.
49ers 27 Giants 20
3 TEAM PARLAY: JETS -6.5, SAINTS -6, CHARGERS -10.5
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