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 went 9-7 in our selections, with one bullseye prediction (Pats 27-Texans 20).
All lines are from Westgate as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
Baltimore Ravens (+1) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Ravens made the Buffalo Bills look like McNeese State last week, but they hit the road for a Thursday Night Football matchup at Cincinnati and could get brought back down to Earth against the Bengals pass rushers. The Bengals have a much better overall offensive line than the Bills had, but the potential Terrell Suggs vs Bobby Hart battle could be a huge factor in the final outcome. Personally, I would avoid this game at all costs because Thursday Night Football always produces weird outcomes.
Bengals 24 Ravens 21
Carolina Panthers (+6) at Atlanta Falcons
If I was going to put money on a game this week, it would be this one. The Falcons offense looks completely inept and being a division rival, the Panthers have the book on Steve Sarkisian after facing them twice last year. On the other side of the ball, look for Cam Newton to exploit the losses of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, but the same can be said of the Falcons overloading the right tackle spot, where Darryl Williams was placed on IR this week. If the Falcons start 0-2, they will be in hot water.
Panthers 26 Falcons 14
Indianapolis Colts (+6) at Washington Redskins
The Colts played the Bengals a lot closer than their 34-23 scoreline last week would suggest, but I find it hard to believe that Captain Andrew Luck rides into the nation's capital and scalps the indigenous brutes led by General Gruden. Alex Smith will kill the Colts defense by a thousand cuts and the Redskins defense is the real deal this year. Looking at the micro matchups, Ryan Kerrigan is going to feast on whoever the Colts decide to play at right tackle this week.
Redskins 31 Colts 20
Houston Texans (-1.5) at Tennessee Titans
Despite the Texans offensive line having an open door policy to their quarterback last week, they still played Tom Brady and the Patriots to a one score game on the road. The Titans, on the other hand, lost in impressive fashion to a below average Dolphins team and the most concerning thing right now is just how pedestrian Marcus Mariota looks in Matt LaFleur's new offense. When you also consider that he lost his most targeted receiver last year in Delanie Walker, this spells trouble for Mike Vrabel and the Titans.
Texans 23 Titans 17
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We took a big L last week on the Bucs vs. Saints game, but no one saw that result coming. The inefficiency that manifested from Nick Foles in week one does give some hesitation, but the Eagles defense is a top five unit in the NFL and Ryan Fitzpatrick has had difficulty stacking impressive games in following weeks in his career. Give me Philly Philly.
Eagles 20 Buccaneers 15
Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are going through some internal issues with the Le'Veon Bell saga, but it's actually Big Ben who is giving away games for the Steelers. Roethlisberger has ten turnovers in his last two games and the Chiefs defense performed admirably against Philip Rivers and the Chargers on the road last week. Steelers go into week three winless with an 0-1-1 record.
Chiefs 26 Steelers 18
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) at New York Jets
The Dolphins had an electric win against the Titans last week despite hours of lightning delays, but this week they hit the road and get the pleasure of squaring off against Sam Darnold in his home debut. Darnold had a stellar debut last week in the Motor City, and if he can stack it up with a good game against a division rival, Jets fans will go gaga with a 2-0 start. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS.
Jets 23 Dolphins 20
Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo Bills
Even without Joey Bosa, the Chargers are going to absolutely destroy the Bills turnstiles on the offensive line and Josh Allen is going to have some "welcome to the NFL" moments with a few picks. Like the Ravens last week, Chargers win big and the sun starts setting on the Sean McDermott honeymoon.
Chargers 31 Bills 6
Minnesota Vikings (+1) at Green Bay Packers
What a spicy game. If Rodgers was at full strength, I'd give Green Bay the benefit of the doubt. I know, I know - same was said last week until he came back on a ton of drugs and led the epic comeback against a good Bears defensive unit. Yeah, the Bears defense is good, but they're no Vikings. SKOL.
Vikings 20 Packers 17
Cleveland Browns (+8.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints are going to smoke the Browns at home. Right? RIGHT!? We said the same thing last week against the Bucs, and look what happened. I don't trust these Saints right now, but I do trust them enough to cover the spread. Undrafted rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison allowed four TJ Watt sacks last week, so imagine what Cameron Jordan is going to do to him this go around? The Denzel Ward vs. Michael Thomas battle will be delicious, but the Saints come back with a vengeance and prove last week was an outlier.
Saints 35 Browns 14
Detroit Lions (+6) at San Francisco 49ers
If Matt Patricia allowed a rookie quarterback to do all that last week, imagine what it's going to be like against an offensive mastermind like Kyle Shanahan with a pissed off Jimmy Garoppolo? Handsome Jimmy knows Patricia well from their time together in New England, and conversely, so does Patricia. After not losing a single start last year, Garoppolo and the 49ers get back on track this week at home and the grumblings in Detroit get even louder.
49ers 30 Lions 23
Arizona Cardinals (+13) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams ended up dismantling Jon Gruden last week on Monday Night Football, but the game was close heading into halftime before Derek Carr decided to evolve into a Kakuna in the pocket. Steve Wilks and the Cardinals had a rough home debut against the Redskins, but I think the bounce back to give the Rams a good game. Beautiful mind McVay still gets his win, but the Cardinals cover.
Rams 27 Cardinals 20
New England Patriots (-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Weird game and one worth monitoring, as some Vegas sites have shifted this to a pure pick 'em in the last few hours, meaning that money is on the move for the Jags. As much as everyone would like to see the Jags exact revenge from last year's very fixed AFC Championship, the long and short of it is the Jaguars have never been able to beat a Tom Brady-led Patriots team. This game is close, and the prediction here is Bortles gets a chance to lead a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter and tries to do too much, throwing a game-losing pick.
Patriots 16 Jaguars 13
Oakland Raiders (+6) at Denver Broncos
Gruden came back and quickly realized this ain't the NFL he's used to. If they Raiders still had Khalil Mack, this would be an intriguing game, but they don't have a pass rush and Chucky is very confused by it all! Derek Carr is clearly seeing ghosts int he pocket and an edge rush of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb this week is going to give Carr nightmares. The Marquette King revenge game goes into the lap of the mercurial punter, but can the Raiders cover the spread at least?
Broncos 21 Raiders 14
New York Giants (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
The Giants played a close game against the Jaguars last week and absolutely can't afford an 0-2 start in the division. The Cowboys did a decent job in coverage last week before succumbing to their ineptitude on offense, but Devin Funchess ain't Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants simply couldn't match the Cowboys run game in recent history, but with Saquon Barkley now in the mix, that all changes in 2018. Welcome to the NFC East basement, Cowboys fans.
Giants 27 Cowboys 10
Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) at Chicago Bears
Matt Nagy went all playoff Andy Reid in the second half against the Packers last week on a national stage, and you can bet that he's doing everything in his power this week to make sure it doesn't happen twice. Russell Wilson was on the ground after almost every play after facing Von Miller last week, so naturally, Germain Ifedi gets to go against Khalil Mack this week. What can go wrong?
Bears 31 Seahawks 23
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