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. Despite the upset fest last week, we still managed to go 8-8 against the spread with a 21-27 record on the season.
All lines are from Westgate as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Los Angeles Rams
It's rare that we see such a strong match up on Thursday night, and hopefully it won't be ravaged too much by the short week poor product that we've become accustomed to. The Vikings had a miserable showing against a Bills team that they overlooked last week, and I wouldn't expect a mentally tough Mike Zimmer team to lose consecutive weeks even with the Everson Griffen news that surfaced this week. The Rams will be without both starting corners tonight, meaning Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will be living in target city.
Vikings 17 Rams 14
New York Jets (+7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Had the Jags exorcising their divisional demons last week and beating the Titans big, but an offensive stinker left them with an L at home despite only allowing nine points. The Jags stay home this week and welcome rookie quarterback Sam Darnold to Duval County, which has this transcendent turnover-starved defense salivating. Under Doug Marrone, the Jaguars are 7-1 in games following defeats and team captain Calais Campbell has said this week that good teams don't lose back to back games. Are the Jaguars a good team? They are, and if Leonard Fournette can come back, they can return to their hard-nosed offensive philosophy.
Jaguars 25 Jets 17
Miami Dolphins (+6.5) at New England Patriots
One of the biggest surprises this season has been the Dolphins red hot 3-0 start and you better believe they are focused on an opportunity for a potential three game division lead and head to head win against the Patriots. If the game was in Miami, this could be a really interesting match up, but can you really see Tom Brady allowing a three game losing streak? I can't, but this game has back door cover written all over it, especially with one of the fastest NFL offenses going against what may be the slowest defense.
Patriots 26 Dolphins 21
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at Tennessee Titans
The Eagles haven't been as dominant as expected this season, but they've gotten the job done to earn a 2-1 record. They now have Carson Wentz who's had a week to knock off the rust and potentially have his go-to receiver Alshon Jeffery returning to the lineup. The Titans have a couple of gritty, ugly wins this year, and you get a feeling that this will be the type of team they are under first year head coach Mike Vrabel. I wouldn't bet against Philly in this one, though.
Eagles 24 Titans 14
Houston Texans (+1) at Indianapolis Colts
AFC South slugfest in Indy this week. If the Texans can't get their first win against a Colts team that many pegged to be in the divisional basement this year, Bill O'Brien's seat is going to get awfully hot. It's really hard to start a season 0-4, especially for a team that has some decent talent on both sides of the football. Let's go Texans in a close one, although the over-achieving Colts offense going against a terrible Texans offensive line makes this an unsettling pick.
Texans 21 Colts 20
Buffalo Bills (+10) at Green Bay Packers
After laughing at the Bills prospects of beating the Vikings in Minnesota last week, it came back to bite me in the bottom. No way they can continue their NFC North slashing road tour this week against Green Bay. No way, right? No way. Josh Allen is tall, but no way. Is there any way they cover? No way. Josh Allen jumps over things, though. Is there any way? There might be a way. Josh Allen has a rocket arm, after all.
Packers 27 Bills 21
Detroit Lions (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
The only thing the Cowboys really have going right now is their very talented Hot Boyz defensive line, but the Lions' maulers on the opposite side is a poor match up for Dallas. Credit to Matt Patricia for making a ton of defensive adjustments after getting sliced apart in the first two weeks of the season, and if he was able to befuddle Tom Brady, what do you think he'll do to Dak Prescott this week?
Lions 24 Cowboys 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Chicago Bears
The Bucs' high octane offense under FitzMagic meets its match this week against an elite Bears defense piloted by Khalil Mack. Unfortunately for the Bears, if this game goes into a shootout, I don't feel like Mitchell Trubisky will be able to keep up on the other side of the football. It's not like they have Pat Mahomes or anything...
Buccaneers 28 Bears 20
Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Steve Sarkisian has finally unlocked pandora's box in Calvin Ridley over the past few weeks, which was such an obvious prescription for constant Julio Jones double teams and was the reason for drafting Ridley in the first place. The Bengals have a great opportunity on offense to pick apart the Falcons secondary, who has lost starting safeties Keanu Neal and now Ricardo Allen for the season. It's a toss up and both teams are fairly close in our roster rankings, so I'll lean towards the home team.
Falcons 24 Bengals 21
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
It's Rosen time. The Chosen One was put in an impossible situation last week to succeed in a poorly protected two minute drill, but now that he has the key to the car, you can expect some more efficiency on offense. Steve Wilks knows he can't start the season 0-4 and will probably get aggressive to pull all the trick out of his sleeve in a divisional match up.
Cardinals 24 Seahawks 22
Cleveland Browns (+2.5) at Oakland Raiders
Baker. Mayfield. Just win, baby.
Browns 30 Raiders 25
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at New York Giants
Drew Brees is playing like a football deity and the Giants should have no match for the highly targeted Michael Thomas this week. Pat Shurmur has some much-needed momentum after notching his first win against the Texans last week, but it should be short-lived against a dynamo Saints offense.
Saints 38 Giants 21
San Francisco 49ers (+10) at Los Angeles Chargers
Sorry Reuben Foster, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. CJ Beathard is absolutely a roody-poo and this offense is doomed. The Chargers need to get these easy wins while they wait to get Joey Bosa back from his foot injury, so I would be shocked if Phillip Rivers allowed them to drop this game.
Chargers 30 49ers 10
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Pittsburgh Steelers
A terrific Sunday Night Football match up, the Steelers didn't look great despite getting their first win in Tampa Bay last week. The defense allowed the Bucs to come back and quickly erase a 20 point lead, and the Ravens defense should be able to keep Big Ben's scoring to a minimum.
Ravens 21 Steelers 20
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Denver Broncos
Monday Night Mahomes. The Chiefs superstar quarterback needs to come back down to Earth eventually, but I'm going to leave that to week five when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive unit. The Broncos defense will be perhaps their toughest match up to date this season, but their offense should be able to move the ball on a Chiefs defense that is allowing close to 500 yards per game. If it becomes a Big 12 fire fight, expect the Texas Tech QB to come out on top.
Chiefs 35 Broncos 28
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