INSIDE THE LINES: WEEK SEVEN

October 18, 2018

 

 

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 7-7 against the spread with a 43-49 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.

 

Denver Broncos (-1.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Vance Joseph has his back against the wall and I mentioned in last week's Inside the Lines that if Joseph couldn't come out of the next four games with at least a 2-2 record, his seat was going to get awfully hot. It only took one loss against the Rams since writing that to start the rumors that Joseph is in trouble. It's hard to bet against a dog that has his back against the wall, especially when the team they're playing isn't very good. Von Miller said they're going to kick Arizona's ass, so let's see it.

Broncos 27 Cardinals 17

 

Tennessee Titans (+6.5) at Los Angeles Chargers (UK)

London game with an early kick, so these are always a crapshoot unless you're the Jacksonville Jaguars of late. The Chargers are playing very strong complimentary football and their two losses are against quality teams in the Rams and the Chiefs. The Titans, on the other hand, are trending in the opposite direction after a terrible loss to the Bills and then getting smoked last week against the Ravens. It's hard to get a pulse on this Titans team with new coaching at the helm, so they'll likely struggle against a veteran quarterback like Phillip Rivers. I'm picking the Chargers big but I don't feel great about it.

Chargers 31 Titans 13

 

Cleveland Browns (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I've been doing a pretty dang good job of picking the Browns games right this year... until last week. I thought they would win a statement game at home against a west coast team and they had their worst showing of the year. The Buccaneers aren't an exceptional team right now and they just fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith. There's going to be a new face calling the shots on defense in Mark Duffner, so maybe that gives them some kind of advantage defensively and stops the bleeding of a miserable pass defense that shouldn't be this bad on paper. Jameis Winston should put up some points with all of his weapons at the skill positions.

Bucs 21 Browns 16

 

Carolina Panthers (+4.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are back. Carson Wentz is finding his pre-injury MVP form and they've had and extra few days of preparation playing on Thursday Night Football last week. Alshon Jeffery's return has been a huge boost to the offense and Corey Clement is running to prove that the front office doesn't need to bring in another running back in light of Jay Ajayi's injury. The Eagles are battling some injuries at safety, so they could be exposed for an occasional deep play by Cam Newton.

Eagles 31 Panthers 24

 

Minnesota Vikings (-3) at New York Jets

The Jets had a nice win last week over the Colts courtesy of their 24-point performance by kicker Jason Myers, but it's hard to imagine Sam Darnold right now playing above the X's and O's to defeat a much better team in the New York Jets. Kirk Cousins is playing better and better every week and has really taken ownership of the offense in Minnesota to match the strong defensive roster. 

Vikings 27 Jets 17

 

Detroit Lions (-3) at Miami Dolphins

The Lions have had an entire bye week to lick their wounds, regroup, make adjustments, and game plan for this Dolphins game. Brock Osweiler will be starting again in place of Ryan Tannehill to keep #Brocktober going, but it's hard to imagine stealing a second win after an upset against the Bears last week. 

Lions 24 Dolphins 20

 

New England Patriots (-3) at Chicago Bears

The Bears had a disappointing week dropping a heartbreaker in overtime against the Dolphins, and life doesn't get even easier as they get a red-hot New England Patriots rolling into town. Tom Brady seems like he's starting to generate some awesome chemistry with wide receiver Josh Gordon and this team has had a new confidence since Julian Edelman's return from his PED suspension. Throw in the fact that their defensive wrecking ball Khalil Mack is gimpy with an ankle injury and it would be shocking if the Patriots drop this game after beating a much better team last week in the Chiefs. This league is weird this year, though...

Patriots 31 Bears 21

 

Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts

If Derek Anderson comes in and beats a Colts team whose defense is much better than people give them credit for, I'm going to lose my mind. Sure, the Bills defense is pretty good too, but Andrew Luck has shown consistently that he can move the football and get the team in scoring range despite having a bunch of bookshelves lined up at the skill positions. This is the game I feel the most comfortable about in picking the Colts. 

Colts 28 Bills 10

 

Houston Texans (+5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Remember what I wrote about Vance Joseph's back being against the wall? While Doug Marrone is in no way on the hot seat after consecutive losses, this team is facing an absolute must-win game against a division rival at home after a week where their supposedly-elite defense allowed 40 points. Is this the week Sacksonville returns to prey on a miserable Texans offensive line? One hit to the chest may knock Deshaun Watson out of the game, as he's playing with rib and lung injuries. Texans should still cover.

Jaguars 17 Texans 13

 

New Orleans Saints (-3) at Baltimore Ravens

What an awesome contest this week, as we get one of the most dominating defenses in the league going against a Drew Brees-led offense that feels like it's completing 100% of its passes. I struggled with this pick because the Ravens are home but the Saints are coming off a bye week where they could prepare and get right for this one. Whoever comes out on top after this one, it's going to be a statement win.

Saints 28 Ravens 24

 

Dallas Cowboys (+2) at Washington Redskins

The Cowboys are flying pretty high after dragging the Jaguars last week, but will they roll into FedEx Field with a little too much confidence? I don't know, but this is a huge divisional game that may be one of those battles that we look back on at the end of the year that could be a difference in tie-breakers, etc. The Redskins have the offensive line to keep the Hot Boyz in check.

Redskins 23 Cowboys 20

 

Los Angeles Rams (-9.5) at San Francisco 49ers

Is there any question the Rams are winning this game? We said this last week going into Monday Night Football in Green Bay and San Francisco almost pulled out the upset. Credit to them for playing hard with C.J. Beathard, but this Rams team is simply better almost all across the board. But how much will they win by? The 49ers won't even cover the spread this week.

Rams 35 49ers 24

 

Cincinnati Bengals (+6) at Kansas City Chiefs

I don't see the Chiefs dropping two games in a row, and how Pat Mahomes bounces back from a loss will go a long way in his already impressive, yet evolving evaluation. The Bengals are no push over this year and understand they need to win every game possible to give them a shot in a suddenly very cluttered AFC North division. In fact, if this game wasn't at Arrowhead in prime time, I would even think about picking Cincinnati in an upset, but no dice. The Bengals simply don't have enough ammunition on defense to keep up with the speed of the Chiefs receivers.

Chiefs 31 Bengals 24

 

New York Giants (+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons

I know the Giants are a disaster on offense, but so are the Falcons on defense. While they probably won't go into Atlanta and get a win, they have to be reeling after their embarrassing performance on prime time last week and don't want that up on Monday Night Football. Feed Saquon. It's that simple.

Falcons 31 Giants 28

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