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Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (+4.5)
The Seahawks have now lost back-to-back games for the second time this season and at 2-4 they really have to start winning division games. They did get off to a similar (3-3) start last season, and had to go belly button to the wall in the late going to win the NFC West.
A division loss on the road this Thursday will make a second straight climb all the more difficult, even in the weak NFC West. Over the last two years, Seattle has seemed to win the vast majority of games that it has absolutely needed (last February’s Super Bowl notwithstanding), and the Seahawks are once again in the same spot. This line will only move in Seattle’s direction, so money now makes sense if you are on the defending NFC champs.
Spread to wait on
Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals (-7.5)
Early money is down in Arizona on this one as the Ravens’ 0-5-1 record ATS has given Baltimore backers plenty of reason to not put their hands back on that stove. The Ravens have fallen all the way to 25th in the league in overall defense, and the offense has still not completely recovered from that 19-13 loss to Denver in the opener.
Now the Ravens – who lost at San Francisco Sunday – face the prospect of another near-cross country fight to take on a Cardinals team that feels it can win the NFC West and make an elongated playoff run. Not likely the spread moves in this one, but there could be variation from the standard dime line over the course of the week.
Total to watch
Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans (47.5)
So, the Falcons offense comes completely unhinged at New Orleans, held to seven points over three and a half quarters by a Saints team that was dead last in the league in total defense. Were the Falcons overrated? Football bettors should find out for sure Sunday at Tennessee, where the Titans have an excellent defense but hardly anything (1-4 SU) to show for it.
This will be Tennessee’s fourth straight home game (with a bye week, five straight weeks without traveling), and it should be ready to make life hard for Atlanta for the second straight week. It’s hard to see a lot of points on the board in this one as Titans make adjustments following a poor effort against Miami.
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