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Washington Redskins at New England Patriots (-14)
The good news for the Redskins is that no one affiliated with the team had anything derogatory to say about the Patriots’ involvement in “Deflategate”. The bad news is that the Patriots don’t care, and will put 60 up on you if they can.
New England is 7-0 and everyone else in the AFC East has three losses, but don’t think for a minute that either Brady or Belichick plan to take their feet off the accelerator. Bettors are aware of this, and early money backs New England by a 3-to-2 margin – even with the two-touchdown spread. The Revenge Tour continues unabated, so if you’re like the majority of bettors and like the Pats to cover, best get money down quickly before books tack on another half-point.
Spread to wait on
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5)
The Bengals look like they have the AFC North locked up, sitting at 7-0 after their win over Pittsburgh Sunday. But the public has shown some skepticism on this game despite the fact that the Browns (2-6) are again on a trip to nowhere and the Bengals are the only team in the league that is undefeated (6-0-1) ATS this season.
If you like the Bengals, might be wise to hang on a bit and see if there’s enough Browns tug to drag the number down to -10. Even on a short week, the Bengals should move the ball against a Browns defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in most categories.
Total to watch
Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (48)
Looks like we’ll never know what the Steeler offense could have done this year. Just when they get QB Ben Roethlisberger back, RB Le’Veon Bell goes down for the season. That puts some strain on the defense to keep Pittsburgh in games, but the defense has been up to the task.
While overall the Steelers rank low, they are sixth in the league in the only defensive stat that really counts – points allowed. One thing to consider: with Bell out, Oakland’s solid defense against the run will force the Steelers to the air far more than they are comfortable doing.
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