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Atlanta at Denver (-6)
Would it surprise you to learn that the Broncos are one of just two 4-0 ATS teams in the NFL (Minnesota is the other one)? The defending Super Bowl champs are unbeaten and have already taken control in the AFC West at 4-0. Plus, Win No. 4 came after new QB Trevor Siemian was sent to the sidelines with a shoulder in the first half of Sunday’s win at Tampa Bay. Replacement Paxton Lynch became the latest unheralded QB to get the job done, finishing up with 170 yards passing and one TD – and, most importantly – zero turnovers. The A+ Broncos’ defense did the rest, and Denver now begins a stretch of three games in the next 15 days (Falcons, Thursday game at San Diego, and home vs. Houston). This line has been moving up and down from 4.5 to 6, so if you like Atlanta and the points, best move before books make another adjustment.
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Arizona at San Francisco (+3)
Can things get any worse for the Cardinals? They’re 1-3 and will be in San Francisco Thursday night on a short week after getting beaten by the Rams this past Sunday. And BTW, QB Carson Palmer is out as the team tries to determine the severity of a head injury suffered in the LA game. Coach Bruce Arians claims the Cards aren’t panicking, but this is as close to a must-win game as they come because Arizona has the likes of Seattle, Carolina, Minnesota and Atlanta on the schedule before the weather gets cool and tolerable in the desert. This line opened at SF +2.5 but moved to 3. It likely will move again, or books might make an adjustment on the vig before kickoff.
Total to watch
New England at Cleveland (46.5)
All eyes will be on Tom Brady as he returns from the four-game Deflategate suspension, and rightfully so. The Patriots will also probably take the choke chain off TE Rob Gronkowski, who has been targeted just three times in the three games he has played. NE will have its full offensive arsenal for the first time after dumbing down the playbook and trying to establish a running game to simplify things for third-string QB Jacoby Brissett. Sophisticated bettors might want to consider hitting the second-half under in this one because the Browns have scored a total of just 17 points combined in the second halves of games this season.
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