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Game to bet on now
Minnesota at Philadelphia (+2.5)
Maybe it’s time to starting taking these Vikings seriously. They’re 5-0 SU (and, more importantly, 5-0 ATS) less than two months after franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the season after tearing up a knee in a practice. Many in the league ragged on Minnesota for giving up two high draft picks – including next year’s No. 1 – for retread Sam Bradford. But so far, so good. Bradford has a 109.7 passer rating and has thrown zero interceptions, letting the Vikings’ A-plus defense do the heavy lifting. Minnesota is holding opponents to under 13 points a game (best in the league). If they can get things done against the Eagles this Sunday, they could take complete charge of the NFC North real soon because Chicago and Detroit are up next. This could very easily be a field goal game, so giving 2.5 looks inviting.
Game to wait on
New England at Pittsburgh (+7)
It’s the Steelers’ bad luck that the schedule forces them to play their toughest opponent right after Ben Roethlisberger bangs up a knee. No. 7’s injury and meniscus surgery moved this game from close to a pick ‘em to Pittsburgh being a 7-point home dog, even though there were early-week rumblings that Roethlisberger might be able to go against the Patriots. Oddsmakers seem pretty certain that Roethlisberger will be sidelined, but on the off chance that he plays, the line could move several points in the Steelers’ direction. The Patriots have always played well in Pittsburgh, and are at close to full strength as they have been all season. Combined, the teams are 8-3 ATS.
Total to watch
Oakland at Jacksonville (48.5)
What gives with Oakland? After scoring a total of 62 points in wins over Baltimore and San Diego, the Raider offense threw up all over its cleats against the Chiefs – at home – in a statement game last Sunday. Oakland is now 1-2 at home and 3-0 (with three covers) on the road this season. Jacksonville, meanwhile, has taken advantage of a soft schedule and is back in the hunt in the weak AFC South. Given the inconsistency of Oakland’s offense and Jacksonville’s 8th-ranked defense, the under should get serious consideration here.
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