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Tennessee at Houston (-6.5)
Bill O’Brien and the Texans looked like a shaken bunch when they boarded the bus after last Thursday’s 27-0 shutout loss in New England, but they will have had a few extra days to sort things out. Houston was not as bad as it looked in Foxboro, but no one knows if the Texans are as good as they showed in home wins over Chicago and Kansas City. At any rate, Houston gets another home game and is looking down at the rest of the AFC South, so things can’t be all that bad. The Titans have to figure out a way to jump-start an offense which has scored only 42 points in three games, and do it against a Houston team whose defense was embarrassed by the Patriots’ third-string QB on national TV. If the money stays heavy money on the Texans, it could bump the line up to 7.
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Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-6)
Philadelphia 34, Pittsburgh 3. What was THAT all about? After two easy wins and covers, the Steelers had the look and feel of a team that was more than ready to give the Patriots a run for their money in the AFC. Now, who knows? The Steelers were outplayed in every phase of the game (except punting) vs. their in-state rivals, and now face a pretty good Chiefs team that is coming off a dismantling of the Jets. If you’re torn between taking or laying the points in this one, bear in mind that the Chiefs offense revolves around RB Jamaal Charles, and as of early this week KC was still uncertain if Charles is completely recovered from ACL surgery from last October. Might want to wait until there is more definitive word.
Total to watch
Indianapolis at Jacksonville (49.5)
Loading up on skill-position players in the draft has taken its toll on the Colts, who aspire to the Super Bowl but are actually under .500 in their last 19 regular-season games. Indy ranks 24th in the league in defense this season, and is giving up an average of 32 points a game. On the plus side, the D appears to be getting a little better (22 allowed vs. San Diego last week), though that might be a product of playing mediocre offensive teams. Jacksonville has offensive problems, namely an inability to run the ball, but is confident that it can move the ball through the air against Indy’s mediocre back 7. Both teams are 2-1 on the over.
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