After my first losing week in Week 10, I got back to my winning ways last week. There are a couple of double-digit dogs this week, which has been profitable all season, but both feature backups making their first starts of the season, so I’m staying away from the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans.
Jaguars +3½ vs. Ravens
The Jacksonville Jaguars have bitten me a few times this season, but I’m going back to the well. They’re healthy and rested, coming off their bye, while the Baltimore Ravens looked less than impressive in a 13-3 home win over the Carolina Panthers. I like the Jags’ defense to be physical and athletic enough to handle the Ravens’ rushing attack, and I think Trevor Lawrence can hurt the vulnerable Ravens’ secondary, especially with red-hot receiver Christian Kirk. Plus, the last six times these teams have played each other, the underdog has gone 5-1 ATS.
Saints +9 at 49ers
I think the San Francisco 49ers are the most complete team in the NFC, and they’ve shown it the last two weeks in primetime. That national exposure has inflated this line a bit, in my opinion. The New Orleans Saints’ banged up defense saw key guys like Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport and Marshon Lattimore (among others) return to practice this week. If they get a few guys back, they can make things difficult for the high-flying Niners. Andy Dalton was very efficient against a tough Los Angeles Rams defense last week, and I think he can help keep the Saints within shouting distance.
Browns +3½ vs. Buccaneers
Call it Jacoby Brissett‘s last stand, with Deshaun Watson waiting in the wings to make his first start next weekend. The Cleveland Browns hung around all afternoon in Buffalo last week and Brissett played maybe his best game of the season. Though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are mostly healthy coming off their bye, they won’t have running back Leonard Fournette and will rely on rookie Rachaad White to carry the load. The Browns have struggled against the run, but at home on a cold, rainy, windy day, I think the Dog Pound will make things difficult for White as well as Tom Brady and Tampa’s passing attack. Yes, the Bucs appear to have turned a corner, but look for Browns to post the upset.
Last Week: 2-1