Arizona Cardinals (+1) vs Houston Texans
This is a matchup of two teams with zero playoff hopes, as both have lost their starting quarterbacks to injury. This pick is based on the thought that the Texans will not be able to generate any offense with Tom Savage behind center. Last week, the Texans only offense came from the defense bringing back a fumble for a touchdown. With Will Fuller out this week, Savage will have even less options to turn to, especially with Patrick Peterson blanketing Deandre Hopkins. The Cardinals backup, Drew Stanton, has shown that he is a capable quarterback and should be able to manage the offense by limiting turnovers. With Adrian Peterson fully rested, I expect a large workload for him and a win for the Cardinals.
Los Angeles Chargers (-4) vs Buffalo Bills
This decision is almost completely based off the quarterback drama in Buffalo. The Bills were blown out last week 47-10 by a good Saints team. Now the Bills have an even weaker quarterback under center in Nathan Peterman. The experienced Phillip Rivers will be able to run the offense effectively enough to out match any production from the other side. With all defensive focus on LeSean McCoy, his impact will be diminished, and the Chargers will win by a touchdown at home.
Also: Under of 43 1/2
I also am a huge fan of the under in this game, as the Chargers haven’t shown to be productive on offense. The Bills with a backup quarterback will struggle.
Tamba Bay Buccaneers (Pick) vs Miami Dolphins
In a matchup of two struggling teams, I think the Buccaneers pull through on their quick trip to Miami. Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown to be a capable quarterback in his long career. The Dolphins also don’t have the talent to shut down Mike Evans. Without Jay Ajayi and a struggling offense behind Jay Cutler, the Dolphins offense will struggle. The Dolphins also gave up 34 points to an unimpressive Panthers offense the previous week. The Buccaneers will come back from their short trip to Miami with a win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) vs Tennessee Titans
Antonio Brown is going to go nuts in this Thursday night matchup. Last week, A.J. Green gashed the Titans for 117 yards and a touchdown showing the Titans inability to defend stud wide receivers. With the Steelers at home, they will be able to shut down a weak aerial attack from the Titans. Mariota hasn’t shown the ability to exploit secondaries and won’t be able to capitalize on the Steelers injury to cornerback Joe Haden. The Steelers will roll to their fifth win in a row.
Sleeper pick: Los Angeles Rams (+2) vs Minnesota Vikings
Sean McVay will dial it up this week against a stout Vikings defense. I predict Case Keenum’s strong showing last week won’t happen again, and the Rams high powered offense will be able to produce. Aaron Donald will be a force in the trenches in helping the Rams stifle the Vikings running back duo of Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon. I predict the Rams pull of the win away from home.