Welcome to Baltimore Beatdown’s pick’em series. Each week I’ll pick five games, look at the spread and make a pick. For all you fans that like to gamble, this is for you!
The Ravens are on a skid right now. After starting 2-0 they’ve cratered back down to Earth, showing little reason to believe in them on a consistent basis. Fortunately, they’ll travel to Minnesota to take on a Vikings team that also has struggles at quarterback. This game figures to be a defensive slugfest, and because of that, the smart money would be to take the team that’s getting points, especially with as many as the Ravens are getting.
The spread on this game is Panthers -3. On the road, but after 10 days rest the Panthers will play against long time head coach John Fox. The Bears covered last week when they were 7 point home underdogs to the Ravens, where they won outright. The Panthers are expected to have starting center Ryan Kalil back and even if Luke Kuechly doesn't play, I still believe the Panthers are a much better team. Give me the Panthers to cover.
Marcus Mariota is back for Tennessee, a team that is in a dog fight for the AFC South. Meanwhile in Cleveland, the carousel of quarterbacks has spit rookie DeShone Kizer back out after Kevin Hogan proved incapable of making basic NFL throws. It’s on the road, but I believe Tennessee wins this one easily.
The Falcons are 3.5 point underdogs on the road Sunday night in New England. In a week that will be fueled by 28-3 jokes, you can be sure the Falcons want revenge. The Falcons are on a two game losing streak — both losses have been to AFC East teams — so they need to right the ship, as the NFC South race looks to be the toughest in the NFL right now. Factor in that the Patriots have already lost two home games this year and their defense has been the league’s worst, the decision here becomes easier. I’ll take Atlanta and the points, but if you’re feeling gutsy, I encourage you to take the money line and pick Atlanta outright.
This line started at Redksins +6, but has moved to Redskins +4.5. On the road, in Philly against an Eagles team that has proven to be the best in the NFC, I don’t like Washington’s chances here. Throw in that the Eagles will be coming off of 11 days of rest, while Washington is likely to be without both of their starting corners in Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, and I really don’t like Washington’s chances.
Which games will you be watching and who will you be taking?