Covering the Spread: Your weekly Philly Sports Network guide to NFL betting


The first week of NFL betting is in the books and some teams like the Jets, Buccaneers and Chiefs ruined everyone’s bets with big underdog wins.

After one week of predictions, my record stands at 9-6-1. I fell a little short of correctly predicting ten games, but I’m not so far away from my goal of predicting 60% on the season.


Cincinnati Bengals (-1) vs Baltimore Ravens

The line for this game is basically a pick em’ since the line has been constantly changing. Essentially, who will win this game? The teams have split the season series the last two years, with no team showing a real advantage against each other.

The Bengals backup safety had a clutch fumble return for a touchdown to stop a comeback bid from the Colts late in the 4th quarter. Albeit, after an impressive 17 point 4th quarter by the Bengals to seal the victory.

The Ravens beat the living hell out of what may be the worst team in the NFL this season in a 47-3 drubbing. Flacco spread the ball around beautifully while the defence smothered the Bills all game long.

Prediction: Ravens cover


Atlanta Falcons (-6) vs Carolina Panthers

Neither teams showed off great offensive firepower in their week one contests, as they both turned the ball over in the red zone and failed to reach twenty points.

The teams split the season series, but over the last two years, the Falcons have had the Panther’s number, winning three out of the four contests.

However, the Falcons lost two of their stars on defence in week one, and the Panthers should be able to take advantage of that defence and keep it close, if not win the game entirely.

Prediction: Panthers cover


Buffalo Bills vs LA Chargers (-7)

The Chargers got exposed by the big plays of Tyrek Hill all day long. Fortunately for the Chargers, the Bills have no such players that have that playmaking ability on the outside.

The offensive line for Buffalo was atrocious allowing six sacks, while the entire offence combined for 153 yards. Even worse news for the Bills is that Joey Bosa will make his season debut and will be able to reek havoc with Melvin Ingram.

The Bills are in for a long, long, long season.

Prediction: Chargers cover


Green Bay Packers (-1) vs Minnesota Vikings

Over the last six games at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers is a perfect 6-0, which includes a victory over the Vikings. The big question for me is how will the young Green Bay secondary handles a dangerous Minnesota receiving corps.

At the end of the day, these two teams are incredibly close talent wise and it should be a dogfight for the NFC North crown all season long. The big advantage for the game is Aaron Rodgers playing at home.


Prediction: Packers cover


New Orleans Saints (-9) vs Cleveland Browns

The Saints offence was firing on all cylinders all game long against the Buccaneers defence if only their own defence got the message to show up too. I don’t expect the defence to play that poorly for two straight games in a row.

As for the Browns, they played with tremendous tenacity but were unable to generate any offence even with all the turnovers the defence gave them. The Steelers couldn’t take care of the ball, but Brees will take care of it a lot better than Big Ben did.

Prediction: Saints Cover


New York Jets (-3) vs Miami Dolphins

The New York Jets looked incredible after a decisive win over the Lions, allowing for only 10 points to be scored on them by Matt Stafford. Perhaps more impressive was rookie Sam Darnold’s ability to lead his team to a comeback win after starting his career with a pick six.

It’s hard to judge the Dolphins properly since the game against the Titans was stopped and started all Sunday. Which probably accounts for how sleepy and out of it both teams were, as they both game up kick returns for touchdowns in the second half.

Prediction: Jets Cover


Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) vs Kansas City Chiefs

Rookie Pat Mahomes put up four passing touchdowns in his NFL debut without throwing a pick against the Chargers. Throwing it to almost exclusively Tyreek Hill, the offence should be even more dangerous once he realizes he can pass the ball to Kelce and Hunt too.

Big Ben and the Steelers looked sloppy with 5 turnovers by himself while being sacked 4 times. The Chiefs shouldn’t have any problem covering the points and my money is on them to win the game outright.

Prediction: Chiefs Cover


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles (-3)

The Buccaneers are fresh off an impressive win against the Saints to kick off the season. Unfortunately, they could be out their top two pass cornerbacks and Jason Pierre-Paul. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t face much pressure all game long, but that will not happen again against the Eagles pass rush.

The Eagles also get an extra four days to prepare and rest for their game against Tampa Bay and should be able to get Nick Foles back to normal.

Prediction: Eagles Cover


Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans (-1.5)

The Texans played the Patriots close, while the Titans got blown out by the Dolphins. It will be interesting to see where a healthy Texans team can go.

Mariota got banged up and did not look good moving that offence against a mediocre Dolphins D. Expect the Texans to give them much more problems than Tennessee did.

Prediction: Texans Cover


Washington Redskins (-6) vs Indianapolis Colts

The Redskins took care of business and smothered the Cardinals offence. Alex Smith looked comfortable distributing the ball while mixing in an effective run game. Unfortunately, Washington will have to defend a quarterback who isn’t afraid to throw the ball more than five yards down the field.

The Colts got unlucky on their comeback bid and looked like the Colts of old with Andrew Luck under center. I don’t see Washington being able to win by six or more points on Sunday.


Prediction: Colts Cover


LA Rams (-13) vs Arizona Cardinals

The Rams started off slow against the Raiders but finished strong with a 20 point win. The Raiders seem like they’re going to be a better team than the Cardinals this year, who got blown out by a new look Redskins team.

LA should be even more dangerous at home and shouldn’t have an early season jitters to start off the game anymore.

Prediction: Rams Cover


San Fransisco 49ers (-6) vs Detroit Lions

It will be interesting to see how the Lions respond after getting embarrassed at home. While San Fransisco lost to an incredibly talented Minnesota Vikings team. Jimmy Garappolo needs to take better care of the football this time around and so does Matt Stafford.

The 49ers have the benefit of playing at home and at least kept it close in their debut.

Prediction: 49es Cover


Denver Broncos (-6) vs Oakland Raiders

Von Miller was an absolute animal against the Seahawks, while the Broncos offence put up 470 yards, although, they did turn the ball over three times. Oakland had a great first half gameplan for the Rams but didn’t have an answer for LA’s halftime adjustments.

Oakland still lacks talent and will have to play another elite defence that consistently gets to the quarterback and makes plays on the ball. The Broncos should run away with this one.

Prediction: Broncos Cover

Jacksonville Jaguars vs New England Patriots (-1)

Both teams were able to win close games last week, although star running back Leonard Fournette left early in the game and still hasn’t practised this week. This game will come down to the Jaguars ability to pressure Brady and stop Gronkowski.

New England was able to beat the Jaguars in the AFC championship game and its hard to ever bet against Brady and Belichick.

Prediction: Patriots Cover


Dallas Cowboys (-3) vs New York Giants

The Cowboys couldn’t get anything done all game against the Panthers, while the Giants managed to outgain the Jaguars. Even Odell Beckham eclipsed the 100-yard mark, and that was with Jalen Ramsey covering him all day.

Dallas still hasn’t figured out their wide receivers and won’t have an answer for Barkley or Beckham.

Prediction: Giants Cover


Chicago Bears (-3.5) vs Seattle Seahawks

Wilson looked lost trying to avoid that dangerous Bronco pass rush, and Khalil Mack and the Bears shouldn’t be any different. Rookie Wil Dissly busted off a few big plays, but the Bears should have a game plan to bottle up Wilson’s new favorite target.

Trubsiky and the Bears should be able to take advantage of the vulnerable Seattle defence who gave up almost 500 yards of offence.

Prediction: Bears Cover




Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports