Battle for Supremacy in the AFC South, LA all Charged up for the Patriots & are the Bengals for Real?!
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts (Titans +1.5)
Is there a hotter team than the Tennessee Titans right now? Big wins over the Bills and the Chiefs in the space of a week has catapulted them into the conversation for AFC contenders! Those games were in Nashville though and this week’s trip to AFC South rivals, Indianapolis is a tricky looking matchup. Realistically the Colts are Tennessee’s only challengers for the division title, and after losing to the Titans in week 3 you feel this is a must win game for Indy.
Both teams are playing well – Tennessee go into this clash riding a 3 game winning streak. The Colts have won their last 2. Both teams place an emphasis on the run and do it well, so it comes down to who has the better players. Man for man, it’s tough to argue with the Titans. Especially with “King” Derrick Henry playing the way he is. The Titans put 45 points past Indy in the corresponding match up last season. They may not score as many on Sunday but they’ll do enough to cover the spread. Tennessee Titans +1.5
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets (Bengals -10.5)
Last weekend the Bengals put up 40 points on the road – in Baltimore! Meanwhile the Jets shipped 50 points in New England – and lost rookie QB Zach Wilson. To remedy that situation, they’ve traded for Joe Flacco but he head coach Robert Saleh stated he won’t join up with the team before Friday and so former Cowboys’ 5th round pick, Mike White starts.
This just isn’t a good look, whichever way you shape it up. The Cincinnati Bengals are for real! They sit atop of the AFC North with a 5-2 record. They have the league’s leading receiver, rookie Ja’Marr Chase, they have an underrated running back, Joe Mixon and they are winning football games. In contrast, the New York Jets have a 1-5 record. They struggle to move the ball down the field and they’re giving up 29 points per game. The Bengals beat the Ravens by 24 points last week. They can cover the line against the Jets.
Cincinnati Bengals -10.5
New England Patriots @ LA Chargers (Chargers -5)
This is an intriguing game for several reasons – not least, the Patriots went into LA and beat the Chargers 45-0 last December! However, these aren’t the same Chargers and they’re coming off a bye week, with a point to prove after being drilled 2 weeks ago in Baltimore.
The Patriots dealt out their own thrashing last weekend – disposing of the Jets 54-13 and although they’ve now scored 30+ points in back to back games, I’m not ready to believe in them just yet.
New England’s game plan has to be to run the ball. The Chargers haven’t been able to stop anyone on the ground so far this season. In fact, they’re dead last, defending the run – giving up 162 yards per game! However, they’re offense means opponents are often playing catch up. Through the first 5 weeks, the Chargers averaged 28 points per game. In Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, they possess two of the best receivers in the NFL and let’s not forget running back Austin Ekeler – as good running the ball as he is catching it out of the backfield. The Chargers have a point to prove in this game, they’re well rested and New England are a team very much in transition. The last time the Patriots faced an offense this explosive, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys threw for 445 yards on them and put up 35 points! LA Chargers -5