For the second week in a row, the NFL weekend kicks off with a dud as the 1-3 Houston Texans host the 2-2 Indianapolis Colts. The online sports betting websites have not release an opening line as Colts QB playing status remains in doubt.
Houston was blown out last Sunday in Atlanta, and while Brian Hoyer came in after the Texans fell behind 42-0 to lead his team into the end zone three times, Houston will start Ryan Mallet at quarterback again this week. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoyer come in if Mallet struggles again.
Speaking of duds, Jacksonville takes on Tampa Bay this week in a “someone has to win” matchup between two 1-3 clubs.
The online sportsbooks list the Buccaneers as a 2.5-point favorite, almost entirely because of home field advantage.
The Jags have “looked” better than Tampa Bay this year, and played well enough to beat the Colts last week if not for shaky field goal kicking under pressure.
The best matchup of the day has 2-2 Seattle visiting unbeaten Cincinnati. The Bengals are off to a fast start not only with their 4-0 record, but also going a perfect 4-0 at the betting window. Cincinnati is a three-point home favorite, looking to build on their two-game lead in the AFC North. It’s worth mentioning that Seattle will be playing this game on short rest, after getting the benefit of a bad no-call on Monday night in a three-point win vs. Detroit.
New England returns from their bye week and look to stay unbeaten as they face the Tony Romo—less Dallas Cowboys. Dallas has started strong and struggled late in the two games since Brandon Weeden took over for the injured Romo, losing by 11 at home vs. Atlanta and then by six points in overtime last Sunday night at New Orleans. The Cowboys have given up a ton of yards through the air the last two games, and face a rested Pats offense that has put up 91 points and almost 800 yards passing in their last two games. New England is one of the biggest favorites on the board this week, laying nine points on the road.
Two teams share the honor of being the biggest favorite this week. The Green Bay Packers are a 10-point choice at home against St. Louis. The Rams are in an obvious letdown spot after upsetting the previously unbeaten Cardinals last Sunday. After upsetting Seattle in their season opener, St. Louis lost by two touchdowns (as a three-point road favorite) at Washington.
The other top favorite is Kansas City, who is also laying ten points at home against the Chicago Bears. KC has had a brutal schedule thus far, facing Denver, Green Bay, and Cincinnati the last three weeks. All three of those teams are currently undefeated. Chicago is a huge drop in class for the Chiefs, and while grabbing ten points against a 1-3 team might look tempting, remember the Bears couldn’t cover a 16-point number in Seattle two weeks ago, losing 26-0 to the Seahawks.
After a disappointing loss on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers look to recover on the road Monday night in San Diego. Once again, Mike Vick will get the start, but expect to see plenty of running as Vick finished with just 96 yards passing vs. the Ravens. San Diego is a three-point home favorite after escaping against Cleveland on a last-second field goal.
We’ll be back next week to break down some of the key nfl betting matchups for the NFL Week 6.