In the New York Jets’ big win over the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday, Mike White became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 400 yards in his debut, joining Cam Newton during his rookie season. Tonight, the New York will look to White once more in hopes he’ll help the team to back-to-back wins for the first time in 2021.
As for the rest of this week’s games, the matchup between the Packers and Chiefs was looking to be a good one before Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, which means he’ll miss at least this game and maybe the next. In his place, 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love will make his first NFL start. Of course, that one is likely a runaway win for Kansas City.
Curious to see who I like this weekend? Well, let’s get to it. Of course, all odds below are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Thursday Night Football
Jets vs. Colts (-10) - O/U 45.5
Prediction: Jets - I don’t care if Mike White’s first career start was likely a fluke, I’m going to ride this momentum train with the rest of the Jets fan base. Also, this guy was the quarterback for Western Kentucky during the Forrest Lamp’s time in college so I will never bet against the man who competed alongside my favorite college prospect of all time.
Sunday Morning Games
Falcons vs. Saints (-6) - O/U 42
Prediction: Saints - The loss of Calvin Ridley can’t be ignored. He was the Falcons’ top receiver and was set to have the WR1 position locked down for the foreseeable future now that Julio Jones is with the Tennessee Titans. Without him, Atlanta must lean on the incredible talent of rookie tight end Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson. On the other side of this one, the Saints defense is still pretty dang good. Whoever starts at quarterback just has to manage the game enough for the defense to put them over the edge in this one.
Broncos vs. Cowboys (-9) - O/U 49.5
Prediction: Cowboys - Dak Prescott should return this Sunday and there’s no way I’m going against Dallas when they play a Broncos team that just lost one of the best defensive players in franchise history. Who is going to create pressure? Who is going to make those splash plays needed in every upset victory? As of now, you’ve got safety Justin Simmons and then no one.
Patriots (-3.5) vs. Panthers - O/U 41
Prediction: Patriots - The Patriots are a good football team and Mac Jones’ progression as a rookie has only raised their floor. The fact that they were able to beat the Chargers without him needing to throw a single touchdown tells you all you need to know about how well they’re coached because they set out with a game plan and executed it to perfection. The Panthers haven’t looked like the team to begin the year in well over a month so I have no faith they’ll figure it out this week, even with Christian McCaffrey potentially back before Sunday.
Vikings vs. Ravens (-6) - O/U 50
Prediction: Ravens - The Vikings defense just lost their best player in pass rusher Danielle Hunter. That’s enough for me to give this one to the Ravens. Hunter’s athleticism would have been one of the biggest ways for the defense to try and corral Lamar Jackson but without it, they just don’t have the right players to get it done. Linebacker Eric Kendricks going up against tight end Mark Andrews should be a fun matchup.
Browns vs. Bengals (-2.5) - O/U 46.5
Prediction: Browns - Regardless if OBJ is with the team or not, I think the Browns are as motivated as ever ahead of this game. The Bengals are coming off a loss to the Jets and I have a feeling that is just the blood in the water that the Browns need to feel like they can come away victorious. Cincy’s defense has been much improved, but this just feels like one of those games where Baker Mayfield will be at his best.
Bills (-14.5) vs. Jaguars - O/U 48.5
Prediction: Bills - Of course the Bills are winning this one. They’re one of the most-complete teams in the NFL and a team like that Jaguars has nothing going for them that should make anyone flinch at this matchup. Josh Allen should throw for a bunch of yards as he trots his way to another massive performance.
Texans vs. Dolphins (-6.5) - O/U 46.5
Prediction: Dolphins - Ever since their win over Jacksonville in week one, this Texans team has rarely looked competitive. At the same time, this Dolphins club has also looked nowhere near like they did a year ago when they won 10 games. Tua Tagovailoa had one of his better outings last week and I think that positive momentum should continue on Sunday.
Raiders (-3) vs. Giants - O/U 46.5
Prediction: Raiders - The resignation of Jon Gruden has almost been a really good for this team when you look at how they performed in a divisional game against the Broncos two weeks ago. They get the Giants who almost knocked off the Chiefs this past Monday. I believe that was likely a peak of New York’s season and they’ll come crashing down a bit against a Las Vegas squad that’s really pushing to be a contender this season.
Sunday Afternoon Games
Packers vs. Chiefs (-7.5) - O/U 48.5
Prediction: Chiefs - No Aaron Rodgers means no worries for the Chiefs. They’ll get second-year quarterback Jordan Love who was quickly forgotten as he slunk deep into the shadows of both Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow who were picked ahead of him in last year’s draft. The Chiefs defense has been horrid this year, but that won’t be enough for Love to outpace Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense.
Cardinals (-1.5) vs. 49ers - O/U 45
Prediction: Cardinals - The Cardinals looked very mortal against the Packers. Murray was certainly off and an injured DeAndre Hopkins definitely wasn’t his usual self. Those two slumped in what ended up being their first loss of the season. But with that extra rest following the Thursday night game, they should be ready to rock against a Niners team that’s still trying to make Jimmy G work for them consistently enough.
Sunday Night Football
Titans vs. Rams (-7.5) - O/U 54
Prediction: Rams - Without Derrick Henry, the Titans lost their best way to extend drives and shorten games against better opponents. The Rams are another complete team that will soon add a perennial All-Pro player on defense. I also don’t think the Titans have any player(s) that will be able to stop the connection between Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. I expect those two to have another big night.
Monday Night Football
Bears vs. Steelers (-6) - O/U 40
Prediction: Steelers - The Steelers showed a lot of good fight against the Browns this past Sunday and proved they can still hang with some of the best teams in this year. Mike Tomlin has still yet to finish a regular season with a losing record and we’d be wrong to assume this year would be the first. I think Justin Fields and the Bears took a step forward against the 49ers on Sunday but the Steelers are still plenty talented on defense. I believe Fields struggles and ultimately can’t push his team over the hump on Monday night.