Tony Mejia, Wagertalk.com, wt.buzz/tm, @MejiaDinero
Texans (1-3-1) at Raiders (1-4)
Time: 1:05 p.m., KLAS-8
Line/total: Raiders -7, 46
Analysis: Both teams have won once in five outings and are coming off byes, and bettors clearly believe that will aid both teams on the offensive end. This total has soared to 46 from 42 on the lookahead line and is expected to close as the largest number in a game involving Houston since last season’s 38-22 home loss to the Rams in Week 8. Texans rookie RB Dameon Pierce has scored touchdowns in three straight games. Raiders QB Derek Carr had his highest QB rating (110.6) this season in a 30-29 loss to the Chiefs before the bye and has thrown for six scores and just one interception over the past four games.
By the numbers: The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings. … The Texans are on a 6-1 run against the spread vs. the AFC. … The Raiders’ defense ranks 31st in turnovers forced and 28th in points per game allowed (26.0).
Pick: Raiders 30, Texans 24
Lions (1-4) at Cowboys (4-2)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Cowboys -6½, 49
Analysis: Backup QB Cooper Rush went 4-1 in place of Dak Prescott. But Dallas’ franchise quarterback is medically cleared to play following his Week 1 thumb fracture and won’t wear a brace or be on a pitch count in his return. The Lions rank last in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 34 ppg. They’re also 32nd in yards allowed and opponents’ third-down conversion percentage, completing the trifecta of defensive ineptitude. Coming off a bye, Detroit RB D’Andre Swift aims to play after being injured in Week 3, which would help his team’s chances of keeping pace with the Cowboys.
By the numbers: The Lions have lost 11 of their last 12 road games. … Detroit is on a 6-0 over run against the NFC. … Dallas is 7-0 ATS vs. teams with losing records. … The Cowboys have won the last four meetings (2-2 ATS).
Pick: Cowboys 34, Lions 23
Giants (5-1) at Jaguars (2-4)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Jaguars -3, 43½
Analysis: The Jaguars are favored despite the visiting Giants arriving in North Florida with one of the NFL’s top four records. New York is 4-0 as an underdog, 2-0 on the road and 3-0 in October, making first-year coach Brian Daboll the early clubhouse leader for coach of the year. Jacksonville’s next win under new coach Doug Pederson will match the team’s total for all of last season, and it went 1-15 in 2020. The Jags have led after the first quarter in three straight games but lost them all, getting outscored 76-30 the rest of the way.
By the numbers: Jacksonville has lost 18 straight games against NFC foes and is 4-39 against the NFC since 2012 (8-35 ATS). … The Jags are on a 6-1 under run at home. … The Giants are on a 5-1 cover streak despite ranking 31st in passing yards per game (154.3).
Pick: Jaguars 20, Giants 19
Colts (3-2-1) at Titans (3-2)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Titans -2½, 42
Analysis: The winner walks away with the AFC South lead. This is a Titans spot since they’re coming off a bye and won the first matchup in Indianapolis 24-17 on Oct. 2 behind a big game from RB Derrick Henry. The Colts are above .500 for the first time all season after beating the Jaguars last week. Indy gets RB Jonathan Taylor back after a two-week absence due to an ankle sprain suffered against the Titans, who held last year’s NFL rushing leader to 42 yards on 20 carries.
By the numbers: Tennessee has won and covered the last four meetings. … The under is 10-1 in the last 11 Colts games.
Pick: Colts 23, Titans 21
Falcons (3-3) at Bengals (3-3)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Bengals -6½, 47½
Analysis: These teams have identical records, but the Falcons’ success has been surprising, while the defending AFC champion Bengals being .500 is considered disappointing. That the rest of the AFC North is also struggling has been a saving grace for Cincinnati, which has struggled with offensive line issues and is 0-3 in games decided by three points or fewer. The Bengals haven’t surrendered a second-half touchdown, so things could definitely be worse. Atlanta’s preseason win total was set at 4½, but it has thrived due to one of the league’s top rushing attacks and consistent success on third down and in the red zone.
By the numbers: Ecstatic Falcons backers treating you to lunch have likely told you they’re 6-0 ATS this season. … The under is 10-1 in Bengals games. … Atlanta is 30th in passing offense and 31st in pass defense. … Cincinnati is 3-0 ATS as a favorite.
Pick: Bengals 30, Falcons 20
Browns (2-4) at Ravens (3-3)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Ravens -6, 45½
Analysis: Both AFC North rivals rested veterans midweek and are nursing banged-up rosters back to health. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (hip) will play, but a lot of his skill position guys are gutting it through ailments, which is one reason the team has been so inconsistent. Another issue has been pass defense, which uncharacteristically ranks 28th in the NFL. Baltimore has blown double-digit leads in three of its six games.
By the numbers: The Ravens have won and covered four of the last five meetings. … Baltimore is 34-12 straight-up against Cleveland. … The Browns lead the NFL in rushing offense (172.0 ypg). … The over is 5-1 in Cleveland games.
Pick: Ravens 26, Browns 20
Buccaneers (3-3) at Panthers (1-5)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/total: Bucs -13, 39½
Analysis: The Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule after an 11-29 run and on Thursday traded the face of the franchise, star RB Christian McCaffrey, to the 49ers. A lucrative package of draft picks are headed Carolina’s way, so expect to see the team in tank mode the rest of the way. Tampa Bay has dropped three of four as Tom Brady has struggled behind a porous offensive line, so it could use a feel-good win before opening a challenging three-game homestand against the Ravens on Thursday. Since Brady’s 2020 arrival, Tampa had lost to only two teams with losing records before last week’s stunning 20-18 upset loss in Pittsburgh.
By the numbers: Tampa Bay is on a 6-1 ATS run against the Panthers, outscoring them 150-63 the past two seasons. … The Bucs have the NFL’s worst rushing offense (67.5 ypg). … P.J. Walker will start at QB for Carolina despite throwing for only 60 yards on 10-for-16 passing at the Rams.
Pick: Bucs 36, Panthers 13
Packers (3-3) at Commanders (2-4)
Time: 10 a.m., KVVU-5
Line/total: Packers -4½, 41½
Analysis: Green Bay has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since December 2018 and could fall under .500 here after losing to the Giants in London and to the Jets at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers’ next interception will match his total for all of last season, and his QB rating is at a career low by a wide margin. The Commanders would be on a five-game losing streak if Chicago hadn’t fouled up three trips inside the 5-yard line in Washington’s 12-7 win on Oct. 13. Commanders QB Carson Wentz had surgery on a broken finger, so backup Taylor Heinicke will start.
By the numbers: The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings. … The Packers are 10-1 ATS after a loss under coach Matt LaFleur, though the defeat came last week against the Jets.
Pick: Packers 23, Commanders 17
Jets (4-2) at Broncos (2-4)
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Line/total: Jets -1, 38
Analysis: The Jets have impressively gone 3-0 on the road, pulling upsets of the Browns, Steelers and Packers. They haven’t won in their last three trips to Denver and have been outscored 49-0 in their last two visits. But they won’t have to deal with Broncos QB Russell Wilson, who is out with a hamstring injury. Brett Rypien will start for Denver and has to be wary of a New York defense that ranks fifth in forcing turnovers. Melvin Gordon will start at running back despite getting only three carries in Monday’s OT loss to the Chargers.
By the numbers: Jets rookie RB Breece Hall has scored in three straight games and has 318 yards from scrimmage in his last two. … The Broncos have the NFL’s stingiest scoring defense (15.2 ppg). … Denver is on a 5-1 under run.
Pick: Jets 20, Broncos 19
Chiefs (4-2) at 49ers (3-3)
Time: 1:25 p.m., KVVU-5
Line/total: Chiefs -1, 48½
Analysis: Sunday’s marquee matchup will likely see RB Christian McCaffrey make his 49ers debut as he was able to practice with San Francisco on Friday. Expect him to be involved in goal-line packages. San Francisco will likely need to score to keep up with the Chiefs since several defensive starters are out. But it looks like defensive end Nick Bosa will play.
By the numbers: The 49ers rank second in the NFL in pass defense (168.3 ypg), rush defense (87.5 ypg) and scoring defense (14.8 ppg allowed). … San Francisco is on an 8-1 under run. … The Chiefs are on a 14-1 SU run against the NFC.
Pick: Chiefs 27, 49ers 24
Seahawks (3-3) at Chargers (4-2)
Time: 1:25 p.m.
Line/total: Chargers -5, 50
Analysis: The Chargers have won three straight despite losing their top pass rusher in Joey Bosa and best OT in Rashawn Slater. Top WR Keenan Allen (hamstring), who has been out since Los Angeles’ season-opening win over the Raiders, will be a game-time decision. Seattle has surrendered an average of 37 points in its three road games but gave up a season-low nine points in last week’s win over Arizona. Seahawks rookie RB Kenneth Walker III has scored TDs in consecutive weeks, amassing 185 yards on just 29 carries (6.37 average).
By the numbers: Seattle ranks 31st in the NFL in run defense (165.8 ypg) and is tied for 29th in scoring defense (27.2 ppg allowed). … The road team is 5-0 ATS in games involving the Chargers, who don’t have much of a homefield edge at SoFi Stadium.
Pick: Chargers 31, Seahawks 30
Steelers (2-4) at Dolphins (3-3)
Time: 5:20 p.m., KSNV-3
Line/total: Dolphins -7½, 45½
Analysis: Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa returns from a concussion suffered on Sept. 29. Miami has gone 0-3 without him despite WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle amassing over 100 yards in the same game twice and combining for 834 yards on 80 catches. The return of the Dolphins’ top QB is bad news for a Steelers secondary that has been gashed for 277.8 passing yards per game (30th). But safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will return for Pittsburgh, in addition to a couple of key cornerbacks who missed the Steelers’ upset of Tampa Bay.
By the numbers: Despite using three different starting QBs, Miami ranks No. 2 in the NFL in passing yards per game (285.0). … The Dolphins have won eight of their last nine home games. … Pittsburgh is on a 1-4 ATS skid.
Pick: Dolphins 27, Steelers 19
Bears (2-4) at Patriots (3-3)
Time: 5:15 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Line/total: Patriots -8, 39½
Analysis: The NFL thought this would be an attractive prime-time matchup. But it’s the first Monday night game of the season, outside of Week 1, in which neither team has a winning record. New England opened 1-3 but got back to .500 with blowout wins over the Lions and Browns that were started by rookie QB Bailey Zappe. It remains to be seen whether he keeps the starting job since Mac Jones (ankle) is ready to return. The Bears have averaged just 15.5 points per game thanks to brutal offensive line play, but do own the NFL’s third-ranked pass defense (178.7 ypg allowed).
By the numbers: The Patriots are on a 7-1 over run at home. … New England is 5-1 ATS as a home favorite. … Chicago has lost the last five meetings.
Pick: Patriots 27, Bears 12