Redskins at Panthers (-7 ½, 45) – 1:00 PM EST
Two undefeated teams remain in the NFL as Carolina (9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS) stayed unbeaten cruising past Tennessee, 27-10 as 3 ½-point road favorites. The Panthers’ defense limited Tennessee to 242 yards of offense as Ron Rivera’s team owns a perfect 4-0 ATS record away from Bank of America Stadium. Carolina has scored at least 27 points in seven straight games, resulting in five ‘overs,’ but the two non-covers for the Panthers came as a favorite of five points or more against the Colts and Saints.
Which Washington team will we see this week? The Redskins (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS) go for consecutive wins for the first time this season after blasting the defenseless Saints last Sunday, 47-14 as one-point home underdogs. Kirk Cousins lit up the New Orleans secondary for four touchdown passes, as the Redskins scored a season-high in points in spite of kicking four field goals. Washington has yet to win a game away from FedEx Field, posting a dreadful 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS record on the highway, while losing three straight visits to Charlotte dating back to 2003.
Colts at Falcons (-5 ½, 47 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
The AFC South race will come down to the finish, but it’s not exactly the battle of Titans. Following Jacksonville’s victory over Tennessee on Thursday, the Jaguars pulled within one-game of the Colts and Texans for the top spot in the division. Indianapolis (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS) has endured a rough season from an injury standpoint, mainly franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, who is out until at least December after suffering a lacerated kidney in a home underdog win over previously undefeated Denver two weeks ago.Matt Hasselbeck gets the nod under center for the Colts, as the veteran quarterback has won each of his first two starts, beating the Jaguars and Texans, as Indianapolis owns a perfect 4-0 ATS record in the underdog role this season.
The 5-0 start for Atlanta (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) seems like a distant memory as the Falcons have lost three of their past four games to drop three behind the Panthers in the NFC South race. The quality of opponents that Dan Quinn’sclub has lost to is even more perplexing, dropping games to the Buccaneers and 49ers the last few weeks, while scoring just 36 combined points in those losses. Atlanta is riding a five-game ATS skid, as the Falcons are facing the Colts for the first time since 2011 when they went into Indianapolis and routed the Colts, 31-7 as 6 ½-point favorites (Sidebar – the Curtis Painter-led Colts in their 2-14 season).
Jets (-3, 40 ½) at Texans – 1:00 PM EST
It’s going to be a slugfest towards the end for the two Wild Card spots in the AFC, as New York (5-4 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) has lost three of its last four games following a 4-1 start. The Jets fell short last Thursday night against the rival Bills, 22-17 as New York scored a couple of late touchdowns to make the final score misleading. Todd Bowles’ team has lost their last two games away from Met Life Stadium to the Patriots and Raiders, as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will start following minor surgery on his non-throwing thumb. The Jets have won five of six lifetime matchups with the Texans, while making their first trip to Houston since opening day of the 2009 season in a 24-7 triumph.
Houston (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS) is starting to turn the corner in a positive direction, handing Cincinnati its first loss of the season last Monday night in a 10-6 upset as 10-point road underdogs. The defense has been the key to this sudden turnaround, not allowing a touchdown in the past eight quarters, a major improvement since giving up 44 points at Miami in Week 7. On the offensive side, the Texans will be sending out their third different starting quarterback of the season as T.J. Yates starts in place of Brian Hoyer, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms. The Texans have struggled in the underdog role in the Bill O’Brien regime, compiling a 5-8 ATS record, including a 1-3 ATS mark as a home ‘dog.
Broncos (-1, 41) at Bears – 1:00 PM EST
It’s a precarious time for the AFC West leaders as Denver (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) looks to snap a two-game skid heading to Soldier Field. Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s NFL record for most passing yards in a career, but the Broncos’ quarterback threw four interceptions and left the game with a foot injury in last Sunday’s 29-13 home setback to the Chiefs. With Manning sidelined, Brock Osweiler gets his first crack to start for the Broncos, who are 0-3 ATS in their last three opportunities as a favorite. The Broncos have lost two of their last road games against NFC foes since 2014 with the lone victory coming at Detroit in Week 3.
John Fox led the Broncos to four consecutive AFC West titles from 2011-14, but mutually parted ways the franchise after losing to the Colts in the AFC Divisional playoffs this past January. Fox took over as head coach of the Bears (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS), falling into an early 0-3 hole after facing three playoff teams from last season. Chicago has rebounded nicely with wins in four of its past six games, including three victories against AFC West competition. The Bears scored a season-high 37 points in last Sunday’s 24-point blowout of the Rams, while the only two losses in this six-game stretch came by three points each to the Vikings and Lions.
Packers at Vikings (-1, 44 ½) – 4:25 PM EST
The NFC North race was Green Bay’s to lose in October, but the Packers (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) are looking up at the Vikings in the division. The Packers went from a 6-0 start to three consecutive losses, capped off by a shocking 18-16 setback to the dreadful Lions as 10 ½-point favorites last Sunday. Mike McCarthy’s club covered each of the first five games of the season, but are 0-4 ATS the past four contests, while being listed as an underdog for the first time in 2015. Since 2011, the Packers have won seven of nine matchups with the Vikings, including a two-game sweep last season.
Besides the undefeated Patriots and Panthers, the next hottest team in the NFL is Minnesota (7-2 SU, 8-1 ATS), who has won seven of its past eight games since an opening night loss at San Francisco. The Vikings cruised past the Raiders, 30-14 last Sunday as three-point road underdogs, while holding eight of nine opponents to 20 points or less (‘under’ is 7-1-1 this season). Minnesota is perfect at TCF Bank Stadium with a 4-0 SU/ATS record, while winning seven straight home games since last November with the previous home defeat coming to Green Bay in a 24-21 setback.