I’m normally one who loves backing underdogs, but last week I dipped my toe into the favorite pond with Denver and Miami and promptly got screwed. Par for the course. It was a big week for ‘dogs, particularly in the 1 p.m. ET hour. Once those 1 p.m. ET games were over with, underdogs were 10-0 ATS, and I was already in the red for the weekend. Promise I’ll try harder this week.
2017 NFL ATS Record
Chicago Bears +7.5 at Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers has had himself a great career against the Bears. But he’s got a tremendous problem right now along his offensive line. Jordan McCray has been forced into a starting role just months after playing with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. He was a mess in arena football, and he isn’t any better here in the NFL. The Bears got incredibly lucky last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning a game in which they completed just one pass to a wide receiver. I don’t think they’re going to win this game, but this is a lot of points to be getting in this one, especially knowing that Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are going to try to make this game as short as possible with the ground game.
Baltimore Ravens +2 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Ravens were absolutely at their worst last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, but it isn’t like Pittsburgh was any better last week against a terrible Chicago team. Both clubs were probably too busy thinking ahead to this game, and it’s hard to blame them. These two teams hate each other, and the games are always incredibly close. With the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns both firmly train wrecks right now, this game should be one that helps decide the AFC North crown. The likelihood that Joe Flacco plays two consecutive horrible games is pretty slim, and we know this defense is going to want to show itself in better form than it did in London. Even if the Ravens don’t win this week, there’s a bit of a buffer in the event of a super close game. Those two points might end up being valuable.
San Francisco 49ers +7.5 at Arizona Cardinals – Are the Cardinals really good enough to be favored by more than a touchdown against any team in the NFL? I don’t think so. Carson Palmer doesn’t look like a man with any confidence whatsoever, and outside of Larry Fitzgerald, there isn’t a wide receiver on this outfit that I would trust. Without David Johnson in the fold, the ground game is atrocious. Plus, the defense isn’t anything to write home about either. The 49ers played a great game against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football and seem to be at least a little bit confident. The Niners can win this game SU.