Last Week 2-2
This week offers four games that have really interesting trends and stories behind them. I love a couple of road dogs this week and a home one as well. Check them out and see if you agree.
San Diego (+3) at Tennessee – Since 2007, the Chargers have defeated the Titans in seven straight games. Many of those were games that weren’t really that close either. San Diego is also 5-0 straight up against the Titans in the last five meetings and Tennessee is 0-5 against the spread in the last five meetings with the Bolts as well.
Both teams could make arguments that they should each be 2-0 on the young season with disappointing, late-game losses to go with their wins. The Chargers came east last week and beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a 1pm start and they’ll face a similar situation today. Therefore, don’t expect any excuses. I love the Chargers getting three here.
Indianapolis at San Francisco (-10) – The 49ers are 8-0 under Jim Harbaugh following a loss or tie and that’s exactly what they face in this spot. The common theme in those rebounds has been great defense and wins that have average margins of 17 points. San Francisco has had to deal with the arrest of Aldon Smith on drunk driving and marijuana possession charges, but Harbaugh has said he will play and let the league handle the discipline.
The Colts were of course in the news last week acquiring Trent Richardson from the Browns for a first-round pick next spring. While Indy possess plenty of weapons, this is the perfect situation for a bounce-back victory for the Niners following their butt-whipping in Seattle. I really do like the 49ers here.
Buffalo (+3) at NY Jets – These two AFC East foes enter at 1-1 and both have reason to believe they could easily be 2-0. Both of those losses came to division rival New England and both the Jets and Bills had opportunities to knock off the Pats. This will be rookie E.J. Manuel’s first game on the road so I expect a little anxiety at the beginning.
The Jets are Geno Smith’s team now with Mark Sanchez on the injured reserve list. While he hasn’t been brilliant, he has done plenty of good things too. New York is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven meetings with the Bills at home. While the Jets’ defense will pose problems, I can see the pass rush of Buffalo doing the same to the Jets offense. I expect a close game and like the Bills getting the three.
Chicago at Pittsburgh (+3) – It’s hard to call the third game of the season a ‘must-win’ game but it really is a ‘must-win’ for the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 0-2, the Steelers have scored a grand total of 19 points in two games and have not forced a turnover on defense. Chicago enters at 2-0 with two wins by a combined margin of four points. Jay Cutler said this week he knows his team could just as easily be 0-2 like the Steelers.
I have to believe the Steelers will find a way to muster up some points despite the aggressive Bears’ defense. The Steelers have been an impressive 15-5 straight up in their last 20 games at home. On the flip side, they are just 2-4 against the spread in their last six games against Chicago. With that said, I’ll be shocked if the Steelers don’t give a great effort. Take the points and go with Pittsburgh.