Season results: 104-96-5 against the spread; 24-11-5 against the cats (see video above).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ St. Louis Rams
The Rams offense revolves around rookie running back Todd Gurley, but the Bucs only allow 3.4 yards per carry — the second fewest in the NFL.
Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 59.4 percent
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5
New York Jets @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have a combined 79.4 passer rating and a 1-8 record this season without Tony Romo under center. Romo is out again this week.
Winner: New York Jets, 65.2 percent
Pick: New York Jets -3
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Houston’s defensive front ranks 12th for adjusted sack rate (7 percent), which gives sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. So no matter who the Colts’ quarterback is, he will be under pressure quite a bit in the pocket.
Winner: Houston Texans, 53.2 percent
Pick: No line posted until Indy’s quarterback situation is resolved
Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Falcons are in a free fall, losing their last six after winning six of their first seven games. Quarterback Matt Ryan is a large part of those struggles and just hasn’t been as effective as he was during the first month of the season.
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars, 57.2 percent
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars -3
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
This could be a big game for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson: the Bears rank dead last in the percentage of runs they stop at or behind the line of scrimmage (68 percent).
Winner: Minnesota Vikings, 64.7 percent
Pick: Minnesota Vikings –5.5
Green Bay Packers @ Oakland Raiders
The improvement of the Raiders’ defense has been overlooked this season.
Winner: Oakland Raiders, 52.5 percent
Pick: Oakland Raiders +3
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
It’s tempting to take Tennessee and the points against a banged up Patriots squad, but the Titans rank 30th of 32 teams in Football Outsiders’ efficiency metrics.
Winner: New England Patriots, 73.9 percent
Pick: New England Patriots –14
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
This matchup will hinge on how well Giant’s wideout Odell Beckham Jr. does against cornerback Josh Norman. Give the edge to Norman, whose passer rating against (43.1) is almost as good as an incomplete pass (39.6).
Winner: Carolina Panthers, 62.8 percent
Pick: New York Giants +5.5
Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have won two big games in a row, but they’ve gained only 4.7 yards per play in a league in which the average is 5.5.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals, 60.5 percent
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -3.5
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
Alex Smith struggles under pressure: his passer rating drops from 109.3 to 62.9 in the face of a pass rush. A few key plays by the Ravens could keep this one close.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs, 64.9 percent
Pick: Baltimore Ravens +7.5
Buffalo Bills @ Washington Redskins
There isn’t as much as stake for Washington as you might think, but the Redskins are going to want to run the ball against the Bills’ 20th-ranked rush defense (4.2 yards per carry). To get there, the Redskins have to take the lead, because they just don’t run the ball often when behind on the scoreboard.
Winner: Buffalo Bills, 57.2 percent
Pick: Buffalo Bills +1
Cleveland Browns @ Seattle Seahawks
Seattle, behind the play of Russell Wilson, is the top team per Football Outsiders’ weighted Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a measure of a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every play to a league average based on situation and opponent, with extra emphasis on recent performance.
Winner: Seattle Seahawks, 72.4 percent
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -14.5
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver has a historically great defense, but the offense continues to sputter.
Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers, 57.3 percent
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers –6.5
Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers
The Dolphins have now been out-gained in net yards per play for seven straight weeks.
Winner: San Diego Chargers, 53.1 percent
Pick: San Diego Chargers -1.5
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco 49ers
The loss of quarterback Andy Dalton hurts the Bengals’ Super Bowl chances, but not their ability to beat the 49ers. Backup A.J. McCarron averaged 8.8 yards per attempt with two touchdowns against a stout Pittsburgh defense last week.
Winner: Cincinnati Bengals, 70.6 percent
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -4.5
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson should do a lot of damage against a New Orleans defense that surrenders the highest net yards per pass (7.7) in the NFL.
Winner: Detroit Lions, 56.4 percent
Pick: Detroit Lions +3