Titans @ Steelers -1
James Conner (anytime touchdown scorer ARI @ DET)
Packers -8 @ Ravens
Bengals @ Broncos OVER 44
Jets @ Dolphins (ML)
Pittsburgh has been designated as the conductor of the upset train this season. The last 8 weeks of their schedule are against contenders, and while Mike Tomlin is currently on the outside looking in, you can rest assured that he has vested interest in preparing his team to knock opponents off their track to the playoffs. The locomotive stays at its local station today, but will still get rolling. Aside from getting dominated by the Bengals in week 12 (41-10), the Steelers have proven to be a gruesome matchup against those in the playoff picture, and you can expect that trend to continue today. Without Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, the Titans lose a lot of their glimmer. Tennessee will have to dig deep against Pittsburgh if they wish to claim the 1-seed from Kansas City this week.
James Conner has scored at least one touchdown in 9 of the past 11 weeks, and although the Cardinals RB2, Chase Edmonds, returns to action from the IR this week, it seems a safe bet to count on Conner to find the promise land in Detroit. The Lions are in the bottom five in terms of defensive rankings against the run, and in the top five for touchdowns allowed this season. Arizona, traveling from one dome to another, should have zero problem putting a beat down on Detroit in the morning slate.
Packers -8 @ Ravens. Frankly, without Lamar Jackson under center, there’s not a ton to be excited about as a Ravens fan. The defense has been great against the run, ranked number one in the league for opponent rushing yards allowed, but they’ve struggled mightily against the pass. They are giving up the second most passing yards per game (266) this year, ahead of only the Seattle defense which really stinks. Considering it is Aaron Rodgers taking snaps across from the Ravens today, this is the MONEY IN THE BANK game of the week. It’s always tough to cover on the road in the NFL, and particularly in Baltimore, but you better believe Rodgers and Co. are locked in on that NFC 1-seed and forcing that side of the bracket to come through Lambo. Whooping up on a division leader will fuel them up big time for the final three weeks of the season.
Bengals @ Broncos OVER 44. The Denver defense is legit, and their most depth is displayed in the secondary. Cincinnati, on the other hand, has a stable of thoroughbreds for pass catchers. It’s a clash of mid-tier titans in the Rocky Mountains today, and I expect some fireworks. The Broncos won’t be able to double everyone, and Joe Burrow has proven his ability to thread the needle. Additionally, the Bengals are top-five in rushing defense, allowing less than 100 yards per game to opponents, but the Broncos 1-2 punch on the ground is nasty. Last week (against the Lions, granted) Melvin Gordon had 24 carries for 111 and 2 TD’s; Javonte Williams complimented that effort with 15 carries for 73 and a score. Expect Denver to find a way to make space for one or both of those cats today in order to either set the tone or manage the clock. All things considered, this feels like a 51 point ball game between a Cinci team trying to hold position, and a Denver team trying to join the party.
Dolphins -500 hosting the Jets is the highest payout odds of the blowout games this week and just got sprinkled in as booster. Zach Wilson could have his breakout game and ruin everything today, but the Miami run defense has been top-ten all year, so it will come entirely down to him. My belief in that coming to fruition is slim to none. Let’s go Phins.