Adam's Past Picks
The first line of Jay-Z’s “Ride or Die” comes to me here … “I’m rollin’ with Roc-A-Fella, man.” And that’s what I’m doing Monday night, ride or die, I’m rollin’ with this Dobbs fella, man. The Bears looked impressive last week taking the Lions to their limit, though they ultimately lost. What impresses me about Minnesota is how the defense has stepped up creating avenues for Joshua Dobbs and the offense to make impactful plays. The Vikings have covered six straight. This will be decided by which team gets more pressure on the QB, and I like Brian Flores to get his guys in Justin Fields’ head – and pocket – all game. I’m rollin’ … wait, you already know who I’m rollin’ with here.
Sunday night stands as the Chargers' last gasp at relevancy this season, while the Ravens enter the tilt having lost Mark Andrews but getting two questionable wide receivers back for the game. Baltimore's defense has made its hay against inferior teams, but Los Angeles struggles with above .500 (0-3 ATS streak). The Chargers are also 0-3 ATS as underdogs this year. The Ravens should run up and down the field, and thanks to the Chargers' awful secondary, Lamar Jackson should have little issue making plays with his arm, too. This could start out close, but look for Baltimore to pull away in the second half.
The Eagles have obviously been tremendous this season, while the Bills looked last week to have found their form again after an ugly stretch. Buffalo is getting too much credit for running through a terrible Jets team at home. On the road, the Bills are 1-3 this season with the lone win at Washington. The Eagles can keep up with high-powered offenses and overcome hard-nosed defenses. Philadelphia will lose again before the season is out, but it won't be this week. Not against Buffalo's weak D and turnover-prone Josh Allen. The line dropping under a field goal provides extra value.
Two teams trending in the right direction, one with an elite defense starting a rookie quarterback in his first career road game, the other with an improving defense starting a veteran at home. This game is all about ball protection. The Broncos are surging with takeaways, while the Browns can’t help but cough it up. Cleveland has one of the worst offenses in the league and now has Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who has yet to throw a touchdown pass, at Mile High? Russell Wilson is hardly my favorite QB to back, but his mobility brings a key element. The Browns are only allowing 10.2 points per game at home but a whopping 29.8 per game on the road this season.
Neither the Rams nor the Cardinals enter particularly healthy, though signs are pointing to Los Angeles having both Cooper Kupp and Kyren Williams active. The latter is actually more important for the Rams given the Cards' atrocious run defense. We hae consistently seen Arizona struggle against competent offenses this season, and with Matthew Stafford back having most of his pieces, that is how LA should be categorized. The Rams have dominated this divisional rivalry and should cover the field goal. This is less enticing should it to go -3 before kickoff.
The line is right here given the Texans and Jaguars enter as somewhat evenly matched teams. Houston has largely dominated this rivalry with a 10-1 edge straight up since 2018; it is also 4-1 ATS in the last five and 8-3 ATS in those last 11 meetings. The Texans are at home catching a point looking to continue their winning streak. We have seen the Jaguars take advantage of poor offensive teams, but when the competition steps up, the secondary fails. Look for a big day from C.J. Stroud and a Texans cover, though it may be a nail-biter through the finish.
Undoubtedly an interesting matchup given the Steelers offensive struggles and the Bengals playing with Jake Browning behind center. Though Browning looked capable in his limited time last week, going up against the Steelers and Mike Tomlin in this spot is not ideal. Yes, I said the same last week about Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but it was the Browns defense that won that game. Pittsburgh's offense and Jaylen Warren should be rejuvenated with a new offensive play caller, even if minimally. The Steelers are 3-0 straight up and ATS after losses this season with six straight ATS covers after defeats under Tomlin. Pittsburgh under a field goal in a slugfest makes sense.
Any problems the Colts have had passing should be alleviated with Indianapolis not only coming off the bye but facing a suspect Tampa Bay secondary that is down numerous starters. The Colts are healthy and rested, and they should be able to control this game on the ground with Jonathan Taylor, especially given the Buccaneers are playing their second straight road game. Indy has covered four straight games off byes.
Michigan has won 22 straight Big Ten games. Ohio State is 24-2 in the same span. The difference was defense, and it’s where OSU has improved most. There’s an intrinsic motivator with the Wolverines fighting for suspended coach Jim Harbaugh, but Michigan is 1-4 ATS in his absence. The Buckeyes have been stewing for two years, and Ryan Day has figured out how to rally his team. Ohio State has been tested, and it's trending up while Michigan is trending down. J.J. McCarthy hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Oct. 21 and has totaled 201 yards passing over the last two weeks. Look for OSU to pressure McCarthy early and often. +3.5 (-120) or better is best, but take the FG and a moneyline sprinkle.
Despite being at home on Thanksgiving, which is a motivator for any team, the Seahawks are in a tough spot here starting with Geno Smith being seriously banged up. While Zach Charbonnet has been impressive, there's a reason Kenneth Walker III is the bell-cow back (he's out). The 49ers are a different offense with Deebo Samuel healthy, and while I like them to put up four touchdowns, I'm not sure the Seahawks will be able to hang more than a couple. Plus, the Niners have won three straight head-to-head by double digits. I'll take the healthier, fresher, better team on a short week.
Would not be surprised to see this line surge to -8.5 before kickoff due to the momentum of the Lions and number of Thanksgiving players. This actually feels like a buy-low spot for Detroit given its defensive performance last week and the Packers' win. Unlike Chicago, Green Bay does not have a player that can beat Detroit over the top, and the Packers will be missing arguably their top offensive weapon in Aaron Jones. It's tough to beat an opponent twice in the same season, but the Lions won by double digits at Lambeau Field in Week 4 and have only gotten better since. Also a fan of Lions -1.5 / 49ers -1 as a Turkey Day Wong Teaser. Might go two units on that.
Arguably the game of the 2023 regular season goes down Monday night with a Super Bowl rematch in Kansas City. Andy Reid is 31-6 SU (21-3 in the regular season) and 23-14 ATS with extra rest, and Patrick Mahomes is stellar covering -2.5 or lower 77% of the time in his career. (Sorry folks, but we also know how Travis Kelce plays with Taylor Swift in attendance, too.) To be fair, Nick Sirianni is 3-0 SU off the bye, but the Chiefs are also at home in primetime. My biggest concern remains their lack of explosive playmakers at the receiver position, but KC’s defense has significantly impressed. If the Chiefs can slow down or stop the run, they win this game and cover.
The Vikings have been undervalued for weeks following the loss of Justin Jefferson, yet all they have done is cover five straight -- all outright wins. The Broncos have impressed with three straight victories and covers, including the true shocker over the Chiefs, but their success has largely come by forcing turnovers, which are never a sure thing. Denver continues to struggle offensively, while Minnesota’s play action passing game takes advantage of the hosts’ greatest defensive weakness. Brian Flores has done a solid job turning around an attacking Vikings defense, and Russell Wilson struggles against the rush. Wait as long as you can and try to get this at +3, but it’s still worth a play at +2.5.
The Seahawks, behind Geno Smith, have been a pleasant surprise this season, but Sean McVay has had the number of Pete Carroll since he took over the Rams. Los Angeles not only has the apparent coaching edge in this matchup, it is coming off a bye with Matthew Stafford finally returning behind center. Seattle's defense is not good enough to contain all of the Rams' weapons, and while this line has shifted as the week progressed, I like Aaron Donald to create enough havoc in the backfield. for La to take a must-win game as it hangs onto the last shred of hope to make the playoffs.
Not immensely in love with the Jaguars in this spot, but it does feel like the right side coming off the shellacking at the hands of the 49ers. The Titans consistently lose by more than a touchdown to quality offensive teams, and we know Jacksonville can move the ball, even with Trevor Lawrence a bit limited. Mostly it is the Jags ability to stop the run and limit Derrick Henry that has me siding with them in this spot. This is Tennessee's third straight road game with a rookie quarterback, and Jacksonville badly needs a win to maintain its position in the AFC playoff picture.