Let's go ahead and get right to it.
Buffalo (-6) over the Bengals. I don't really truly believe the Bengals are as bad as they were against the 49ers last week, but I sure don't believe they're that good.
I'm really not sure I believe the Bills are that good either, but in a shrinking field of AFC hopefuls with three more games against either Miami and the Jets, could I see them getting to nine or ten wins and getting to the playoffs?
I'm trying desperately to find a clear-cut advantage for the Bengals this Sunday, and I'm struggling to fine one. Andy Dalton has played capably, and John Ross has been a bit of a revelation, at least for some, but this was a Buffalo defense that was second in the NFL in DVOA pass defense in 2018, and with the absence of the running game combined with a Buffalo D that's one drive away from back-to-back good performances against Le'Veon Bell and Saquon Barkley, I don't trust the Bengals to be as productive as needed.
And even if the defensive effort we saw against San Francisco will prove to be an extreme example of the unit's overall suckage, this Bengals' defense is still not going to be very good.
The Bills finally have some skill guys worth worrying about, they have an improving Josh Allen, and Frank Gore is almost my age yet still finds a way to keep being productive.
If the Bengals win, we will go into full-on optimism mode, considering the fact that a game with the Roethlisberger-less Steelers looms. It will help if Kansas City and the Rams do what many expect.
Problem is, I don't expect the Bengals to win.Or, for that matter, cover.
At 0-3, I'll relaunch my tank takes from the spring.
I'm not looking forward to that.
I don't bet against the Bengals, but if I did, I'd feel good about my choice.
Bills 24 Bengals 17
New England (-22) over the Jets. I just don't see how the Jets move the ball. I'm leaning toward taking the under.
Baltimore (+5.5) over Kansas City. The Ravens run it a lot. They'll run it even more to keep this one close.
Indy (-1.5) over Atlanta. The Colts have been profitable even with their geriatric kicker leaving points on the field. Everyone is over-valuing Atlanta. Give me the team with the better offensive line and an old man kicker who gets things straightened out.
Minnesota (-9) over Oakland. The Vikings' defense was legit in week one, and slightly less legit in week two, but give me the team with the better D, the healthier featured running back, and the one that doesn't have John Gruden.
Georga (-14.5) over Notre Dame. If New Mexico gained 4.6 yards per carry against the Irish, what will the Bulldogs manage?
Pitt (+12.5) over UCF. Ride the horse until it stops. Or something like that.
Wisconsin (-3) over Michigan. Since 2005, top-25 home favorites coming off a bye have covered 62 percent of the time.
Oklahoma State (+7) over Texas. Longhorns give up too many yards per play for me to not take points with an efficient offense.
2019 NFL Mark: 8-4
2019 College Mark: 8-7
Enjoy your weekend.