Resident handicapper Vegas Vic and the rest of the staff pick this week's games.
Quick hit: Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffin can become the first player ever to record a sack in each of his team's first nine games. He, Dwight Freeney (2009) and Robert Mathis (2005) are the only players to do so in the first eight. Freeney and Mathis were each playing for the Colts.
Vikings vs. spread: 5-3
Redskins vs. spread: 3-5
Vegas Vic's take: The kids from D.C. have covered seven of the last nine as a home underdog (a sweet 78% winning rate), and should be ready to rumble after an embarrassing loss to the Cowboys at FedEx Field a few weeks ago.
Quick hit: With Mitch Trubisky vs. Brett Hundley, is it any wonder this is the lowest over/under on this week's board?
Packers vs. spread: 3-5
Bears vs. spread: 5-3
Vegas Vic's take: Don't wanna sound like a broken record, but ain't playing Green Bay till Aaron Rodgers is driving the car.
Quick hit: Seven of Pittsburgh's eight games have been under. The most combined points scored in a Steelers game was in Week 8 when they beat Cincinnati, 29-14. Two of the last three for Indy also have been under.
Steelers vs. spread: 5-3
Colts vs. spread: 5-4
Vegas Vic's take: Obviously, Pittsburgh is the better team, but Indy has shown some spunk with two straight covers. Buy Horseshoes.
Quick hit: This is the Chargers' third trip this season to the East Coast. The beat the Giants outright as a 3-point 'dog in Week 5 and failed to cover 6.5 in a 21-13 loss at New England.
Chargers vs. spread: 3-4-1
Jaguars vs. spread: 5-3
Vegas Vic's take: Jacksonville has outscored its last two opponents, 50-7. Call that domination, and call this a cover.
Quick hit: Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at quarterback for the Buccaneers as Jameis Winston recovers from a shoulder injury. Fitzy is 46-69-1 outright in his career. His records by team chronologically: Rams (0-3); Bengals (4-7-1); Bills (20-33); Titans (3-6); Texans (6-6); Jets (13-14).
Jets vs. spread: 6-2-1
Buccaneers vs. spread: 1-6-1
Vegas Vic's take: This is a battle of exes. New York starting quarterback Josh McCown played down in Tampa in 2014. Bucs starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played for the Jets in 2015 and 2016. While each would like to beat the snot out of his former team, it's McCown and the New Yorkers who get the nod. Why? How about a money-making 6-0-1 record against the spread the last seven weeks?
Quick hit: The Bengals offense is last in total yards, last in rushing yards and 28th in passing yards.
Bengals vs. spread: 3-5
Titans vs. spread: 3-4-1
Vegas Vic's take: Tennessee has not been very profitable as a favorite, covering only five of the last 16.
Quick hit: The Saints are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win six in a row after starting 0-2. The other two — the 1993 Cowboys and the 2007 Giants — each went on to win the Super Bowl.
Saints vs. spread: 6-2
Bills vs. spread: 4-2-2
Vegas Vic's take: Everything is falling into place for New Orleans, but this trip to Buffalo is gonna be a little bumpy.
Quick hit: The quarterbacks the Browns have drafted since 2009, the year Detroit selected Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick: DeShone Kizer (2017/2nd round), Cody Kessler (2016/3rd), Johnny Manziel (2014/1st), Brandon Weeden (2012/1st), Colt McCoy (2010/3rd),
Browns vs. spread: 2-6
Lions vs. spread: 4-4
Vegas Vic's take: "Yo Vic, you're crazy. Why bother with an 0-8 team on the road?" Lemme 'splain. Yes, Detroit looked sweet against the Packers last Monday night, but the Lions didn't have to face Aaron Rodgers. The Lions are coming off the short week, have another NFC North rivalry game on tap with the Vikings, so why even pay attention to Cleveland? That is the formula for a delicious back-door cover by a pathetic double-digit underdog.
Quick hit: The Rams have covered their last three handily. They were 1-point 'dogs in a 27-17 win at Jacksonville, laying 3 in a 33-0 whitewashing of Arizona, and laying 5.5 when they put a 51-17 hammer on the Giants last week.
Texans vs. spread: 5-3
Rams vs. spread: 5-3
Vegas Vic's take: Last time the Rams were a double-digit favorite? They were laying 11 in 2013 against Jacksonville. Score? L.A. 34-20. Win & cover.
Quick hit: Dallas is second in the league in rushing and has rolled up at least 130 yards in each of the last five games. Those numbers, of course, were with Ezekiel Elliott, who will be serving the first game of his six-game suspension.
Cowboys vs. spread: 5-3
Falcons vs. spread: 2-6
Vegas Vic's take: If I were king of the world — or Jerry Jones — Ezekiel Elliott would have already served his suspension, instead of dragging it out. But I ain't the king, so we move on. Now we have to see if Atlanta can shake off the dreaded Super Bowl hangover. The Falcons were amazing last season for 18 games plus 30 minutes and change on Super Sunday. Then disaster hit harder than Thor's hammer, and 28-3 turned into a 34-28 loss. All the Falcs said the standard crap, such as … that was last season … it's in the rear-view mirror … yada, yada, yada. Apparently not. The first eight weeks of 2017 have been absolutely mediocre at 4-4, but it's time to bust out. There's too much talent in Atlanta and Matt Ryan didn't suddenly become a lousy QB. Elliott's suspension is due to begin Sunday, unless of course there's some crazy emergency court hearing late Saturday. If/when you see Zeke in sweats, then you have my permission to pump this baby up to a co-Best Bet!
Quick hit: These teams are a combined 1-16. What in the name of Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor has happened to these two franchises?
Giants vs. spread: 3-5
49ers vs. spread: 4-5
Vegas Vic's take: Is this the last rodeo for two-time Super Bowl champ Eli Manning? It could be, but after last week's humiliating 51-17 loss at home to the Rams, the younger Manning will look to ride off with a win or two in his saddle bag. San Francisco opened as a one-point favorite, but then the sharp money poured in on New York, which is why the Big Blue is now the 2.5-point chalk. Never hurts to follow the money, so we'll drop some love — and cash — on the visitors.
Quick hit: New England coach Bill Belichick needs one win to tie Tom Landry for third all-time at 270 (includes postseason). Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) are first and second. Halas won six NFL championships, Belichick has won five Super Bowls, and Shula and Landry won two Supes.
Patriots vs. spread: 4-4
Broncos vs. spread: 2-5-1
Vegas Vic's take: Denver has played a couple of good teams after the bye week and a couple of lousy teams. The one common thread is that the Broncos have lost all four. They were smoked by the Eagles (51-23), busted by the Chiefs (29-19), bageled by the Chargers (21-0) and stunned by the 1-7 Giants (23-10). They finally ditched Trevor Siemian for Brock Osweiler, and it didn't help. And if you're wondering about that old legendary Mile High Magic, it didn't work last season when New England rolled into Denver and strolled off with a 16-3 road W. Speaking of the road, there is no one better than Tom and the Brady Bunch. They are working on a mind-blowing 12-0 straight up run away from home, and have covered 10 of the 12. The Broncs offensive line is a mess, and the suddenly stingy Patriots defense (allowing only 12.7 points per game over the last month) should have a blast, making this the Best Bet.
Quick hit: Miami wide receiver Jarvis Landry's 344 receptions are the most for any player within the first four seasons of his career. The rest in the top five are Anquan Boldin (342), Larry Fitzgerald (330), A.J. Green (329) and Brandon Marshall (327). Jerry Rice had 264. Jeremy Maclin (258) holds the Eagles' record.
Dolphins vs. spread: 4-4
Panthers vs. spread: 6-3
Vegas Vic's take: Thinking that Carolina should come out on top, but not thrilled with the Panthers offense that is averaging a paltry 13 points per game the last three times out. Fish can't swim to the winner's circle, but lose by only a TD.
Seattle 22, Cardinals 16: Seattle won the game but lost star cornerback Richard Sherman with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Cardinals scored a touchdown with 22 seconds left, but kicker Phil Dawson shanked the extra point, costing Cardinals bettors the cover. Agony.
Entering Week 10