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"Good teams win, great teams cover, elite coaches respond"
I love backing trustworthy coaches to cover point spreads in the week following a blowout loss. That’s the spot the Steelers are in this week, returning home after a 38-3 loss in Buffalo in Week 5. Pittsburgh doesn’t look like a good team - it is certainly an offensively challenged team and one rife with injuries on defense, particularly in the secondary, heading into this game. However, save for last week’s loss to the Bills, the Steelers were at least competitive in defeat. Their Week 1 win in Cincinnati sure feels like an eternity ago. We saw the Titans get smoked by the Bills earlier this season and get their first win against the Raiders the following week. I just don’t see a Mike Tomlin team laying down, nor do I believe Tom Brady at his advanced age is going to be able to exploit the holes in the Pittsburgh secondary. I also believe Kenny Pickett will play better with a game under his belt and playing at home here. Is Pittsburgh good? Far from it. Are the Steelers about to have the first losing season in the Tomlin era? Quite possibly. Are they going to fold with almost three months left in the regular season? Hell no. Back the Steelers +8.5 at home.
It’s a little weird to see a pair of division rivals conclude their head-to-head season series in the middle of October. But that’s the situation we’re in here with the Jaguars and Colts meeting for the second time in six weeks in Indy. Unfortunately for the Colts, the first meeting this year was all too familiar to previous trips to Jacksonville as the Jaguars demolished them to the tune of a 24-0 shutout. Indianapolis has been far from impressive this season, but perhaps that’s why the Colts are a bit cheap here at just -2 at home against a suddenly reeling Jaguars team. The Colts are coming off the mini bye having played on Thursday night in Week 5 in Denver. It’s a revenge spot for the team due to the aforementioned drubbing they took in Jacksonville last month. It’s also a revenge spot for Frank Reich, who coaches against his mentor Doug Pederson , s Reich was Pederson’s OC in Philly when the Eagles won the Super Bowl in February 2018. We’re on the Colts here, as short home chalk.
For the first time in his career, Patrick Mahomes is a home underdog. Wouldn’t you want to blindly back the Chiefs as a home dog at Arrowhead anyway? Mahomes is 7-0-1 against the spread as an underdog overall as well. Don’t you think the Chiefs are tired of hearing about how good the Bills are and how hungry they are for revenge? After all, the Bills weren’t even in the AFC title game last year and Kansas City has played in four straight conference championships. Buffalo might be the better team, but this line is expensive and should be closer to PK than 3. Back the Chiefs at +2.5.
"Now or Never for Denver"
The Broncos have the most amount of prep time for a game that a team can have in the NFL without having a bye week. After falling to 2-3 straight up last week, if you said the Broncos have to win this game, you wouldn’t be overreacting. The AFC West hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype, but a loss for Denver would send the Broncos to 2-4 and 0-2 in the division. The Broncos do have upcoming games against the Jets and Jaguars, so a path to 4-4 is certainly conceivable, but hovering around .500 is probably not good enough to qualify for the playoffs in the AFC. And forget the standings for a moment. The Broncos just have to get right and it has to happen this week. The Chargers haven’t been lighting the world on fire, surviving by the skin of their teeth in Cleveland last week and winning in a rather unimpressive fashion against the lowly Texans the week prior. Brandon Staley’s team is ripe to be upset here, and Denver is in dire need of a victory. Neither one of these teams has played all that well in 2022, but Denver has looked worse than Los Angeles and due to that, there’s a little value in the number here. Back the Broncos +4.5.