The two AFC West clubs are putting up some serious numbers this season, and they will meet Sunday in San Diego in what’s sure to be a high-scoring shootout. There are two teams in the AFC who are averaging more than 400 yards of offense per game this season, the Chargers and Broncos. Adding to the fun is the fact that neither team has a very stingy defense, which means these guys are both likely to light up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree.
Despite all that, the Broncos are another big favorite, according to Vegas. After another mediocre week, NESN.com editors John Beattie and Mike Cole are back with their NFL picks, as they touch on this game and all the rest. See their picks below.
All lines are from Bovada as of Thursday. If lines are off on Bovada Thursday, Yahoo! lines will be used for those games.
Why: The Skins are healthy and should be able to put up some points against the 29th-ranked defense. They typically play well against Adrian Peterson, too. Maybe the Skins can even score a first-quarter touchdown for the first time this season?-JB
Why: Not only are the Jaguars 0-8 this season, they are 1-7-0 against the spread. So not only do they suck, they suck more than Vegas thinks they should suck. That’s a whole lot of suck. -MC
Why: Can the Packers lose two home games in a row against backup quarterbacks? Yep.-JB
Why: At the risk of getting too ATS-happy, consider this: Buffalo keeps it close at home, but on the road, not so much. The Bills are 4-1-0 ATS at home, but on the road, they’re just 1-3-0. If the Steelers can keep Big Ben upright for the majority of the day, I think they’ll roll. -MC
Why: The Giants had two wins in a row (their first of the year) before last week’s Bye Week. Not sure if the time off hurts or helps but the return of Andre Brown might help out Eli’s offense.-JB
Why: The Colts have won just two games by more than six points this season — one of those was against the lowly Jaguars and the other came against the 49ers, which appears to be quite the outlier. Until they adjust to life without Reggie Wayne and a banged-up backfield, expect some more close affairs. -MC
Why: Seattle is looking for revenge from January’s playoff loss in ATL and, despite their recent woes, Seattle can easily cover that sub-TD spread.-JB
Why: Cincinnati has not been able to win in Baltimore pretty much ever and they haven’t been very good on the road this season, but I still like the Bengals here. At some point they have to prove they’re for real, and assuming they take care of the football, I think they get this one. -MC
Why: I don’t know if Cutler returning hurts or helps the Bears here but I’ll take the home-dogs coming off a big road win.-JB
Why: This feels like a low spread. I could see Carolina winning this game outright, especially if their defense is able to bottle up the San Fran rushing attack. However, I also think that if they lose, it’s going to be by more than a touchdown. The latter is more likely. -MC
Why: They’ll win this one for Gary Kubiak. Also, #CaseKeenum.-JB
Why: In terms of yards, these two are the top two teams in the AFC, so hopefully the guys holding the first down sticks are in good shape. So in theory, if the Chargers can take care of the ball, they should be able to at least hang with Denver until the end, perhaps just long enough to cover. -MC
Why: The Saints are 4-0 at the Superdome this year while the Cowboys are 1-3 on the road. Brees will torch the Boys’ secondary. -JB
Why: This has “Us against the world” written all over it for the Dolphins. Plus, if there’s one team in more disarray than Miami, it’s Tampa Bay. Either way, pro football in Florida sucks. Gimme the Fins. -MC