We have 15 games to choose from this week as a pair of teams are on bye. The schedule includes the first international game of the year – Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders in London – and what looks to be an outstanding Sunday night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots.
Drilling down into the Sunday afternoon slate, there are an even dozen games to choose from. Here’s a trio of games that we have become sold on, and we’ll be using them for our Sunday afternoon parlay ticket as a result.
All betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns, 1 PM EST, CBS
- LA Chargers -1 (-115)
- Cleveland +1 (+105)
- Over 44.5 (-116)
- Under 44.5 (-104)
Chargers vs. Browns pick:
The Los Angeles Chargers enter this contest riding a two-game winning streak, and the team finally looks like it’s beginning to play up to its capabilities. The Cleveland Browns have been at arms length of a victory in each and every one of their games this season, and they were able to seal the deal with an overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.
For the Chargers, last Sunday brought a 26-10 victory in the team’s most dominating performance of the season. While the Raiders have not been playing well this season, it was still expected to be close game between a pair of AFC West rivals. Philip Rivers led the way with two touchdown passes, and the defense completely held the Raiders offense in check.
The Browns had a tougher time against the visiting Ravens. It was a tight and low-scoring affair which required extra time to decide. Greg Joseph’s 37-yard overtime field goal was the difference maker as the Browns prevailed by a score of 12-9. They’ll be looking to make it two in a row against the Chargers, and the Browns once again find themselves as home underdogs.
The Chargers enter the contest with a mark of 3-2, and they have outscored opponents by a margin of 137-130 so far. The team opened up an uneven 1-2, which included a 35-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but the squad has been improving as the season moved along. They stole a tight one over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4, and the team looked even better while running roughshod over the Raiders.
The Browns are 2-2-1, but they could legitimately be 5-0. None of their games have been decided by more than four points, and they have a slight 114-113 edge over opponents on the scoreboard. Their two defeats – to the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders – were real heartbreakers, and the team had to scratch and claw for its two victories and the Week 1 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This Browns team is very different from the one that went 1-31 over the prior two seasons. Baker Mayfield now has the keys to the offense, and his swagger is further emboldening a team that already had its confidence on the rise due to improved play and more outspoken veteran leaders such as Jarvis landry.
We’ll take the Browns plus the points in what should be another tight affair for the hosts.
Chicago Bears @ Miami Dolphins, 1 PM EST, Fox
- Chicago -3 (-117)
- Miami +3 (-103)
- Chicago -165
- Miami +145
- Over 41.5 (-116)
- Under 41.5 (-104)
Bears vs. Dolphins pick:
The Chicago Bears had last week off, and the 3-1 squad certainly went into its bye on a high note. Back in Week 4, the team laid the smackdown on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the tune of 48-10. Mitchell Trubisky had a coming out party with six touchdown passes, while the defense continued its impressive start to the season.
For the Miami Dolphins, it has already been a tale of two seasons. The team looked great while rolling to a mark of 3-0, but they have looked anything but that in two consecutive losses. Last Sunday, they were up 17-0 over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins went on to lose by a score of 27-17.
The Bears have rolled off three straight wins on the back of solid defense and an offense that’s starting to come around in a big way. Khalil Mack came over via trade from the Oakland Raiders, and his play to date tells us that the Bears committed the equivalent of highway robbery, regardless of what the cost was.
Quite simply, he’s a game changer when on the field, and he has demonstrated that on a number of occasions this year. The Bears have outscored opponents by a margin of 111-65 to date, and Mack is a huge reason why.
The Dolphins solid start quickly went south when they ran into the New England Patriots in Week 4. The Patriots demonstrated that the AFC East still belongs to them with a convincing 38-7 win over the then-undefeated Dolphins. On the season, opponents have outscored the Dolphins by a margin of 117-99.
Ryan Tannehill has been uneven at best with eight scores and five picks on the year. The team has been employing a committee approach in the backfield with Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake, but the latter came to life with his best game of the year against the Bengals. We’ll see if that leads to a change in the team’s approach. Kenny Stills has been the top performer from a crowded wide receiver room.
This is a game between two teams that look to be going in opposite directions. The Bears are clearly a team on the rise that could surprise this year, while the Dolphins look like they’ll be lucky to compete for a wild card spot. The home field edge is not going to be enough to ward off the Bears defense.
We’ll take the Bears minus the points.
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans, 4:25 PM EST, CBS
- Baltimore -2.5 (-120)
- Tennessee +2.5 (+100)
- Baltimore -148
- Tennessee +128
- Over 41 (-111)
- Under 41 (-109)
Ravens vs. Titans pick:
For this contest, we have two evenly matched squads who are in the conversation to take down their respective divisions. The Baltimore Ravens come into this one with a mark of 3-2, good enough for second place in the AFC North. The Tennessee Titans come in with the same mark and are tied for first place in the AFC South with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Ravens entered last week’s road contest with the Browns as the favorite, but they left Cleveland with a loss. The club just couldn’t get anything going offensively against an improved Browns defense. The Ravens own strong play on defense continued, as they held the Browns to just 12 points.
The Titans entered last week’s road date with the Buffalo Bills on a high note as they had just clipped the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in an entertaining game, but they exited the stadium in a sour mood. The club came in flat, and the Bills were able to take advantage and steal a 13-12 victory.
On the season, the Ravens have outscored opponents by a margin of 132-77. Joe Flacco has been playing with a ton of pep in his step, and it’s not a reach to directly attribute that to the club’s drafting of Lamar Jackson. While Jackson is clearly the future in Baltimore, Flacco is holding him off for now with solid play at the position.
Alex Collins has been leading the charge in the backfield with a line of 57/217/2, while John Brown has emerged as the top pass catching option. To date, Brown has snagged just 19 of a whopping 44 targets, but he has translated that into 396 yards, three scores, and seven plays of 20 yards or more. The tireless Terrell Suggs is still leading the way on defense with 3.5 sacks.
Outside of last week’s flat performance against the Bills, new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has pulled an inspired effort out of his squad so far in 2018. Marcus Mariota has been slowed with injury, but the offense is finding a way to do just enough to put points on the board.
While the Ravens are the better team offensively on paper, the edge is not so dramatic that it warrants them being a road favorite over a squad that matches up well with them. We’ll consider the play of the two defenses to be close enough to be a wash, and the stats bear that out. The Titans have given up an average of 333.2 yards and 17.2 points per game, while the Ravens have allowed 303.8 yards and 15.4 points per game.
Add it all up, and the Titans look like a live home dog. We’ll take the Titans plus the points in what looks to be a close game.
Each of these games makes sense for an individual wager, but we can definitely look for an even greater return by tying them all together in a three-team parlay. Regardless of which direction you choose, we wish you the best of luck. Enjoy the games this weekend!