A peek inside some numbers before we pull back the curtain on some winners:
The team with the best record against the spread is Dallas, at 7-2.
The two worst teams against the spread hail from the AFC South: Jacksonville and Houston. Ironically, Houston’s only cover came against the NFL’s only undefeated team: Kansas City. Perhaps even more ironic is that Jacksonville’s lone cover came at 7-1 Denver.
Cincinnati has covered 12 of 17 against the spread dating to 2012.
New England is 5-4 against the spread and all of its games have been played on turf. After their bye, the Patriots play next in Carolina at Bank of America Stadium — which has a grass surface.
Kansas City covered five of its first six but has not covered in two of its last three.
This week’s picks (home team in caps):
ARIZONA (-2½) over Houston: Nice effort by the Texans against the Colts Sunday night, but it didn’t even end up as a victory. Now they go to Arizona with a quarterback — Case Keenum — who has one career start, at home. The Cardinals are 3-1 against the spread in University of Phoenix Stadium and are 4-1 straight up outside their division. Risking $220 to win $200.
SAN FRANCISCO (-6) over Carolina: Prior to its bye, San Francisco won five straight by an average of 22.6 points per game. None of those wins were against potential playoff teams, but three were on the road and the 49ers covered all five. Carolina is also on a roll, winning and covering in four straight — and like San Francisco, none of those wins were against likely playoff teams. This game will boil down to the home team knowing how to take care of business in a so-called big game. Risking $110 to win $100.
Philadelphia (+1) over GREEN BAY: Take Aaron Rodgers away from the Packers and what do you have? The Bills? The Rams? Philadelphia was going to be able to move the ball against Green Bay with or without Rodgers. Now, with Seneca Wallace under center, the Eagles will be able to contain the Packers, too. Risking $110 to win $100.
Last week: 1-3, minus $230. Season: 13-19-1, minus $1,080.Ed Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan