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Every week during the NFL season, theScore's betting writers release their best bets. Each writer has been given an imaginary $1,000 bankroll to manage throughout the campaign. If you decide to follow any of the picks, please gamble responsibly.
Odds are courtesy of theScore Bet.
Season record: 10-7-2, +188
I've been red-hot with my NFL picks, but to be honest, I really don't like this week's card, so I'm just going to fade Anthony Lynn and the sinking Chargers. L.A. is coming off another gut-wrenching loss last week to the Drew Lock-led Broncos. I like to fade teams late in the year that were projected to be Super Bowl contenders and coming off a tough loss. At some point, the players on those disappointing clubs start making tee times and looking forward to the offseason. The Chargers are 4-8 and officially out of the playoff picture. They must be pumped to travel across the country and play a meaningless game in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars should get a boost after reinstating Gardner Minshew as their starting quarterback. Minshew is 4-1 straight up (SU) and 5-0 against the spread (ATS) this season versus teams coming off a loss. Lynn is on his way out the door and the Chargers have no business being a road favorite here.
Jacksonville has lost seven straight in this series. The streak ends Sunday.
Pick: Jaguars +3 ($50)
Season record: 11-8, +$40
I've been waiting to hammer a Bills over, and I breathed a sigh of relief that last week's total against the Cowboys got jacked up out of range and ultimately ended in a pass. Buffalo's defense hasn't played anybody and last week's box score helps me here. Despite allowing 15 points to Dallas, the Bills gave up 5.9 yards per play and benefited from two missed field goals and two turnovers on downs. I think some still view this Bills defense as above average when it's clearly not.
You can only luck out so much, and I don't think it happens twice in two weeks. Baltimore's the No. 1 DVOA offense, and deservedly so: The Ravens have played three defenses over the past five weeks that rank in the top five of DVOA defense and have averaged 34 points per game against those opponents. They're probably going to have their way against a Bills run defense that's still just No. 22 in the league.
Oh, and give me Josh Allen against a defense that's in the bottom third in the NFL in adjusted sack rate this season. Over, over, over.
Pick: Over 43.5 ($100)
Season record: 15-13-2, -$14
The Titans own the NFL's longest over streak (six) and have scored at least 20 points in all six overs thanks to Ryan Tannehill reigniting this talent-rich offense.
Oakland's defense, which ranks second-worst in DVOA, is a poor fit to slow Tennessee's balanced attack, while the Titans' defense has been slipping during the team's stellar over run. Expect another over in a game Tennessee needs to win.
Pick: Over 47 ($50)
When bad teams play with a small spread, check the coach and quarterback. Colts coach Frank Reich is 7-3-1 ATS as a road 'dog in his career, while Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is 5-10 ATS as a home favorite. Take the points with Indy, which is hampered by injuries, but undervalued against an unreliable Tampa Bay squad.
Pick: Colts +3 ($25)
Season record: 14-14-1, -$54
I was big on the Broncos last week and couldn't be more confident fading them in Drew Lock's first road start. It took the Chargers until the second half to start blitzing, but once they did, Lock was a mess under center. He managed only 11 passing yards after halftime and completed just six passes - five of them to his running backs.
The Chargers have the lowest blitz percentage in the NFL and even that was too much for Lock, who'll be living a nightmare against a Texans defense that isn't shy about rushing the quarterback under coordinator Romeo Crennel. I genuinely fear how ugly this could get for the Broncos' offense, while Denver's defense has posted significantly worse numbers on the road this season.
Pick: Texans -9 ($60)
Is there a better opponent in the NFL right now for a frustrated team to let go of some anger against than the Lions? Mike Zimmer's defense was bullied Monday night in Seattle and you can bet he's been all over his defenders in practice this week. I can only imagine the sort of hell they're going to unleash on Detroit quarterback David Blough, who's making the first road start of his career.
As for Minnesota's offense, with or without Dalvin Cook (who's expected to play), the Vikings will have no issue putting up points in a stats-padding game against a Lions defense giving up the fourth-most yards per game and fifth-most yards per play. Minnesota won 42-30 earlier this season in Detroit and you can expect another offensive outburst in this one, only without Matthew Stafford keeping pace on the other side.
Pick: Vikings -13 ($60)