Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-9.5, 46.5)The Carolina
Panthers have surged above .500 for the first time since 2008 and aim
for their fourth straight victory when they host the Atlanta Falcons on
Sunday. The Panthers have won three straight by an average of 19.3
points to pull within two games of NFC South leader New Orleans. The
defending champion Falcons have struggled to their worst start since
Carolina's offense has sprung to life the past three weeks, topping 30
points in each game while Cam Newton has posted a league-best 130.3
passer rating over that span. And there's more good news: it appears running back Jonathan Stewart will make his season debut. He
practiced in full pads Wednesday for the first time in nearly a year
and drew rave reviews from coaches and teammates.LINE: Carolina opened as a 7.5-point favorite, but the line has jumped to 9.5. The total has risen from 43 to 45.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with wind blowing diagonally out of the N at 7 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Falcons (+3.0) + Panthers (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Carolina -7
* Falcons are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games.
* Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with losing records.
* Over is 12-2-2 in Carolina's last 16 games vs. the NFC South.Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-10, 50)
Minnesota has struggled on defense for most of the season - but the majority of
the attention is being placed on the quarterback position, where Josh
Freeman and Christian Ponder seem to be in a weekly competition for the
starting job. Neither passer managed to take advantage of an opportunity
to start, and Matt Cassel is the only quarterback on the roster with a
win under his belt this season.
New Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has his unit last in the NFL
while surrendering an average of 422.5 yards. Dallas already
allowed four different quarterbacks to pass for over 400 yards and was
burned for the second-highest receiving total in NFL history when Calvin
Johnson piled up 329 yards last week. The Cowboys surrendered 623 total yards at Detroit last week, with the last 80 coming in the final 50 seconds.LINE: Dallas is installed as a 10-point favorite after opening at -10.5. The total has risen from 47 to 48.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Vikings (+7.5) + Cowboys (-3.5) + home field (-3.0) = Dallas -15
* Vikings are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the NFC.
* Cowboys are 5-0 in their last five games on Fieldturf.
* The favorite is 9-0 ATS in the last nine meetings.New Orleans Saints at New York Jets (+6, 46.5)
Drew Brees is having another stellar season as he leads the NFC with 19
touchdown tosses and a 109.2 passer rating while ranking second with
2,290 yards passing. The former Super Bowl MVP is coming off a victory
over Buffalo in which he threw for 332 yards and five scores, marking
the NFL-record eighth time he's had five touchdowns passes.
Jets rookie Geno Smith has shown signs of being a solid NFL quarterback, he'll
need to cut down on mistakes if he hopes to earn that distinction.
Smith has thrown 13 interceptions, the third-highest total in the
league, and been sacked 28 times - second to Miami's Ryan Tannehill
(32). Smith has thrown seven touchdown passes and four interceptions in
the team's victories compared to one TD and nine picks in the losses.LINE: The Jets opened the week as a 4.5-point dog, but the line has since jumped to 6.5. The total is 45.5..
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-50s with wind blowing diagonally out of the NW at 12 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Saints (-6.0) + Jets (+3.5) - home field (-3.0) = Jets +6.5
* Saints are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 November games.
* Jets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring fewer than 15 points in their previous encounter.
* Over is 5-1 in New York's last six games.Tennessee Titans at St. Louis Rams (+2.5, 40)
Quarterback Jake Locker (hip, knee) got some well-needed rest with
Tennessee on a bye last weekend and has a solid 8-to-1
touchdowns-to-interceptions rate. Locker missed two games before passing
for 326 yards and two scores in a loss to San Francisco on Oct. 20
prior to the break. Running back Chris Johnson is struggling mightily
with just 110 yards on 46 carries over the past four games.
Defensive end Robert Quinn is having a dominating campaign and
ranks fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks. Quinn had three of the team’s
seven sacks in the 14-9 loss to the Seahawks, a contest in which St.
Louis allowed just 135 yards.
Quarterback Kellen Clemens again starts for injured Sam Bradford after going 15-of-31 for 158 yards and two
interceptions against Seattle in his 13th career start.LINE: The Rams opened +3 and are now +1, with the total holding at 39.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Titans (+1.0) - Rams (+6.5) - home field (-3.0) = Rams +2.5
* Titans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with losing records.
* Rams are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following an SU loss.
* Over is 5-0 in St. Louis' last five home games against teams with losing road records.Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (+4.5, 40)A tenacious defense
and efficient offense have the Kansas City Chiefs off to their best
start in 10 seasons. The Chiefs look to keep both in gear on Sunday and
win their ninth straight contest to begin a campaign for the first time
since 2003 when they visit the Buffalo Bills. The aggressive defense
boasts an NFL-best 36 sacks while holding opposing offenses to a
league-low 12.3 points per game.
With running back C.J. Spiller's availability in limbo, veteran Fred Jackson will need to
overcome the pains of a sprained MCL in an effort to keep Kansas City's
pass rush at bay. Stevie Johnson has been nursing a hip flexor, but did
his best to put it in his rear-view mirror following a seven-reception,
72-yard effort with a touchdown in Sunday's 35-17 setback to New
Orleans. LINE: The Bills opened +3 and are now +3.5. The total opened 41.5 and is down to 39.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-30s with a 32 percent chance of snow.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chiefs (-4.5) + Bills (+4.5) - home field (-3.0) = Buffalo +6
* Chiefs are 4-11 ATS against teams with losing records.
* Bills are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss.
* Under is 7-1 in Kansas City's last eight November games.San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins (-1, 51)
Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers have to be salivating at the
prospect of facing the Washington Redskins' defense this weekend. The
Chargers travel across the country looking for their first three-game
winning streak since 2011 when the teams match up on Sunday. The
Redskins, meanwhile, are allowing 32.7 points per game - second-worst in
the NFL - and have yielded 39 points per game over their last three
Rivers' 15 touchdown passes have gone to six different receivers, with
Eddie Royal leading the way with six scores and tight end Antonio Gates
(497 yards, two TDs) on pace to lead the team in receiving yards for the
first time since 2010. Even running back Ryan Mathews, once considered a
first-round bust, is starting to become a force, having rushed for more
than 100 yards in back-to-back games.LINE: This opened as a Pick and is now Skins -1. The total has held firm at 51.
WEATHER: Skies will be clear with temperatures in the low-50s and wind blowing across the field at 13 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chargers (-1.5) + Washington (+3.0) - home field (-3.0) = Washington +1.5
* Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Redskins are 6-2 ATS vs. teams with winning records.
* Over is 18-7-1 in San Diego's last 26 road games vs. teams with losing home records.