There are some home favorites who will take over this weekend
I never would have envisioned a time where I was more comfortable with Matt Barkley at quarterback for an NFL game. Yet, last week that's was the situation I presented when I picked the Bills with the contingency that it had to be anyone other than Nathan Peterman.
I'd also like to apologize for the completely misguided selection of the Bengals last week. The Saints are a steamroller and the Bengals weren't fit to be standing in their way. All that said, let's take a look at this week's selections.
Record: 28-18-2 (53-32-3 last year)
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Nov. 18
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Dallas Cowboys (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5), 1 p.m.
Pardon me if I don't think that the Cowboys are back after that win in Philadelphia last Sunday night. That game told me more about the Eagles than it did Dallas. The Cowboys now hit the road for the third time over a four-week span to play the Falcons down in Atlanta. The Dallas offense relied heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and got just enough from Dak Prescott to win. The Falcons have won three of their last four and are coming off a tough loss at Cleveland last time out. They are actually getting a little healthier with linebacker Deion Jones coming off of injured reserve and he's going to really help the middle of that defense. Last year Atlanta won this game 27-7. At home, I believe the Falcons are the better team and I think they win this one easily. SELECTION: Falcons -3
Tennessee Titans (5-4) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5), 1 p.m.
It's an AFC South battle as the Colts host the Titans. The Colts have won three straight and no coincidence that it's because Andrew Luck and his weapons are healthy. The team has discovered a run game to take a little heat off the quarterback as well. This defense scares me, but has done well against the run and making the Titans one-dimensional will help. Tennessee is coming off an impressive 34-10 win at home against New England. The Titans have won two straight after losing three in a row. The last time they got a huge win was when they beat the Eagles... and then they proceeded to lose three straight. Tennessee is 2-3 on the road, averaging just 17.6 points in those games. The Colts have won 14 of their last 19 at home in this series, covering 12 of those. I think the home team gets the win. SELECTION: Colts -2
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6), 1 p.m.
You couldn't get the Jaguars any lower than right now. Jacksonville has lost five straight, including a 29-26 loss at Indianapolis last week. The defense didn't make the stops when it had to in that one and once again the offense didn't do its part. Even with all of that, I still think the Jags are worth a look at home. This is a team that's got a lot of pride and they beat the Steelers twice last year. I'm sure that's part of the reason why this line is so big. It's hard to find anything wrong with Pittsburgh during its current five-game winning streak. They've gotten some extra days to prepare for this one considering they last played on Thursday night. I think Jalen Ramsey is going to do some good work on Antonio Brown which will force Big Ben to find some other weapons. I do like the Steelers' defense too. It's a really underrated unit. The Steelers have been a road favorite of 3.5 to 7 points just five times over the last three seasons, covering just one of them. I like the home team to pick things up in this one. SELECTION: Jaguars +6
Denver Broncos (3-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), 4:05 p.m.
The Chargers and Broncos each have good defenses that are putting up good numbers in different ways. Denver's secondary is one of the best while the Chargers are clamping down on both the run and the pass. Denver's offense is very underwhelming with Case Keenum under center. He doesn't scare too many people as the offense has scored 20 points or fewer four times since Sept. 23. This one just feels like an under. SELECTION: Under 47
Note: I really want to take the Ravens on Sunday. Obviously, we don't know the line because of the status of Joe Flacco. If he's out, I still think I'd like to take them because I think Lamar Jackson can get things done. My concern is that Baltimore goes to Robert Griffin III instead and he's not really who I want to back. The Ravens' defense had a rough stretch entering the bye. I've said it in this space before: bye weeks are a nice chance for teams to reset everything. Be very aware of who is under center for the home team. If it's Jackson then I'm probably going to be betting on the Ravens. Cincinnati's defense doesn't scare me and Baltimore's defense is going to be locked in at home.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.