RedZone Sports’ Steve Baumohl with his best bets for this week’s NFL action
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
A disappointed Kansas City Chiefs outfit travels to Oakland after suffering their first loss of the season against the Steelers, with their tough defense and improving run game key to victory.
The Raiders, however, lost their fourth game in row and couldn’t stop Chargers' Philip Rivers from throwing all over them.
The Raiders’ defense have not played up to pre-season expectations and are struggling mightily against the pass. Alex Smith, who is playing some of his best football ever, has been averaging an incredible 119 passer-rating over the last six games.
He will look to continue his good form against this secondary and after Hunter Henry made hay for LA last weekend, Kansas’ Travis Kelce should be salivating at the prospect of facing this defense.
Derek Carr has struggled and is clearly taking time to overcome the leg injury which curtailed the Raiders last season.
They are struggling to run the ball, with Marshawn Lynch not performing as expected while both receivers, although talented, have dropped several easy catches.
LA Rams v Arizona Cardinals (Twickenham Stadium)
Arizona Cardinals suddenly came to life last week against the Buccaneers and the scoreline of 38-33 was quite misleading, as they had a lead of 31-6 halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals’ offense has been poor thus far and although the addition of Adrian Peterson may give them a short-term boost, I don’t believe Carson Palmer has suddenly turned a corner.
The Bucs’ pass defense is one of the worst in the league and with a non-existent pass rush, Palmer found some success. He’ll now face a much stronger secondary and the Rams’ defensive line is a complete mismatch for the Arizona offensive line.
Jared Goff has been playing well, allied to a stout offensive line in front of him, and I can see them bullying the Arizona defense and winning comfortably.
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots
Welcome to the Revenge Bowl, as some people have coined it!
The Atlanta Falcons, clearly looking ahead to this fixture, laid an egg against Miami last week, whilst the Patriots found it very difficult to get past the Jets.
Both teams are nowhere near as good as last year but it’s the Patriots who are the poorer of the two.
Tom Brady has struggled so far due to his offensive line being nothing short of dreadful.
The lack of a pass rush has hurt this secondary and, with no pressure being generated against running backs, they now face a team who can attack them in multiple ways.
There’s no-one better to take advantage than Matt Ryan and his talented backs and receivers. Atlanta will be able to score at will here, whilst Brady will be forced to play catch-up.
Brady is beginning to make uncharacteristic mistakes and his accuracy is slowly fading. He’ll make some big plays but now he faces a stronger and more talented defense, so his margin for error will be at an absolute minimum.
This will be a close game but I’ll take the better-designed team with the added motivation.
Kansas -3 v Oakland 50/51
LA Rams -3.5 v Arizona 51/50
Atlanta +3.5 v New England 20/21