From the best games to bet, to the ones to stay away from, check out Hank Gola’s guide to get you through the NFL weekend a winner.
SAINTS at GIANTS
4:25 p.m., Saints by 3 1/2, 49
HANK’S HONEYS: Tough one to call because you don’t know which team is going to show up in both cases. Drew Brees is playing at an elite level again (not so much Eli Manning) and the Saints are putting up points. Yet New Orleans’ defense is giving up the second-most passing yards in the league. If they can’t pressure Manning, he will pick them apart, not to mention Saquon Barkley’s emergence. Nevertheless, in a shootout, we’re going with the Saints. Trends to note: the Giants are 0-5 ATS following their last five wins while the Saints, once a road disaster, are 15-5 in their last 20 away from the Superdome and 13-6-1 ATS after a win since 2006.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Saints and the over.
JETS at JAGUARS
1 p.m., Jaguars by 7 1/2, 38
HANK’S HONEYS: Not that Sam Darnold is inspiring any confidence these days – no one has a worse QB rating over the past two weeks and the rookie will be facing one of the league’s best (and angriest) defense. But in a game matching defenses that are each allowing under 20 ppg, it’s just too big a number. Doug Marrone might be a little gun-shy after watching Blake Bortles revert to bad Blake and we can see him coming in with another conservative game plan. Jaguars’ offense really misses Leonard Fournette and until they get him back, they’re not going to be in full downhill attack mode.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jets and the under.
EAGLES at TITANS
1 p.m., Eagles by 4, 42
HANK’S HONEYS: We’ll ignore the fact that the Titans are 11-2 SU in their last 13 home games and rely on the Eagles’ superior talent. Let’s not forget they’ve won 17 of their last 20 games SU. The Birds missed covering against the Colts in Carson Wentz’ return last week but he’s going to get more and more comfortable with each game, especially with Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews getting healthy. Marcus Mariota shined coming off the bench in a Willis Reed moment in Jacksonville but he didn’t have to do all that much in a 9-6 win. This one will be different and if he has to match throws against Wentz, we’ll go with the defending champs.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Eagles and the over.
BILLS at PACKERS
1 p.m., Packers by 9 1/2, 44
HANK’S HONEYS: Apparently, there was nothing wrong with the Bills that rookie Josh Allen couldn’t cure. That and the Vikings taking them lightly as 16 ½-point favorites and Kirk Cousins playing like his Cousin Kirk behind a leaky O-line. Aaron Rodgers isn’t Kirk Cousins but his line is just as leaky and the Bills have amassed eight sacks already this year. Rodgers’ mobility has been limited by his injured knee and the entire Packers team seems to be out of sync because of it. Not saying the Bills will pull off another shocker but the points are tough to pass up when you factor everything in.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bills and the over.
49ERS at CHARGERS
4:25 p.m., Chargers by 10 1/2, 47
HANK’S HONEYS: Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending ACL injury almost puts the Niners where they were before he magically took over last season. And that’s not a good place. C.J. Beathard wasn’t the answer then and he isn’t now. This is a very productive Chargers offense against a defense allowing 29.7 point and over 287 passing yards per game. And to make matters worse, CB Richard Sherman will be missing with a strained calf as Philip Rivers takes aim at a secondary that has been riddled by Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford and Patrick Mahomes. Without Sherman, there is no one who can match up with the explosive Mike Williams, who has become a big factor in LA’s downfield passing game.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chargers and the over.
DOLPHINS at PATRIOTS
1 p.m., Pats by 6 1/2, 48
HANK’S HONEYS: Oddsmakers are assuming that the Patriots will finally get their heads out of their hoodies and turn back into their old selves. After all, they’ve had a history of slow starts while absorbing Bill Belichick’s X’s and O’s and have always sorted things out. Plus, they have covered their last five home games against Miami and are 9-1 SU over the last 10 seasons. But an efficient Ryan Tannehill has brought stability to the Fish and is running Adam Gase’s offense to a T. He’s been sensational (121 QB rating) so far and he’s figured out the Pats’ defense before, albeit at home.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Dolphins and the over.
BROWNS at RAIDERS
4:05 p.m., Raiders by 3, 44 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Brownies haven’t won back-to-back games since 2014. The Raiders are due with an 0-3 record after blowing three halftime leads. Oakland’s pass rush is zilch since it traded Khalil Mack. Baker Mayfield was a revelation off the bench against the Jets but the difference is that the Raiders get to prepare for him. Expect he’ll come back to Earth in his first start on the road and perhaps even serve up an INT or two. While the Browns are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine matchups with the Silver and Black, we’ll play our hunch that this is the week Jon Gruden’s team sorts it all out.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Raiders and the under.
CHIEFS at BRONCOS
Monday, 8:15 p.m., Chiefs by 5 ½, 55
HANK’S HONEYS: We have to ride the arm and legs of Patrick Mahomes as long as it lasts, especially in his first chance to show off for the entire nation. Broncos have been unimpressive, even in their two home games. They have the pass rush to get after Mahomes but his escapability is reminding Andy Reid of Brett Favre, the last guy he coached with this much talent. Defenses simply don’t know what to do. Chiefs are 17-1 SU in their last 18 within the division and 8-1 ATS in their last nine prime time appearances. They’ve also won five straight against Denver, averaging just under 30 ppg.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chiefs and the over.
TEXANS at COLTS
1 p.m., Colts by 2, 47
HANK’S HONEY’S: The Texans (0-3 SU and ATS) continue to be one of the most disappointing teams this season with issues too big for Deshaun Watson to fix by himself. The Colts, who were four yards away from an upset win in Philly last week, have played better than their 1-2 record with Andrew Luck getting more comfortable each week and still looking to uncork a few more downfield. With 10 sacks through three games, the defense will have Watson in its sights. Houston could have used a second straight home game but are on the road for the third time, where they are 2-14 in their last 16 games in Indianapolis. It doesn’t seem likely they’ll break their 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS streak here.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Colts and the under.
SEAHAWKS at CARDS
4:05 p.m., Seahawks by 3, 37
HANK’S HONEYS: The Cardinals finally kept a game close and covered against the Bears last week. Still, they’ve scored only 20 points all year and will be serving up rookie Josh Rosen in his first NFL start against a defense that’s beginning to find itself. Granted, we’ve seen some fine performances from the crop of rookie QBs already this year but Rosen’s surrounding cast is, well, not so hot. The Seahawks still have enough championship pedigree in Russell Wilson, the Earl Thomas situation not withstanding, and know hot to take care of business. Seattle is 8-2-1 SU and 7-3-1 ATS in their past 13 NFC West road games while Arizona is 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight divisional home games. Expect those trends to continue.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Seahawks and the under.
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LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH
LIONS at COWBOYS
1 p.m., Cowboys by 3, 44
HANK’S HONEYS: Coin flip game. On the one hand, the one-dimensional Cowboys’ offense has a good matchup with Ezekiel Elliott going up against the 31st ranked rush defense in the league. But Matt Stafford has put his dreadful game against the Jets behind him and rebounded with a pair of performances (5 TDs, 1 INT, 304 yyg) more in line with his contract. Dallas can certainly get after the QB but that hasn’t led to any INTs while LB Sean Lee’s absence could be felt against the Lions’ emerging running game. It could be tough for the Lions to keep their heads on straight after their upset win over Team Belichick.
CAN’T HELP YOURSELF?: Cowboys and the under.
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BEST OF THE REST:
BENGALS at FALCONS
1 p.m., Falcons by 5, 48
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bengals and the over.
BUCS at BEARS
1 p.m., Bears by 3, 48 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bears and the under.
RAVENS at STEELERS
8:20 p.m., Steelers by 3, 48 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Steelers and the over.
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WEEK’S BEST BET: Chiefs. Mahomes keeps rolling.