This week's lines are from usatoday.com (as of Wednesday night).
ATS - Against the Spread; SU - Straight Up; O/U - Over/Under
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+7)
The Patriots are coming off a 59-24 thrashing of the Indianapolis Colts last week but took a big hit in the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski who broke his forearm. Their other star tight end, Aaron Hernandez (ankle), is listed as questionable but is expected to play after missing the last three games. New England has been playing well, winning six of its last seven games. They have a lot of options on offense and should not miss a beat without Gronkowski. The Jets showed some signs of life last week, winning in St. Louis by a score of 27-13. Quarterback Mark Sanchez finally had a decent game, completing 15-of-20 passes for a touchdown. I don't expect them to beat New England but they should be able to score a few points against the Patriots defense, which ranks 30th against the pass in the NFL.
In their last meeting, the Patriots won, 29-26, on Oct. 21.
The Patriots are 8-2 ATS on the Over in games this season.
Gimme the Over.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (+3)
The Texans are coming off an ugly overtime win against Jacksonville last week. The defense failed to show up and allowed backup quarterback Chad Henne to throw for 354 yards and four touchdowns. Matt Schaub threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Andre Johnson accounted for 273 of those yards and a touchdown. The last time Houston allowed 40-plus points in a game was against the Green Bay Packers. They bounced back the next game, defeating the Baltimore Ravens by 30 points. I'm expecting the Texans to do the same against the Detroit Lions, who have lost two straight division games and are pretty much out of the playoff race.
Gimme the Texans minus the points.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Tony Romo and the Cowboys needed overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns last week. Wide Receiver Dez Bryant seems to have turned things around lately, collecting 12 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown. In last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III continued to impress in his rookie campaign, completing 14-of-15 passes for four touchdowns.
This game could go either way, and I don't have a good feeling about this one, but if I had to pick one, I'd go with the rookie and take the points.
The Cowboys are 0-4 ATS at home this season.
Gimme the Redskins plus the points.
Please make sure to check back Friday for my four-star picks and my take on the rest of the NFL schedule.
SEASON RECAP (W-L-T)
Total Record: 67-57-3
Submit any questions or just follow Vinnie via Twitter @VinnieATS